Harry Carson

Harry Donald Carson (born November 26, 1953) is a former American football inside linebacker who played his entire professional career for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). Carson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Harry Carson
Harry Carson
No. 53
Personal information
Born:November 26, 1953 (age 65)
Florence, South Carolina
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:237 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High school:Florence (SC) Wilson
College:South Carolina State
NFL Draft:1976 / Round: 4 / Pick: 105
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early life

Born in Florence, South Carolina, Carson played at Wilson High School and later at McClenaghan High School, from which he graduated.

College career

Attended and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1976 from South Carolina State University.

Before his NFL career, Carson played college football for Willie Jeffries at South Carolina State University from 1972–1975, not missing a single game in four years. He became the first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player to win consecutive defensive player of the year honors, and assisted the Bulldogs to consecutive conference championships. In 1975, he was a first team selection on the AFCA College-Division All-America team and set school records with 117 tackles and 17 sacks. With Carson as their captain, the Bulldogs defense recorded six shutouts in 1975, and held their opponents to just 29 points, an NCAA record for a ten-game season. Carson's Bulldog teammates included future Pittsburgh Steelers and College Football Hall of Fame safety Donnie Shell and future Kansas City Royals first baseman Willie Mays Aikens. In 2002, Carson was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Professional Football career

After his college career, Carson was drafted in the fourth round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Giants.[1] He spent all of his 13 seasons with them, leading the team in tackles for five seasons, and more impressively, served as their captain for ten. Carson was a member of the Crunch Bunch, a team of fierce linebackers composed of Carson, Brad Van Pelt, Brian Kelley, and Lawrence Taylor. The group is widely considered one of the best defensive combos in NFL history.[2][3] He was a member of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew defense and also made nine Pro Bowl appearances (1978–1979, 1981–1987) in his career. In the 1980s he was joined by Lawrence Taylor, another Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker. In his 13 seasons, Carson intercepted 11 passes and returned them for a total of 212 yards. He also recovered 14 fumbles, returning them for 36 yards and one touchdown. Officially, he recorded eight quarterback sacks (sacks did not become an official NFL statistic until 1982) but his total is 19 sacks when the 1976–81 seasons are included. He retired at the end of the 1988 season, two years after helping the team win Super Bowl XXI, the Giants' first, and Carson had seven tackles for the victors.

Carson was one of the first practitioners of the "Gatorade shower" which is when the coach of the winning team is doused with a cooler of Gatorade by some of the players following a win. The practice was started by his teammate Jim Burt in 1985[4] as Carson recounted in his 1987 book Point of Attack: The Defense Strikes Back. When Bill Parcells had Carson as a player with the Giants, he would have him at his side during the singing of the national anthem for good luck.[5]

Bill Belichick, an assistant coach for the Giants for 12 years, who as head coach, led the New England Patriots to five 21st century Super Bowl victories, considered Carson the best all-around linebacker he ever coached.[6]

Professional Football Hall of Fame

Carson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. His selection came after years of outspoken criticism of the Hall of Fame selection process, where his principal criticism was that the vote is done by the media, not players and coaches. In 2004, Carson asked to have his name taken off the ballot.[6]

Despite previously stating that due to his frustration at not being elected he wanted his name removed from the ballot,[7] when elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006 Carson appeared and gave an induction speech. Carson later commented on the selection, saying he was humbled by the selection but noting:[6]

The Hall of Fame will never validate me. I know my name will be in there, but I take greater pride in the fact that my teammates looked at me as someone they could count on. I still remember, and I will remember this for the rest of my life, the Super Bowl against Denver. We had three captains—me, Phil Simms and George Martin. But when it came time for the coin toss before the game, I started to go out and looked around for those guys. Bill Parcells said to me: 'No. You go. Just you.' And that was about the coolest feeling I've ever had in the world—going out to midfield for the Super Bowl, as the lone captain. There were nine Denver Broncos out there, and me. Just me. An awesome responsibility. The greatest respect.

