With Giants 2022 preseason officially underway, a new era has officially begun. The Giants look to rebound from some disappointing seasons and are hopeful that Daniel Jones and their new Coach Brian Daboll can lead them back to the promise land. Although it’s only the first game of the year, a 23-21 win over the Patriots is certainly a good way to kickoff the new season. This article take a journey back in time to look at the Giants history and their uniform over the years.
The New York Giants have a storied history in the NFL as one of the oldest teams in the league. Existing in some form since 1925, they won their first championship in 1927 with an 11-1-1 record and shut out 10 teams in 13 games. They won four NFL Championships before the AFL merger and have won four Super Bowls. One of their biggest moments was the 2007 season Super Bowl, when they defeated the previously undefeated Tom Brady-led Patriots by combining good defense with a legendarily unlikely helmet catch at the end of the game.
Even before this season, the Giants were an important part of the NFL. For example, the 1956 Championship Giants not only destroyed the Bears 47-7 in the championship game but featured Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi as defensive and offensive coordinators. Both these coordinators cut their teeth with the Giants and later became two of the best coaches of all time. During this lengthy and fascinating history, the Giants have gone through some fun and unforgettable jersey designs.
For example, did you know that the team mostly rocked red jerseys for much of their history? Read on to learn more about these jerseys, as well as all the other designs and variations the team has sported throughout the decades.
The Earliest Giants Jersey Designs
The Giants started their history with a fairly simple two-color design, which was common among NFL teams of those years. These jerseys then changed in color and design, with more decorative elements debuting throughout the years. Taking a look at the first of these jersey designs can give fans more insight into their overall style and design excellence.
The Designs From 1925 to ’30
The first three New York Giants jerseys were fairly simple and elegant in their design. The comforting blue seen on modern Giants’ jerseys centered on a strip near the stomach, while the rest of the jersey was a deep red. They wore the typical, simpler helmets of the time that were mostly a leather-based style, while their pants were khakis pulled up above the waist.
After these early years, the Giants transitioned to some slightly different jerseys in 1929-1930, which is around when the well-known Giants’ blue jersey came into play for away games. Their helmets changed to a blue and red design, though the 1930 Giants retained the leather style. These basic leather helmets, without face masks, remained prominent until Cleveland coaching legend Paul Brown introduced the first facemask for his Browns’ team in 1955, even though the single-bar design wasn’t the most protective of players’ faces.
1934 to ’48: A Period of Relative Stability
The Giants began becoming more and more competitive during these years and transitioned to a major position in the NFL. While the sport continued to expand and become more popular, the Giants’ huge operating market brought in money and plenty of great players. What is interesting is that these years helped bring into vogue the more modern-style jersey look. For the first few years of this period, from 1931 through ’33, the Giants still wore khaki pants and minimal helmets. However, the uniforms seasons saw some big changes up to and including 1948.
From 1934 through 1936 seasons, The team’s uniforms saw a lot of changes, with all-red jerseys with blue stripes in 1934 paired with light tan pants with red stripes. The 1935 season debuted white jerseys and helmets, while the 1936 team wore white jerseys and red pants. That all-white look never came back for the Giants, even though white jerseys eventually became standard as one of the team’s primary tops.
From 1937 to 1948, Giant jersey designs remained quite stable. Blue gradually began to replace red, and it became more prominent on jerseys and helmets. The team experimented with white pants and helmets sporadically, with the blue and white combination fans particularly liked in 1937 and ’41. By 1946, the team switched entirely to white pants and single-color jerseys for all of its uniform combinations.
Starting to Transition to Modern Looks
By 1949, the Giants were becoming a dominant team. It was during these years that Vince Lombardi, as an assistant coach, helped turn the Giants into a championship-caliber team. Their uniforms started to show off this excellence by creating a prominent and attractive jersey and pants combination that made them look as great as they were playing. It is during these years that the Giants earned a big NFL championship in one of the most dominant victories of all time. Fans who are able to find jerseys from this period are in luck, but they may end up spending money.
The Giants Win a Championship
The debut of a modern-style helmet in 1949 changed the Giants’ look a little, though they mostly maintained the red and blue jersey style throughout this period. In 1953, they debuted a white jersey alongside their red and blues, a style that became more prominent and, eventually, dominant in Giants’ jersey history. Eventually, red disappeared as other teams began debuting colors a little too similar to it. During this year, the Giants won the 1956 Championship by thrashing the Bears 47-7 in one of the most lopsided games in league history.
1957 to ’68: Staying on Top
The Giants started to look even more like their modern counterparts by 1957 when their red-number-on-white-jersey style finally solidified. In 1961, they added logos to their helmets for the first time, and they kept that same logo for many years. In 1967, they lost the red-number-on-white style and went back to a blue-number-on-white jersey instead. During these years, the Giants remained a competitive and important team, though they didn’t win another league championship for 30 years after their 1956 win. The team won NFL Eastern Conference championships in 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, and 1963, though.
The Dark Years
Giants fans don’t look back at the 1969 to 1982 seasons as a high point for the team. It’s not as if the team fell completely out of competition. However, they rarely rose above .500 during this time and seemed a shell of themselves. Thankfully, they finally started thriving again after finding a genius coach and quarterback combo that brought them back into competition. During this time, their jerseys kept the same basic design concepts from previous years. The style became well known, and the changes were minor. Later jersey upgrades include a few more changes many fans consider classic.
Back to Winning
The Giants finally roared back into relevance in the late ’80s, when quarterback Phil Simms and coach Bill Parcells brought turned them back into a postseason regular. It was during this period they finally broke their Super Bowl blues by staging a come-from-behind win against the red-hot Buffalo Bills. This resurgence led to a general renewal in the team’s fortunes, during which they continually made the playoffs and stayed competitive in a rapidly improving league.
The Championship Years
The team made quite a few changes from 1986 through ’95, and these upgrades highlighted a Giants team that finally seemed to find their way in the league again. Their darker blue jerseys got lighter with more decorative touches, including red cuffs, which added some nice contrast that made these jerseys stand out. Upgrades to their white jerseys included blue cuffs and collars to add a more attractive flair. The Giants won the Super Bowl in 1990 wearing these uniforms, beating the Buffalo Bills and Jim Kelly during their infamous 0-4 Super Bowl streak.
Back to the Super Bowl
While the Giants struggled a bit after 1995, they finally found their stride in 2000. They made their third Super Bowl appearance in 2000, losing to Baltimore 34-7. During this period, they started to wear silver pants and made slight changes to their jerseys. The team shrunk the logo on the helmet, and their white jersey got red accents, including on the numbers and names. They also wore red socks with their white jerseys, which brought to mind older Giants’ styles. They also removed some accents on the collar of their blue jersey.
In 2004, Eli Manning took over for an ailing Kurt Warner, and during these seasons, red jerseys came back alongside the now-standard white and blue jerseys. These red jerseys were worn with red socks and blue shoes, and they disappeared after the 2007 season, the one in which they unexpectedly beat the Patriots to win their fourth Super Bowl, which was Manning’s first. Giants’ fans loved that the likable Manning won big so early in his career, and his jersey sales skyrocketed, which makes this period of Giants’ jersey history well-documented.
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