04 February 2012

NY Giants and New England Patriots

With Super Bowl XLVI (#46) this weekend, I thought I'd post some team history today. Neither of these teams has a very unusual team name origin. The American football Giants are an old franchise. They were one of five teams that joined the NFL in 1925, but the only one admitted that year which still exists.

The team ranks third among all NFL franchises with seven NFL titles: four in the pre–Super Bowl era (1927, 1934, 1938, 1956) and three since the advent of the Super Bowl (Super Bowls XXI (1986), XXV (1990), and XLII (2007). Their championship tally is surpassed only by the Green Bay Packers (13) and Chicago Bears (9).

In order to distinguish themselves from the professional baseball Giants, the football team was incorporated as the "New York National League Football Company, Inc." in 1929 and changed to "New York Football Giants, Inc." in 1937. Although the baseball team moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season, the football team continues to use "New York Football Giants, Inc." as its legal corporate name, and is often referred to by fans and sportscasters as the "New York Football Giants".

The team has also gained several nicknames, including "Big Blue", the "G-Men", and the "Jints", an intentionally mangled contraction seen frequently in the New York Post and New York Daily News, originating from the baseball team when they were based in New York. Additionally the team as a whole is occasionally referred to as the "Big Blue Wrecking Crew", even though this nickname really referred to the Giants defensive unit during the 80s and early 90s.

Although the Giants have a number of rivalries in their history (particularly with the Cowboys and the Eagles), any rivalry with the Patriots is relatively new.

The New England Patriots, commonly called the "Pats," are based in the Greater Boston area, playing their home games in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. The team changed its name from the original Boston Patriots after relocating to Foxborough in 1971. (New Jersey Giants fans often wish that the NY Giants would be known as the NJ Giants because they play in the Garden State.)

An original member of the American Football League (AFL), the Patriots joined the NFL in the 1970 merger of those leagues. The team advanced to the playoffs four times before appearing in Super Bowl XX in January 1986, losing to the Chicago Bears. The team also appeared in Super Bowl XXXI in January 1997, losing to the Green Bay Packers.

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