New York Giants
In 1925, New York City sports enthusiast Tim Mara paid $500 for an NFL franchise. Nearly 85 years later, the Giants had won seven league championships, 10 conference crowns and 15 division titles, while making 30 playoff appearances. Success came quickly as the 1927 team featuring Jack McBride and Hinkey Haines posted an 11-1-1 record to win the NFL championship. With players such as Harry Newman, Ken Strong, Ed Danowski, Tuffy Leemans, Hank Soar and Mel Hein leading the way, New York added league titles in the 1934 and '38. The Giants competed in three NFL title bouts in the 1950s - winning in 1956 - through the play of Frank Gifford, Charlie Conerly, Kyle Rote, Mel Triplett, Alex Webster, Emlen Tunnell, Pat Summerall and Jimmy Patton. Quarterback Y.A. Tittle earned league MVP honors in 1963. During the 1980s, New York advanced to the playoffs five times and won Super Bowl XXI over Denver. Team leaders included 1986 NFL MVP Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, Joe Morris, Mark Bavaro and Leonard Marshall. Four years later, the Giants captured their sixth NFL championship with a 20-19 victory over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV. This team was sparked by Simms, Taylor, Ottis Anderson and Everson Walls. New York also competed in Super Bowl XXXV following the 2000 season, losing to Baltimore, after being led by Kerry Collins, Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer, Michael Strahan, Keith Hamilton and Emmanuel McDaniel. More postseason appearances occurred in 2002, '05 and '06, but it was the 2007 season that will be remembered vividly by New York fans. The Giants won three road playoff games before upsetting previously unbeaten New England 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII. Stars of this squad included Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs, Plaxico Burress and Osi Umenyiora.