During his Hall of Fame speech in 2006 Harry Carson does not directly mention CTE, but he does mention that he does not think the NFL is doing the best job they can to help out ex-NFL players. When he states "I would hope that the leaders of the NFL, the future commissioner, and the player association do a much better job of looking out for those individuals. You got to look out for 'em. If we made the league what it is, you have to take better care of your own" (Carson). Carson takes an aggressive stand when it comes to CTE and how the NFL handles their own ex-players that are struggling with head trauma later in their lives. Although Harry Carson was an excellent football player he does suggest that kids not start playing football because of the consequences that could come to them later in life. The NFL reached a concussion settlement of 765 million dollars for the former NFL players that sustained head injuries on the field. When Carson was asked about the settlement in a Frontline interview he says, "And so I think everyone now has a better sense of what damage you can get from playing football. And I think the NFL has given everybody 765 million reasons why you don't want to play football" (Carson). Harry Carson thinks the huge settlement is good for the former players, but it also scares people away from playing football because of the chances of head trauma players could experience later in life.[8]

After football

Carson remains in close involvement with the Giants. He has also had a successful career in sports broadcasting and has his own company, Harry Carson Inc., which deals mainly in sports consulting and promotions. Carson was also part-owner of the Arena Football League's New Jersey Red Dogs, alongside ex-Giants Carl Banks and Joe Morris. He currently co-hosts Giants 1st & 10 on Madison Square Garden Network with Bob Papa, Carl Banks and Howard Cross.

On May 17, 2015 Harry Carson served as the commencement speaker for New York University School of Professional Studies. Two days later Carson served as the commencement speaker and was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The honor was bestowed upon Carson for his advocacy not only for his football brethren but for anyone who lives with the effects of a traumatic brain injury. Carson simply says "I have to speak up for all people who really don't have a voice".

Carson is a long-time resident of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.[9]

Health Issues

Since his retirement, Carson has lived from various physical maladies brought on by injuries incurred during his playing days. He was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome in 1990, and estimates that he had 15 concussions during his long high school, college and professional football career. In 1992, he stated: "I don't think as clearly as I used to. Nor is my speech, diction, selection of vocabulary is as good as it used to be, and I don't know why."[10] In 2001 while he was a broadcaster with the MSG Network he said, "I would mispronounce words and lose my train of thought. Things would happen, and at times I'd think I was going crazy."[10]

Harry Carson authored his second book "Captain for Life" published by St. Martin's Press in 2011. In his book he documents his experiences with Post Concussion Syndrome. He was one of the first former professional athletes to share his own personal first hand experiences years before the long term effects of concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), long before the subject became a "hot button" topic.

While Carson has acknowledged he has "managed" the long term effects of concussions he does not know if he has been affected by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). When asked, Carson is increasingly critical of the NFL and questions whether football should be played, as he believes the hazards of concussions and subconcussive hits are not an understood risk such as physical ailments are.[11] He is quoted in this interview as saying of the NFL's $765 million settlement with former players that "the NFL has given everybody 765 million reasons why you don't want to play football."[11][12]

In March 2018, Carson joined with former NFL stars Nick Buoniconti and Phil Villapiano to support a parent initiative called Flag Football Under 14, which recommends no tackle football below that age out of a concern for the brain health of the young players. He said, "I did not play tackle football until high school, I will not allow my grandson to play until 14, as I believe it is not an appropriate sport for young children."[13]


In 2012, Carson was said to be strongly considering a run for Congress against Republican Scott Garrett in the newly redrawn 5th congressional district of New Jersey.[14] His campaign never came to pass.


