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On Nov. 19th, 44 years ago, our fortunes vastly changed

Big Blue '56 : 11/18/2022 1:25 pm
Temporarily cutting short my yearly sabbatical to mention this, as for me, it was one of the most significant dates in Giants history..

It was of course the day of the infamous “fumble” aka “The Miracle at the Meadowlands.”

It was a moment that should have been a KISS. Take the snap, fall down and secure a W in our column. But no, OC Gibson called for Pisarcik to hand off to Csonka and with the mishandled exchange, Herm Edwards took it to the house.

Gibson was rightly fired the next day and in 1979, Rozelle stepped in and the George Young/Ray Perkins era was born, with Parcells taking over for the remainder of the year (1982) after RP left for Alabama.

It was the ONLY time I “laughed” at a Giants’ loss. It wasn’t a “funny” laugh, it was a stunned, incredulous, Murphy’s law laugh.

Then I stared at the TV for what seemed like an interminable period of time.

For those who were around then, do you recall your reaction(s)?

Ok, be well, see youse in Jan/Feb..

I was in college  
X : 11/18/2022 1:28 pm : link
and punched a wall. I was so pissed.
I got a twitter link  
djm : 11/18/2022 1:28 pm : link
I believe it's from our own Matt SGS, that one year later the Giants won a game in very similar fashion, via a weird late fumble when the QB could have just kneeled. I will try and dig it up and post it here.
bigblue VCR  
djm : 11/18/2022 1:34 pm : link
I believe this is the feed from Matt SGS--he's awesome here and on twitter.

ONe year later, reversal of fortune. I don't remember but I was 7.

Link - ( New Window )
Very similar to your reaction Bruce  
kevken60 : 11/18/2022 1:35 pm : link
An 18 year old me sat and stared at the TV. Perhaps, in a parallel universe, I’m still sitting there.
As I recall, Csonka told Paterson Plank Joe to take a knee, but Pisarcik (sp?) did not, having been chastised for previously changing a play.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Remember it too well.  
winoguy : 11/18/2022 1:39 pm : link
At first I wasn't sure what the hell happened, and the moment I did I was dumbfounded , angry , stunned and ready to fight all the asshole recently converted Jet fans who were really being obnoxious. I honestly thought I might just give up on football. To me, I will always remember the 81 season as one of the best Much needed for us diehards at the time.
I was living in Manhattan with no TV reception (pre-cable days).  
Del Shofner : 11/18/2022 1:40 pm : link
So I was listening on the radio. Just stunned disbelief, is all I can really remember.
HomerJones45 : 11/18/2022 1:41 pm : link
Shock. Could not believe what I had just seen.
watching the vid again  
djm : 11/18/2022 1:42 pm : link
over a minute left--maybe they needed to run but still, pretty crazy turn of events (79)
Most important game in team history  
BlackLight : 11/18/2022 1:43 pm : link
Think of all the shit that happened more-or-less as a direct result of that game, and everything that would have never happened had it gone differently.

Also, Herman Edwards should be ironically inducted into the Giants ROH. For Pats fans, he's our Mo Lewis.
What does Gene Simmons have to do with  
Larry in Pencilvania : 11/18/2022 1:46 pm : link
After the game, I wrote a letter to Wellington telling him  
carpoon : 11/18/2022 1:49 pm : link
that he needs an empty stadium, because it was the only way we would ever have a winner.
Surprisingly, I received an answer within a week. In a nutshell, his hand written letter pretty much agreed with me stating that we have to do something about the situation.
noro9 : 11/18/2022 2:02 pm : link
And utter disgust
I too was in college  
mushroom : 11/18/2022 2:06 pm : link
Watching the game with two eagle fan roommates when the fumble happened they jumped up yelling and hollering in excitement I quietly got up and put my fist through the nearby closet door. They quickly sat down and never spoke about the game to me again.
Really painful day.  
3putt : 11/18/2022 2:08 pm : link
I was dating a girl from Phillipsburg and took her to that game. She was an Eagles fan and I was roasting her pretty good for most of the game. After the fumble I had to listen to her give it back on the whole ride back to P'burg.

