New York Giants legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford passed away on Sunday, August 9, one week before his 85th birthday.
Gifford was a versatile offensive weapon for the legendary Giants teams of the 1950s and 60s, amassing 3,609 career rushing yards and 5,434 receiving yards, as well as 34 rushing TDs and 43 receiving TDs. He also had 823 passing yards and threw 14 touchdown passes in his career. If that wasn’t enough, Gifford also played defensive back and kicker.
After his playing career, Gifford was a celebrated broadcaster, most notably as a play-by-play announcer and analyst for Monday Night Football.
- Frank Gifford was drafted in the first round, 11th overall by the New York Giants during the 1952 NFL Draft.
- Spent his entire football career with the New York Giants (1952-1960; 1962-1964).
- His best year in New York was during the 1956 season, where he won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award after recording 819 yards rushing, 603 yards receiving and nine touchdowns over 12 games.
- In 1956, he also led the New York Giants to the franchise’s fourth championship, beating the Chicago Bears, 47-7.
- He would go on to play in four other NFL Championship games, including “The Greatest Game Ever Played” in 1958 against the Baltimore Colts.
- In November of 1960, he suffered what was thought to be a career-ending injury after being hit by Eagles linebacker, Chuck Bednarik. The injury resulted in a 10-day hospital stay and Gifford did not return to the lineup until 1962.
- Gifford was selected to eight Pro Bowls at three different positions (defensive back, half back and wide receiver): 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1963, and he was the 1958 Pro Bowl MVP
- He was a four-time First-Team All-Pro selection: 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1959.
- Scored a Giants franchise-record 78 total touchdowns: 43 receiving, 34 rushing and one on an interception return (not including passing TDs).
- Made the transition from the football field to the broadcasting booth after his playing career, first for CBS and then in 1971 when he started a 27-year stint with ABC’s Monday Night Football.
- On July 30, 1977, Gifford was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- His No. 16 was retired by the Giants in 2000.
- He held the franchise record for receiving for 39 years (5,434 yards), which was broken by Amani Toomer in 2003.
**MORE ON GIFFORD’S PASSING COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK GIANTS**
“It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved husband, father and friend, Frank Gifford. Frank died suddenly this beautiful Sunday morning of natural causes at his Connecticut home. We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live, and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing human being. We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time and we thank you for your prayers.”
JOHN MARA, GIANTS PRESIDENT
“Frank Gifford was the ultimate Giant. He was the face of our franchise for so many years. More importantly, he was a treasured member of our family. My father loved him like a son and was proud to act as his presenter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a favor Frank returned years later by presenting my father in Canton. For my siblings and me, Frank was like a revered older brother whom we looked up to and admired. We loved him and will miss him terribly.”
STEVE TISHCH, GIANTS CHAIRMAN
“Not only was Frank a member of the Giants family from the time he left USC, and will be forever, but because Frank, my father (Bob) and Pete Rozelle were so close in the ’60s, I felt like he was a member of my family. I always loved seeing Frank on our sideline before our games. He had the handshake of a 25-year old, and he looked you right in the eye with his big blue eyes. He was such a strong person in every way. He will be missed and will always be remembered as a Giants’ Giant.”