A Date To Remember is an occasional series Big Blue View will
be running through the Super Bowl http://www.giantscheapshops.com/cheap-authentic-nate-solder-jersey , highlighting the glory of the Giants’ past and celebrating the biggest playoff wins in franchise history. The “Sneakers Game,” Part IIDec. 30, 1956NFL ChampionshipGiants 47, Bears 7The experiment might have won the NFL championship. Or maybe the Giants’ victory had more to do with a Hall of Fame defensive end/sporting goods store owner who knew a thing or two about sneakers and traction. Regardless, the true hero of the Giants’ 47-7 blowout in the 1956 NFL Championship was not Frank Gifford or Charlie Conerly. It was... white sneakers. Venerable Yankee Stadium was an icy mess after a mixture of snow, ice and rain fell in The Bronx. Just under 57,000 fans braved the 18-degree cold to watch the Giants and Bears face off.And 22 years after the famous “Sneakers Game,” the Giants were ready for a sequel. Before the game, coach Jim Lee Howell devised a way to test field conditions. He ordered defensive back Ed Hughes to wear cleats and halfback Gene Filipski to wear sneakers. Then he made them sprint. Hughes only took a few steps before falling. Filipski kept his footing.Those “state-of-the-art sneakers” had been “resourcefully ... obtained from U.S. Keds more than a week earlier” by Andy Robustelli, the Tribune explained. The future Hall of Famer happened to own a sporting goods store in Greenwich, Connecticut.And those Keds seemed to make the difference as the Giants dominated from the start to win their fourth championship. Of course, the Giants were following a familiar script.The first “Sneakers Game” occurred in the 1934 NFL Championship, when the Giants switched from cleats to sneakers for the second half at a frozen Polo Grounds. They scored 27 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat the Bears Ray-Ray Armstrong Jersey , 30-13. The teams were the same in 1956. And so was the result. Although this time, the Giants began the game wearing basketball shoes and consequently dominated from kickoff.They took control just 2:40 into the game when Mel Triplett scored on a 17-yard run. The Giants built leads of 13-0 in the first quarter and 34-7 at halftime as they cruised in their first season playing at Yankee Stadium. Although the Bears wore sneakers as well, they weren’t the same quality.Robustelli’s expertise was the difference, according to Bears assistant coach George Connor.His assessment might have been more than merely sour grapes.The teams had tied, 17-17, just five weeks earlier in a regular-season game also played in The Bronx. The Bears entered the rematch as slight favorites. But then, well, the sneakers. Granted, the Giants were loaded with Hall of Famers, including Gifford (a 14-yard TD reception), Roosevelt Brown, Sam Huff and Robustelli. And a couple of their assistants were rather noteworthy as well: offensive coordinator and future Packers legend Vince Lombardi and defensive coordinator and future Cowboys legend Tom Landry.It might have been Gifford’s signature game. He caught four passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in helping the Giants win their first title in 18 years.Meanwhile, Alex Webster had two touchdown runs Janoris Jenkins Jersey , and Conerly threw two touchdown passes.Although not as fondly remembered as the 1958 NFL Championship in which the Colts beat the Giants in sudden death, this game helped establish the NFL as a dominant force. There was a lot to talk about coming out of the New York Giants’ 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night, but perhaps the biggest of which was Pat Shurmur’s decision to go for two after the Giants scored a touchdown to trail by eight.The conversion failed, but it was the right call. Shurmur defended the decision in the post-game press conference by saying the Giants had previously had internal discussions on the math of going for two in that situation. It’s one of the most obvious places to go for two but has largely been ignored. There’s also not even a super complicated reason behind it.Let’s start with the simplest math to explain going for it. Two-point conversions are around a 50-50 shot. If you convert the first attempt, an extra point on your next touchdown gives you the lead with a PAT. Failing on the conversion gives you still a 50-50 chance at converting after the second touchdown to tie the game, a place you would be anyway if you had kicked the extra point after the first touchdown. But if you add those probabilities together, it’s a move that works 50 percent of the time (conversion on the first attempt), comes out neutral (a failure then conversion for a tie) 25 percent of the time, and fails completely (two failures) just 25 percent of the time. Those are good odds. Here is Shurmur’s post-game explanation for the decision:“You increase your chances by 50-percent if you go for it and make it there, so that’s what you do. Because then if you score a touchdown, we just kick the extra point and win\,” he said. “I felt good about the two-point play. You guys saw that, I think we got the ball in there Kerry Wynn Jersey , right? And we just didn’t connect on it. And again, I think it’s an aggressive approach. I’m going to take myself back to the one game we didn’t use timeouts before the halftime. I told you I’d never do that again, and I think from a head coaching perspective, I want to be aggressive for our guys.”We should also not the Giants did successfully convert on their second two-point try that would have tied the game if not for the 56-yard field goal allowed on the following drive. A defensive stand is a must in either scenario.In the grand scheme of things, the advantage of a team being down by six points is much bigger than the disadvantage of being down by eight points late in the game. Being down six gives a clear path for a win, while the other options are only to play for a tie. All teams should do this more often, but especially a team like the Giants, who as an underdog, should take as many scoring opportunities they can get on the road to shorten the game. Pushing the game into overtime gives the Giants a much smaller chance to actually win than a successful two-point conversion down by eight. It’s an important distinction of trying to improve chances to win instead of possibly delay losing.It was just two weeks ago when this discussion first arose when Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles went for two after going down eight against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5. The Eagles converted, but two drives later allowed a field goal and ultimately lost 23-21 after a late touchdown — again a defensive stand is needed no matter the go or not go decision.It’s worth wondering if the Giants had these internal conversations about the math around this situation earlier in the season or if Pederson and the Eagles are what sparked it. Either way, it’s a smart conversation to have and the fact Shurmur listened and defended the process after the game even though it didn’t work is a good sign for his decision making going forward.
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