  1. ^ "Harry Carson". databaseFootball.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  2. ^ Eisen, Michael (February 18, 2009). "Van Pelt Passes". New York Giants.com.
  3. ^ "Van Pelt, member of Giants' famed 'Crunch Bunch,' dies at age 57". Associated Press. NFL.com. February 18, 2009.
  4. ^ "Highlights from the History of Gatorade". amanet.org. Retrieved January 13, 2007.
  5. ^ http://athletes-celebrities.tseworld.com/sports/football/harry-carson.php
  6. ^ a b c King, Peter (February 13, 2006). "Why Carson finally made it". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  7. ^ Eisen, Michael (February 5, 2006). "Carson Reacts to News". giants.com. Retrieved April 20, 2007.
  8. ^ The full interview can be found at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sports/league-of-denial/the-frontline-interview-harry-carson/#seg8.
  9. ^ Boburg, Shawn. "Harry Carson replaces helmet for Midland Park charity auction" Archived 2012-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, The Record (Bergen County), February 27, 2011. Accessed May 25, 2011. "After former Giant and Hall of Famer Harry Carson's donation to a local charity was swiped at a fund-raising event, he was quick to make sure it wasn't the non-profit's loss. The legendary linebacker and Franklin Lakes resident did more than replace the autographed football helmet that mysteriously disappeared at the auction."
  10. ^ a b Nack, William. The Wrecking Yard, Sports Illustrated, May 7, 2001, accessed November 23, 2010.
  11. ^ a b PBS Frontline "League of Denial" extended interview
  12. ^ Colleen Curry (August 20, 2013). "NFL Settles Concussion Lawsuits for $765 Million". ABC News. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  13. ^ Former NFLers call for end to tackle football for kids, CNN, Nadia Kounang, March 1, 2018.
  14. ^ "Carson strongly considering a bid for Congress". politickernj. 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2012-01-28.

External links

1978 New York Giants season

The 1978 New York Giants season was the franchise's 54th season in the National Football League. In their first ever season that had a sixteen-game schedule, the Giants looked to improve on their 5–9 record from 1977, achieve their first winning record since 1972 and make the playoffs for the first time since 1963. The season saw the Giants get off to a hot start. They beat newcomer Tampa Bay in Tampa 19–13, despite being a 1 point underdog. After a close loss to the rival Cowboys 34–24 the next week, the Giants beat the Kansas City Chiefs 26–10 and the San Francisco 49ers 27–10 to start the season 3–1, their first 3–1 start since 1969. However, the Giants then started to struggle, losing to the Atlanta Falcons 23–20 and the Cowboys again 24–3. Following wins at home against the Buccaneers and Redskins, the Giants went on a downfall, which saw them lose their next 6 games and 7 of their last 8. In week 12, the Giants played their arch-rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, in a crucial game that saw the Giants fumble away the game on Joe Pisarcik’s fumble and Herm Edwards fumble recovery for a touchdown that won the game for Philadelphia, 19-17. The play was dubbed the “Miracle at the Meadowlands”. The Giants never recovered from this game, getting pummeled on the road to the 3–9 Bills, 41–17, despite having a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter. In their final game, a rematch with Philadelphia, the Giants lost 20–3 to end the season 6–10.

1982 All-Pro Team

The 1982 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League (NFL) players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly in 1982. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the four teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Sporting News did not choose a 1982 All-Pro team due to the players' strike.

1983 New York Giants season

The 1983 New York Giants season was the franchise's 59th season in the National Football League (NFL). The Giants finished in last place in the National Football Conference East Division with a 3–12–1 record, the team's worst record since 1976.In the 1983 NFL draft, the Giants selected defensive back Terry Kinard in the first round, with the 10th overall pick. The 1983 season was the first for the Giants under Bill Parcells, who had been offered the position after previous head coach Ray Perkins resigned before succeeding Bear Bryant as the coach for the University of Alabama. Parcells named Scott Brunner the team's starting quarterback, ahead of Phil Simms and Jeff Rutledge; upset with the decision, Simms requested a trade at one point during the season. New York was 2–2 in their first four games of the season, before a three-game losing streak that left the club at 2–5. Against the Philadelphia Eagles in their sixth game, the Giants inserted Simms into their lineup in place of Brunner; shortly afterward, Simms suffered a season-ending injury.The St. Louis Cardinals hosted the Giants in a matchup on October 24 that the New York Daily News' Gary Myers later called the worst game in the history of Monday Night Football. After the Giants lost a lead late in the fourth quarter, the game went into overtime. The Cardinals missed three field goal attempts in the extra period, including two in the final 1:06, and the contest ended in a 20–20 tie. The Giants lost the following three games before a victory in Philadelphia, which was their final win of the season. Losses to the Los Angeles Raiders, St. Louis, Seattle, and Washington left the team's final record at 3–12–1.Four players from the Giants earned selection to the 1984 Pro Bowl: Harry Carson, Ali Haji-Sheikh, Mark Haynes, and Lawrence Taylor. Haji-Sheikh, the Giants' kicker, set a team record for points scored in a season; with 35 field goals and 22 conversions, he was responsible for 127 points. In addition, he set a team record for the longest field goal in a game versus Green Bay, with a 56-yard kick. Earnest Gray had 1,139 receiving yards, becoming the first Giants wide receiver in 15 years to exceed 1,000 yards.

