The New York Giants (8–3–1) won the Eastern Conference title and hosted the Chicago Bears (9–2–1), the Western Conference champions. The teams had met in the regular season five weeks earlier on November 25 at Yankee Stadium and played to a 17–17 tie; the Bears entered the championship game in late December as slight favorites. The Giants hosted because the home field for the title game alternated between the conferences; home field advantage was not implemented until 1975.
Both teams had been absent from the league title game for a decade, when the Bears won the championship over the Giants at the Polo Grounds in 1946. The Giants' most recent NFL title was before World War II, in 1938. The 1956 season marked the Giants' first at Yankee Stadium, moving across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds. This was the first championship since 1949 without the Cleveland Browns, who had appeared in six consecutive since joining the NFL in 1950.
The 1956 Giants featured a number of Hall of Fame players, including running backs Frank Gifford and Alex Webster, offensive tackle Roosevelt Brown, linebacker Sam Huff, and defensive end Andy Robustelli. Two assistants of Giants head coach Jim Lee Howell, offensive coordinator Vince Lombardi and defensive coordinator Tom Landry, later became Hall of Fame head coaches with other franchises; Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers to five NFL Championships during the 1960s and Landry led the Dallas Cowboys to five Super Bowls, with two wins, during the 1970s. He was the head coach of the Cowboys for 29 seasons, through 1988.
|1956 NFL Championship Game|
The Bears (dark jerseys) shifted into the short punt.
|Date||December 30, 1956|
|Stadium||Yankee Stadium, The Bronx,|
New York City, New York
|TV in the United States|
and Red Grange
|Radio in the United States|
The game was played on an icy field, with temperatures hovering around 20 °F (−7 °C). To adjust to the slick conditions, the Giants opted to wear sneakers instead of traditional football cleats. The advantage the white sneakers provided in footing was cited as a major factor in New York's romp. Twenty-two years earlier on an icy Polo Grounds field, the Giants had employed the same tactic and beat the Bears to win the 1934 NFL Championship Game in the famous "Sneakers Game."
The Giants led 13–0 after the first quarter and built a 34–7 halftime lead on their way to a 47–7 win before 56,836. Although the home team, the Giants wore their white jerseys and the Bears their navy blue. New York's custom at the time was to alternate between blue and white jerseys at home. The blue jerseys were designated as the "home jerseys" beginning in 1957.
The 1956 NFL title was the Giants' fourth; they played in five of the six title games from 1958 through 1963, but did not win any of them. After the 1956 title, it was another thirty years before their next, Super Bowl XXI in January 1987.
The NFL had five game officials in 1956; the line judge was added in 1965 and the side judge in 1978. A total of twelve officials were on hand for this championship: the game crew, a full alternate crew (headed by referee Ron Gibbs), and two to operate the clock.
The gross receipts for the game, including $205,000 for radio and television rights, were over $517,000, the highest to date. Each player on the winning Giants team received $3,779, while Bears players made $2,485 each.
The 1957 National Football League championship game was the 25th annual championship game, held on December 29 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan.The Detroit Lions (8–4), winners of the Western Conference, hosted the Cleveland Browns (9–2–1), champions of the Eastern Conference. Detroit had won the regular season game 20–7 three weeks earlier on December 8, also at Briggs Stadium, but lost quarterback Bobby Layne with a broken right ankle late in the first half. Reserve quarterback Tobin Rote, a starter the previous year with Green Bay, filled in for Layne and won that game with Cleveland, the next week at Chicago, and the tiebreaker playoff game at San Francisco.
It was the fourth pairing of the two teams in the championship game; they met previously in 1952, 1953, and 1954. The Browns were favored by three points, but the home underdog Lions scored two touchdowns in each quarter and won in a rout, 59–14.Until 2006, this was the last time that major professional teams from Michigan and Ohio met in a postseason series or game. As of 2018, this was the last playoff game played in the city of Detroit other than Super Bowl XL in 2006. The Lions other two home playoff games since 1957 (1991 and 1993) were played at the Pontiac Silverdome in nearby Pontiac, Michigan.Charlie Conerly
Charles Albert Conerly Jr. (September 19, 1921 – February 13, 1996) was an American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants from 1948 through 1961. Conerly was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966.Chicago Bears statistics
This page details statistics about the Chicago Bears American football team.Kyle Rote
William Kyle Rote, Sr. (October 27, 1928 – August 15, 2002) was an American football player, a running back and receiver for eleven years in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants. He was an All-American running back at Southern Methodist University and was the first overall selection of the 1951 NFL Draft. Following his playing career, Rote was the Giants backfield coach and was a sports broadcaster for WNEW radio, NBC, and WNBC New York.Paddy Driscoll
John Leo "Paddy" Driscoll (January 11, 1895 – June 29, 1968) was an American football and baseball player and football coach. A triple-threat man in football, he was regarded as the best drop kicker and one of the best overall players in the early years of the National Football League (NFL). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974.
Driscoll played college football as a quarterback and halfback for the Northwestern football team in 1915 and 1916. In 1917, he played Major League Baseball as an infielder for the Chicago Cubs. He joined the United States Navy during World War I and played for the undefeated 1918 Great Lakes Navy football team that won the 1919 Rose Bowl.
Driscoll played professional football as a quarterback and halfback for the Hammond All-Stars (1917), Hammond Pros (1919), Racine/Chicago Cardinals (1920–1925), and Chicago Bears (1926–1929). He was the NFL's first All-Pro quarterback and its leading scorer in 1923 and 1926. He also led the 1925 Chicago Cardinals to an NFL championship and was selected in 1969 for the NFL 1920s All-Decade Team.
Driscoll also worked for many years as a football coach. He was the head coach of Chicago Cardinals from 1920 to 1922 and at Marquette from 1937 to 1940. He spent the last 28 years of his life with the Chicago Bears as an assistant coach (1941–1955), head coach (1956–1957), and later as the director of the Bears' research and planning unit.Rick Casares
Richard Jose Casares (July 4, 1931 – September 13, 2013) was an American college and professional football player who was a fullback in the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) for twelve seasons during the 1950s and 1960s. Casares played college football for the University of Florida, where he was standout fullback and kicker. Casares played professionally for the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins of the NFL, and was a member of the expansion Miami Dolphins of the AFL.Rosey Brown
Roosevelt "Rosey" Brown Jr. (October 20, 1932 – June 9, 2004) was an American football player. He was an offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants from 1953 to 1965. He previously played college football for Morgan State University.
After being selected with the 321st pick in the 1953 NFL Draft, he appeared in 162 games for the Giants, missing only four games in a 13-year career. In his prime, between 1956 and 1963, he helped lead the Giants to six division championships and the 1956 NFL Championship Game. He was selected as a first-team All-NFL player eight consecutive years and was also selected to play in the Pro Bowl nine times.
After retiring as a player, Brown remained with the Giants as an assistant coach and later as a scout. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974 and was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1994. He was also included on the NFL's 1950s All-Decade Team and The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.Sam Huff
Robert Lee "Sam" Huff (born October 4, 1934) is a former professional American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982. He played college football for the West Virginia Mountaineers football team and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.Walt Yowarsky
Walter Robert Yowarsky (May 10, 1928 – November 30, 2014) was an American football defensive end, offensive lineman, coach, and scout in the National Football League (NFL) for 50 years.
New York Giants 1956 NFL champions
|Division championships (16)|
|Conference championships (11)|
|League championships (8)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
|Division championships (21)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (9)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
National Football League Championship Games (1933–present)
|NFL Championship Game|
|AFL Championship Game|
|AFL-NFL World Championship Games |
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game.
2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.
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