New York Giants: The Legacy of Frank Gifford

By Michael Stewart

In this week’s article, I will feature the playing career of Frank Gifford. In the 1952 NFL draft, the New York Giants selected Frank Gifford with the 11th pick in the 1st round. The versatile Gifford played on both sides of the ball (HB-Flanker/DB) and made the Pro Bowl 8 times, 1st team All Pro 6 times (at 3 different positions), MVP in 1956, comeback player of the year in 1962 and a member the all-decade team of the 1950’s. The Giants made 5 trips to the NFL Championship game during Gifford’s career (winning in 1956) and were one of the elite teams during that time.

Gifford career stats expanded 12 years (136 regular season games) included: 3,609 rushing yards (4.3 per carry and 34 TD), 367 receptions/5,434 yards with 43 TD. In 1960 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Gifford suffered a severe head injury on the hit by Chuck Bednarik; which sidelined Gifford for 18 months. When he returned to football in 1962, Gifford changed positions from HB to Flanker permanently and played until 1964.

The amazing career of Frank Gifford didn’t end with his retirement in football as he embarked on a new career as a broadcaster for CBS and ABC. In 1971, Gifford joined ABC as a play-by-play announcer and then later an analyst on Monday Night Football along with Howard Cosell and Don (dandy Don) Meredith. Other notable achievements was hosting the famous Wide World of Sports program and covering several Olympics. All these achievements as a broadcasting included a 2x Emmy Award winner, outstanding Sports Personality (1977), Lifetime Achievement Award recipient (1997) and a Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award winner (1995).

Upon his death on August 9, 2015, it was revealed that Gifford had suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The legacy of Frank Gifford will always be remembered with great admiration as he was truly the Giants most gifted player during his playing days.