1984 All-Pro Team

The 1984 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News in 1984. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1984 the Pro Football Writers Association chose only one defensive tackle and two inside linebackers in a pure 3-4 format. Pro Football Weekly added a "Special Teams" player, a non-returner who excelled in special teams play.

1988 New York Giants season

The 1988 New York Giants season was the franchise's 64th season in the National Football League. The team would finish with 10 wins and 6 losses, but a loss to the New York Jets in the season finale would keep them out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Giants would finish second behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the division, losing the conference tiebreaker to the Los Angeles Rams for the final wild card. The season was marked early by the suspension for substance abuse of star linebacker Lawrence Taylor by the NFL for the first four games of the season. Following the end of the season, the Giants would see two longtime defensive stalwarts; defensive end George Martin and future Hall-of-Fame inside linebacker Harry Carson, announce their retirement.

Big Blue Wrecking Crew

The Big Blue Wrecking Crew was the defense for the New York Giants during the 1980s that won two Super Bowl Championships, the first in Super Bowl XXI in 1986 and the other in Super Bowl XXV in 1990. A 3-4 defense, it was among the greatest NFL defenses of all time, and featured Lawrence Taylor as its star, considered by many to be the greatest defensive player in NFL history.

Brad Van Pelt

Brad Alan Van Pelt (April 5, 1951 – February 17, 2009) was an American football linebacker who played 14 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). A two-time All-American (1971, 1972) and the 1972 Maxwell Award winner as college football's best player, he was drafted by the New York Giants, earning five Pro Bowl selections during his ten years with the team. He rounded out his career with the Los Angeles Raiders from 1984 to 1985 and the Cleveland Browns in 1986. Van Pelt is the father of former Denver Broncos and Houston Texans quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt.

Brian Kelley (American football)

Brian Lee Kelley (born September 1, 1951) is a former American football linebacker who played his entire professional career in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants (1973–1983) after being drafted in the 14th round of the 1973 NFL Draft.

Kelley grew up in Fullerton, California, where he was an outstanding athlete at Sunny Hills High School. He attended California Lutheran University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member and played college football. Cal Lutheran won the NAIA National Championship in Kelley's junior year, but in his senior year, they lost, even though Kelley was named MVP of the championship game. He was also honored as a little All-American. On May 11, 2010, Kelley was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame.

As a member of the Giants, Kelley was one of the Crunch Bunch, a team of fierce linebackers composed of Kelley, Brad Van Pelt, Lawrence Taylor, and Harry Carson. The group is widely considered one of the best linebacking combos in NFL history.

Carl Banks

Carl E. Banks (born August 29, 1962) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. He played from 1984 to 1995 for the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Browns.

