Monday, January 21, 2013

New York Giants

Hooray! After moving 11 months ago, I finally found my football card binders last weekend. Now I can put my '68 Browns' cards away (instead of gathering dust in the "already scanned' pile), and restart these football blogs.

After finishing 9-5 in 1970, the Giants slumped to 4-10 in 1971, signaling the end of quarterback Fran Tarkenton's 5-year stay in New York. The Giants rebounded to 8-6 in 1972, but the '70 and '72 seasons were the team's only winning seasons from 1964-1980.

After 3 seasons (1961-63) as the Redskins' starting QB, followed by 7 seasons as the Eagles' starter, Norm Snead spent the 1971 season as a backup for the Vikings. Before the 1972 season, Snead and Fran Tarkenton switched teams, and Stormin' Norman regained a starting QB job for '72 and most of '73. He began 1974 with the Giants, then backed up in San Francisco for a season and a half, before returning to the Giants for his final season (1976).

Randy Johnson was the Falcon's #1 pick in 1966, and was their starting QB for the franchise's first 2 seasons. After 3 more seasons in Atlanta as the backup, he played for the Giants from 1971-73 behind Tarkenton, then Snead. Randy played for the WFL's Hawaiians in 1974, then played 1 season each for the Redskins and Packers. He passed away in 2009 at age 65.

Ron Johnson was the Browns' #1 pick in 1969, A year later he was playing halfback for the Giants, leading the team with 1027 rushing yards. After missing most of the 1971 season, he returned in 1972, tallying 1182 yards. After rushing for 902 yards in 1973, Johnson had two off-years for the Giants before retiring.

Bobby Duhon was the Giants' 3rd-round pick in 1968, and the team's starting fullback as a rookie. After missing the 1969 season, he played 3 more seasons, mostly as a punt returner, although in 1971 he filled in for Ron Johnson as the starting halfback.

Bob Grim was a punt returner and wide receiver for the Vikings from 1967-71, then came to the Giants in the Tarkenton trade. After a season as the punt returner and #3 WR, Grim was a starting end during 1973-74. He played for the Bears in '75, followed by 2 seasons back in Minnesota.

An undrafted free agent, Bob Tucker was the Giants' starting tight end from his rookie season in 1970 through the 1976 season, usually grabbing more receptions than any of the wideouts. He split the '77 season between the Giants and Vikings, then played 3 more seasons as the Vikes' starting TE.

Pete Gogolak was the first soccer-style kicker in pro football, joining the Buffalo Bills in 1964 out of Cornell University. After 2 seasons, he became a free agent, since he had accepted a pay cut in 1965. The Giants threw a lot of money his way after enduring a bad kicker in '65, which further aggravated the NFL-AFL relationship (and hastened the merger). Pete kicked for the Giants through the 1974 season. His younger brother Charlie kicked for the Redskins and Patriots.

Jim Kanicki was the Browns' #2 pick in the 1963 draft, and played 7 seasons there (the middle 5 as the starting right defensive tackle). He was a starting defensive tackle for the Giants in 1970 and 1971, but was out of football by 1972.

Here we see Ronnie Hornsby in his college all-star game jersey (as is Lyle Alzado, John Brockington, and others in this set). Hornsby had a brief NFL career (1971-74, all with the Giants), and was the team's starting MLB only in 1972. He had 1 career interception.

Pete Athas was drafted by the Cowboys in 1970, but did not play that season. He joined the Giants in 1971, and played in New York for 4 seasons, the last 3 as the team's starting left cornerback and punt returner. He played for the Browns and Vikings in 1975, before finishing his career in 1976 with the Saints.

Carl "Spider" Lockhart was drafted by the Giants in the 13th round in 1965, and played 11 seasons (all as a Giants' starter). He was the team's starting left corner for his first two seasons, before switching to free safety. He also returned punts (mostly from 1966-71), and was the Giants' backup punter in '65, '66, and '68 (behind HB/P Ernie Koy).

Also check out the 1967 Giants.


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