Needless to say that was the end of that relationship.
I was shocked  
beechbouy : 11/18/2022 2:12 pm : link
and numb. I really had a hard time wrapping my head around what had just happened even though I was a youngster. And didn't Herm Edwards box/punch the Giants' goalpost after the TD? Hated that guy from that point on.
It was the only time I saw my dad  
Giants86 : 11/18/2022 2:14 pm : link
get upset over a loss. He threw a pillow at the TV.
I really thought  
bluepepper : 11/18/2022 2:16 pm : link
the team had turned a corner and I wasn't alone. Other fans and writers thought the same thing. We were around .500 and had a decent chance to make the playoffs. But our QB was Joe What were we smoking?

Really needed that kind of loss to get our heads out of our ass. That team sucked and the franchise needed a complete overhaul. Thank God for the fumble an for Herm Edwards for picking up cleanly and scoring!
The thing that made the play even MORE  
Dave on the UWS : 11/18/2022 2:55 pm : link
incredulous, is the QB had to take the handoff and spin COMPLETELY around to hand off to Czonka, a high probability of a mishandle. It wasn't even a basic dive play. The epitome of stupidity.
I was sitting in front of the only black and white tv  
ChicagoMarty : 11/18/2022 2:56 pm : link
located in my dorm at the Treasury Agent school in FLETC Glynco, Ga.

I started screaming and some of my brother trainees from the South advised another fellow New Yorker watching - to tell that dam Yankee to shut up!
I was at a friend's house in Long Island.  
Since1965 : 11/18/2022 3:03 pm : link
For whatever reason timewise (maybe I was going to be heading home?) her mom called us into the dining room to eat, but we left the game on. As I got up from the tv room to go eat, I said, "Even the Giants can't blow this one." HOLY SHIT!
I was 11, and I still remember it.  
MadPlaid : 11/18/2022 3:31 pm : link
I recall feeling great. The Giants were going to break the Eagles winning streak against them. Just had to kill the clock. That fumble just about knocked the shit out of me. I cried. Absolute balling. Just a kid, I couldn’t cope with the disappointment. Hurt so bad. Took me a long time to calm down and get over it. The play was so fucking baffling. What a giant screwup. Probably why it hurt so much.

People forget that kneeling down was something teams did not do back then. They ran regular plays to end the game. These days we have the victory formation to finish it off. I suppose plays like the Fumble helped to change the way a team ends a game.
GF1080 : 11/18/2022 3:37 pm : link
Was this kind of like what happened to Buff last week with the fumble? What was the OC thinking calling a play?!?
Was at the game with my brothers  
ciggy : 11/18/2022 3:41 pm : link
Our seats at the old Giant Stadium were in Section 139 in that end zone. Stadium was buzzing. We were all happy. It looked like the team was finally on the upswing. We were all happy and talking about who our next game was against. I think there was a timeout right before that last play.

Then the botched handoff happened. It was surreal. The ball bounces straight up and into Edwards hands. It was like the seas parted. And he runs straight into our endzone. The stadium went so quiet that from our seats 18 rows up, you could actually hear the voices of the Eagles hooting and hollering. Everyone just sat there dead silent and stunned.

will never forget that day.

In those days, I don't think teams did the victory formation but everyone knew that the QB would just fall on the ball.(In fact, that play may have led to teams developing the victory formation).