Carson (surname)

Carson is a surname of Scottish origin. Notable people with the surname include:

Adam Carson, American drummer for the band AFI

Andre Carson, U.S. Congressman

Anne Carson, Canadian writer

Ben Carson, American neurosurgeon and 2016 candidate for President of the United States

Carol Carson, Canadian politician

Carol S. Carson, American economic statistician

Chris Carson (American football) (born 1994), American football player

Ciarán Carson, Northern Irish poet and novelist

David Carson (disambiguation), multiple people

Delia E. Wilder Carson (1833-1917), American art educator

Don Carson, American theologian

Edward Carson, Baron Carson, Irish Unionist politician

Edward Carson, British Conservative politician

Eve Carson, American university student

Finlay Carson (born 1967), Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Galloway and West Dumfries constituency since 2016

Frank Carson, Irish comedian

Hampton L. Carson, American lawyer and legal scholar

Hampton L. Carson, American biologist

Harry Carson, American footballer

Jean Carson, American actress

Jeannie Carson, British comedian

Fiddlin' John Carson, American country music musician

James Carson (disambiguation), multiple people

Jenny Lou Carson American country singer/songwriter

John Carson (disambiguation), multiple people

Johnnie Carson, American diplomat

Johnny Carson, American comedian and long-time host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Josh Carson, Northern Irish footballer

Julia Carson, U.S. Congresswoman

Kevin Carson, American political theorist

Kit Carson, American frontiersman

Leonardo Carson, American footballer

Paul Carson (disambiguation), multiple people

Peter Carson (1938–2013), English translator

Rachel Carson, American biologist and author

Robert Carson (disambiguation), multiple people

Samuel Price Carson (1798–1838), American politician for North Carolina and Texas

Scott Carson, English footballer

Stephen Carson, Northern Irish footballer

Stewart Carson, South African badminton player

TC Carson, American actor

Trevor Carson, Northern Irish footballer

Towa Carson, Swedish singer

Violet Carson, British actress

William Carson, 19th century Scottish Newfoundland businessman

Willie Carson, Scottish jockey

Witney Carson, American professional dancer

Crunch Bunch

The Crunch Bunch were the group of New York Giants football team's defensive linebackers in 1981, 1982 and 1983, one of the NFL's best group of linebackers.

They worked together as a unit and were known for their punishing, bone-jarring tackles and quarterback sacks. The individuals included:

Strongside linebacker Brad Van Pelt, five-time Pro Bowl selection (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980)

Inside linebacker Harry Carson, nine Pro Bowl selections (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987), Hall of Fame

Weakside linebacker Lawrence Taylor, ten-time Pro Bowl selection (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990), Hall of Fame

Weakside linebacker Brian Kelley, no Pro Bowl selectionsThe linebackers invented their own moniker, then created a company, The Board of Dewreckers, whose sole product was a 16×20-inch color poster of the four players on a bulldozer, wearing hard hats and looking mean. According to an article in The New York Times, the profits from the $5 poster became “pocket money” for the Giants' linebackers. The Crunch Bunch was a bright spot for the otherwise dismal Giants, who had just one winning season between 1973 and 1983.

The four men developed bonds of friendship that lasted long after their football careers ended. They talked on the phone frequently and got together several times each year to play golf, sign autographs, attend charity events and just talk. Van Pelt was quoted in 2004:

I feel as comfortable with (Carson, Kelley and Taylor) as I do with my brothers. Obviously, your brothers are your brothers. But these three are probably the closest thing to them. Brian and I played 11 years together. I played nine with Harry. Lawrence being the guy (he is), it didn't take long for him to fit right in and become one of the guys. I can't really explain why but they're the only three I stay close with.

The Crunch Bunch went to Puebla, Mexico, on October 26, 2004, to promote Habitat for Humanity and assist 3,000 volunteers who were building 150 houses. While there, they met and talked with former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.The quartet attended many Giants games after they retired, but on September 30, 2007, the "Crunch Bunch" guys were introduced prior to the game and recognized for their contribution to Giants football. They were also named honorary captains and watched the game from the Giants' sideline. The team's new defense, dubbed the "Sack Pack", put on a show and recorded 12 sacks of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.Van Pelt's death on February 17, 2009, was a shock to the guys. Harry Carson commented, "I am just so glad that I got to know the man more so than the athlete. He really was a great guy." Brian Kelley stated:

It was total devastation. I've known Brad since '73 -- 36 years. I've known him longer than my wife and my kids. Football was 11 years of our life. We had 25 other years when we were together, did things together and still are doing them together, us and LT and Harry Carson.

