Historical New York Giants clips is a weekly Giants 101 feature that takes a look back at vintage video of Big Blue, both in color and black and white, over the course of their illustrious history. Whether it's a win or a loss, the purpose of this feature is to help educate newer generations of Giants fans and to bring older generations of Giants fans back in time. Enjoy.
Coming off a tough overtime loss to the Washington Redskins in week 11 of the 1978 season, the New York Giants desperately needed a win over the Philadelphia Eagles to get back to .500 and to keep them in the playoff hunt. And after an interception late in the fourth quarter courtesy of Odis McKinney, all Big Blue had to do was kneel on the ball to preserve a 17-12 upset win. But that didn't happen…
As fans headed for the exits thinking the game was well in hand with less than 30 seconds to go, quarterback Joe Pisarcik took the snap on 3rd and 2, but rather than kneeling down to run out the clock, attempted to hand the ball off to fullback Larry Csonka. It was fumbled behind the line of scrimmage, picked up by cornerback Herman Edwards and returned for the game-winning touchdown. The play and the game became infamously known as "Miracle at the Meadowlands."
Thinking that the game was over prior to the fumble, CBS commentator Don Criqui had already begun to run/read the credits. Here was his call:
"It's Giants football now, third and two. We thank our producer Bob Rowe, our director Jim Silman, and our CBS crew, spotter and statistician John Mara and Tom McHugh here at Giants Stadium. As the clock winds down on the Philadelphia Eagles, a game they thought would project them into a possible wildcard position, it would bring them 7-5 had they won, but a late interception by the Giants will preserve a Giant victory, an upset win as the Giants lead 17-12, we’re inside 30 seconds, the Eagles have no timeouts … Wait a minute… here's a free football, I don't believe it! The Eagles pick it up and Herman Edwards runs it in for a touchdown! An incredible development!"
The Giants would go on to lose three of their remaining four games, finishing the season at 6-10, but that was the smallest of the stories that surrounded the team in the final month of the season. Fans would turn on management, demonstrating outside of the stadium in week 14 demanding change. Then, during the final home game of the year, the protest would grow despite a 17-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. A Newark furniture dealer named Morris Spielberg arranged for a plane to fly over the stadium with a banner that read: "15 Years of Lousy Football — We've Had Enough." As it passed, fans changed "We've had enough!" and the game had to be temporarily stopped as a result.
Following the season, head coach John McVay's contract would expire and not be renewed – he never coached in the NFL again. Csonka's contract was also up, and he would return to Miami. Meanwhile, the team would eventually hire General Manager George Young after offseason mediation, and he made an immediate impact, drafting quarterback Phil Simms to replace Pisarcik.
Ray Perkins would coach the team for the next four years, and with the exception of the 1981 season, the results were more of the same. However, it was his hire of then defensive coordinator Bill Parcells that would eventually lead the New York Football Giants back to prominence.
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