PS i was also there for the DeSean Jackson punt return debacle when the Giants blew that huge lead. Is there any doubt as to why I hate the F***ing Eagles with a passion.
It was nothing like the Buffalo game from last weekend  
BigBlue565358 : 11/18/2022 3:49 pm : link
The ball was not on the goal line. The backstory is that Pisarcik had been changing plays and got yelled at for it. When this play came in the players begged him to change the play but he said I can't
I worked with Joe P. on Wall Street for a few years.....  
No Where Man : 11/18/2022 3:54 pm : link
stand-up guy....
So many memories...still...  
Pete in CO : 11/18/2022 4:01 pm : link
I was 9 and watched every game with my Dad. That game was really tough to swallow. I had never seen my father that mad in my life before that Sunday.
All Giant fans know the back stories about how the Eagles roughed up Pisarcik on the previous kneel-down play so they decided to run Csonka at them to get the 1st down and "teach them a lesson." We also know how that Sunday completely changed the NYG's future.
What I remember even more from that game was the following week when we got crushed 41-17 by the Bills who weren't much better than us at the time. That's when I remember crying and really feeling like things would never get better for the Giants...
Also Stared at the TV  
clatterbuck : 11/18/2022 4:07 pm : link
but that was after I knocked it off a file cabinet (small b/w portable) in the upstairs office where I was working. I never acted out quite like that before --or since. Well, I mean I haven't broken anything.
I was a young kid, rabidly following the yankees  
D HOS : 11/18/2022 4:15 pm : link
Football was this thing my Dad, a Jets fan, did on Sundays and MNF. I hung out with him for that but wasn't really into the game.

But, that event, which I only recall historically, ultimately led to GY and Ray Perkins at which point my Dad remarked to young kid me that the Giants were probably about to leave their recent history of failure behind and likely even reclaim their winning heritage that had been nearly the equal of my beloved Yankees.

The idea of following a team with an important heritage, as it clawed back to respectability, really took hold so I started following the Giants in the papers and have been a fan ever since RP's first season.

So in a way, yes thank you Herm, McVay and whoever else was responsible.
Could be Wrong But...  
mvftw : 11/18/2022 4:16 pm : link
I don't think they took a knee back then. You used to run a play...
I was 11..  
AG5686 : 11/18/2022 4:27 pm : link
And don't really remember it but of course have relived it with the rest of you ever wasn't too much later when The Saints took Heisman Trophy winner George Rodgers with the first pick leaving us with some guy named Lawrence Taylor.
I was in High School and was stunned  
PatersonPlank : 11/18/2022 4:30 pm : link
my Dad was actually more upset than I was
RE: bigblue VCR  
jpkmets : 11/18/2022 4:42 pm : link
In comment 15912170 djm said:
I believe this is the feed from Matt SGS--he's awesome here and on twitter.

ONe year later, reversal of fortune. I don't remember but I was 7. Link - ( New Window )

I didn’t know Matt ran this. It’s one of my absolute favorite Twitter accounts.

I can telll you how I reacted to the fumble cause my dad has told this story about 100 times. I lay down on the living room floor and cried like only a broken-hearted 5yo can. This was also on the heels of trading Tom Seaver. Dad really set me up with some great teams in the 70s!
I remember it like it was yesterday  
JohnG in Albany : 11/18/2022 4:47 pm : link

Wins were so few and far between in those years, it was just amazing to have a rare one slip away like that.

But then again, maybe not that amazing given the state of the franchise. *grin*

Be well, Bruce.
My buddies and I left early,  
section125 : 11/18/2022 4:49 pm : link
and were just out of the stadium when we heard the groan. Turned the radio on and heard what happened.
Remembering this game...  
BamaBlue : 11/18/2022 5:05 pm : link
is like getting punched in the nards. Time heals all wounds? Boloney!
I remember the team  
Gman11 : 11/18/2022 5:13 pm : link
was so bad that the game wasn't televised in my area (Finger Lakes region). When I saw the "game break" they were showing and it was the fumble, I nearly barfed all over the living room.
RE: Could be Wrong But...  
Gman11 : 11/18/2022 5:14 pm : link
In comment 15912319 mvftw said:
I don't think they took a knee back then. You used to run a play...

I believe that play gave them the idea about the kneel down.
RE: RE: Could be Wrong But...  
mvftw : 11/18/2022 6:01 pm : link
In comment 15912347 Gman11 said:
In comment 15912319 mvftw said:


I don't think they took a knee back then. You used to run a play...