It's sort of like losing a limb because the four of us are so close. To lose one of us is tough. It's even tough to believe it happened. ... I'm just going to miss him, miss seeing him at Giants games, miss him calling me about stupid stuff.

Donnie Shell

Donnie Shell (born August 26, 1952) is a former American Football strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League between 1974 and 1987. Shell was a member of the Steelers famed Steel Curtain defense in the 1970s.

Shell retired as the NFL strong safety career leader in interceptions with 51. He started eleven straight years for the Steelers and was selected to the Steelers All-Time Team, the College Football Hall of Fame, and to the NFL Silver Anniversary Super Bowl Team.

History of the New York Giants (1979–93)

The period of 1979 to 1993 was one of the most successful in New York Giants franchise history. Members of the NFL's National Football Conference, the Giants struggled after reaching the NFL Championship Game in 1963. The 1964 season began a 15-year stretch in which the Giants were unable to make the playoffs. However, in 1979 they started rebuilding, hiring General Manager George Young, the first GM in the family-run team's history. Young, a former Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins executive, assembled a team that would become successful in the 1980s and early 1990s. Led by a run-oriented offense and a defense nicknamed the "Big Blue Wrecking Crew", the team qualified for the postseason six times in 10 seasons from 1981 to 1990. During that period, they won Super Bowl XXI (1987) and Super Bowl XXV (1991).

The period encompasses the careers of quarterback Phil Simms and linebacker Lawrence Taylor, two of the most accomplished players in team history. Simms was drafted to little fanfare from tiny Morehead State University in 1979, and struggled in his initial seasons before becoming a Pro Bowl quarterback. Taylor was the second selection in the 1981 NFL Draft and, in contrast to Simms, was an immediate success, winning the league's Defensive Player of the Year Award as a rookie. The team's success in this period was aided by head coach Bill Parcells, running back Joe Morris, and Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson. Following the 1990 season and a victory in Super Bowl XXV, Parcells resigned as coach and was replaced by the team's offensive coordinator, Ray Handley.

Handley served as coach for two mediocre seasons (1991–92), in which the Giants went from Super Bowl champions to a 6–10 record. He was fired following the 1992 season and replaced by former Denver Broncos coach Dan Reeves. In the early 1990s, Simms and Taylor played out the last years of their career with steadily declining production. In 1993, however, the Giants experienced a resurgent season with Reeves at the helm, and Simms and Taylor ended their careers as members of a winning team.

Keith Hamilton (American football)

Keith Lamarr Hamilton (born May 25, 1971 in Paterson, New Jersey) is a former American football defensive tackle for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He played college football at the University of Pittsburgh and was selected in the 1992 NFL Draft. Hamilton spent his entire 12-season career with the Giants and recorded 63 sacks, placing him fourth on the team's career sack list since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. "Hammer," as he was known, played in 173 games in a Giants uniform, tying him with Harry Carson for sixth on the franchise's all-time list. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate in 2000, when he recorded ten sacks and the Giants reached Super Bowl XXXV.

Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Julius Taylor (born February 4, 1959), nicknamed "L.T.", is a former American football player. Taylor played his entire professional career as a linebacker for the New York Giants (1981–1993) in the National Football League (NFL). He is considered one of the greatest players in the history of American football, and has been ranked as the greatest defensive player in league history by former players, coaches, media members, and news outlets such as the NFL Network and Sporting News.After an All-American career at the University of North Carolina (UNC) (1978–1981), Taylor was drafted by the Giants as the second overall selection in the 1981 NFL Draft. Although controversy surrounded the selection due to Taylor's contract demands, the two sides quickly resolved the issue. Taylor won several defensive awards after his rookie season. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Taylor was a disruptive force at outside linebacker, and is credited with changing the pass rushing schemes, offensive line play, and offensive formations used in the NFL. Taylor produced double-digit sacks each season from 1984 through 1990, including a career-high of 20.5 in 1986. He also won a record three AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards and was named the league's Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his performance during the 1986 season. Taylor is one of only two defensive players in the history of the NFL to have ever won the NFL MVP award (the other one being Alan Page in 1971) and no defensive player has won since him. He was named First-team All-Pro in each of his first nine seasons, including the 1983 season when he became the first player in NFL History selected First Team All-Pro at two positions as an outside linebacker and inside linebacker. Taylor was a key member of the Giants' defense, nicknamed "The Big Blue Wrecking Crew", that led New York to victories in Super Bowls XXI and XXV. During the 1980s, Taylor, fellow linebackers Carl Banks, Gary Reasons, Brad Van Pelt, Brian Kelley, Pepper Johnson, and Hall of Famer Harry Carson gave the Giants linebacking corps a reputation as one of the best in the NFL.

Taylor has lived a controversial lifestyle, during and after his playing career. He admitted to using drugs such as cocaine as early as his second year in the NFL, and was suspended several times by the league for failing drug tests. His drug abuse escalated after his retirement, and he was jailed three times for attempted drug possession. He went to jail for doing cracked cocaine From 1998 to 2009, Taylor lived a sober, drug-free life. He worked as a color commentator on sporting events after his retirement, and pursued a career as an actor. His personal life came under public scrutiny in 2011 when he pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct involving a 16-year-old girl. After Taylor was put on trial, he was registered as a low-risk sex offender.

Nick Buoniconti

Nicholas Anthony Buoniconti (born December 15, 1940) is a former American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) middle linebacker, who played for the Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins. Buoniconti was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

South Carolina State Bulldogs football

The South Carolina State Bulldogs football team represents South Carolina State University in college football. The Bulldogs play in NCAA Division I Football Championship as a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). A historically dominant football program, the Bulldogs lead the MEAC in conference championships. The school has produced three players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame including Harry Carson, Deacon Jones, and Marion Motley. Other legendary Bulldog players include Robert Porcher and Donnie Shell. Legendary former SC State Coach Willie Jeffries became the first African American Head Coach of a predominantly white Division 1-A football program, when he was hired to coach the Wichita State football program in 1979. Jeffries is enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Super Bowl XXI

Super Bowl XXI was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1986 season. The Giants defeated the Broncos by the score of 39–20, winning their first ever Super Bowl, and their first NFL title since 1956. The game was played on January 25, 1987, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

This was the Broncos' first Super Bowl appearance since the 1977 season. Led largely through the play of quarterback John Elway and a defense that led the AFC in fewest yards allowed, the Broncos posted an 11–5 regular season record and two narrow playoff victories. The Giants, led by quarterback Phil Simms, running back Joe Morris, and their "Big Blue Wrecking Crew" defense, advanced to their first Super Bowl after posting a 14–2 regular season record and only allowing a combined total of 3 points in their two postseason wins.

The game was tight in the first half, with the Broncos holding a 10–9 halftime lead, the narrowest margin in Super Bowl history. The only score in the second quarter, however, was Giants defensive end George Martin's sack of Elway in the end zone for a safety. This began the Giants run of scoring 26 unanswered points through the third and fourth quarters. The Giants also posted a Super Bowl record 30 points in the second half, and limited the Broncos to only 2 net yards in the third quarter. Simms, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, finished the game with 22 of 25 passes completed for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 25 rushing yards on 3 carries. His 22 out of 25 (88%) completion percentage broke both a Super Bowl and NFL postseason record.

The telecast of the game on CBS was seen by an estimated 87.2 million viewers. This was one of the first times that a very large, national audience saw what is now the traditional Gatorade shower, where players dump a cooler full of liquid over a coach's head following a meaningful win. The practice was first started by Giants players in 1985 but it did not gain much national prominence until this season.

The Desperate Hours (play)

The Desperate Hours is a 1955 play by Joseph Hayes, based on his 1954 thriller novel of the same title. The story, about three escaped convicts invading a family's home and holding them hostage, was the basis for the films The Desperate Hours in 1955 and Desperate Hours in 1990.

The play opened in New Haven's Shubert Theatre in 1955 before premiering on Broadway later that year.

The Desperate Hours won Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Direction in 1955.

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