I believe that play gave them the idea about the kneel down.

I thought that the 49ers (Bill Walsh) came up with the kneel down...not sure...
Through a pizza t a wall  
Sec 103 : 11/18/2022 6:04 pm : link
pops was not pleased
Epitome of stupidity  
Giant John : 11/18/2022 6:36 pm : link
And terrible execution. That was a tough day.
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 11/18/2022 6:38 pm : link
Didn't Csonka tell Pisarcik not to give him the rock?
RE: Through a pizza t a wall  
jnoble : 11/18/2022 9:21 pm : link
In comment 15912390 Sec 103 said:
pops was not pleased

What kind of pizza?
I was at the game with my friend…  
GA5 : 11/18/2022 10:46 pm : link
Since the victory seemed well in hand, he convinced me that we should leave early to beat the traffic. As walked to the car, a loud roar arose from the stadium behind us. We then ran the rest of the way to the car, turned on the radio and got the bad news. It was the last time I left a Giants game early…ever!
BTW, the “victory formation” was created because of that very play.
My father was also at the game  
BigBlue565358 : 11/18/2022 11:18 pm : link
and no Giants fan calls it miracle at the meadowlands. It is and always will be "the fumble"
Miss you fiddy6....  
Brown_Hornet : 11/19/2022 12:22 am : link
...hope that you're enjoying the ride.
My reaction was the same  
pivo : 11/19/2022 1:10 am : link
when Jackson returned the punt. “Oh, no” followed by stunned silence.

Glad you briefly got back in the fray, fiddy. Lurking with this crowd is just as fun though …
Total “wait, what? What? WHAT?” moment  
exiled : 11/19/2022 8:09 am : link
I watched (as always) with my father—who was quietly disgusted—and brother—who left the room with tears of rage.

Thing is, it was already such a shitty time for the Giants. But IIRC, they’d have been looking at a .500 record if they won that game. I’m not sure I knew the Giants as anything but losers up to that point, so .500 would’ve been a big deal.

How did I did I ever come of age as a Giants fan in the ‘70s?
RE: RE: RE: Could be Wrong But...  
Gman11 : 11/19/2022 12:18 pm : link
In comment 15912387 mvftw said:
In comment 15912347 Gman11 said:


In comment 15912319 mvftw said:


I don't think they took a knee back then. You used to run a play...

I believe that play gave them the idea about the kneel down.

I thought that the 49ers (Bill Walsh) came up with the kneel down...not sure...

The 49ers might have but the Giants gave them the idea.
I was too young for that game BB56  
Vanzetti : 11/19/2022 12:24 pm : link
But I had a similar reaction when DeSean Jackson returned that punt against the Giants to clinch their comeback victory.

I was just stunned. I know it was not organizational changing the way the fumble was but I think in some ways it really marked the end of the Coughlin Eli era even though they would stick around for some years
I take that back  
Vanzetti : 11/19/2022 12:26 pm : link
I take that back. Punt was 2010 not 2012. I had it mixed up. So maybe it was motivation for the Super Bowl the next year.

But still that was the most negative experience I had as a Giants fan
I was 12 years old watching the game in the tv room  
Larry in Pencilvania : 11/19/2022 12:56 pm : link
in the house I grew up. I was excited that the Giants were gonna win because they sucked bad. I was shocked at what transpired. I had no clue at that time that the events of that day would change the Giants franchise forever and would touch 4 Super Bowl wins in some form or another. It would usher in two successful periods in team history.

The Eagles got a talking point and a t-shirt out of the deal
Does theismans leg still post here?  
RicFlair : 11/19/2022 12:59 pm : link
Best username on the site.
I gotta tell ya  
VaGman : 11/19/2022 5:43 pm : link
I’ve been a Giants fan since the ‘60s, and I didn’t remember that Kansas City game. It makes me feel better. Thanks.
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