Nebraska Huskers in the NFL

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The University of Nebraska was founded in 1869, less than two years after Nebraska was granted statehood. While their football program also got its start in the 19th century (the first game was held in late November of 1890), the university didn’t have a football coach until three years later. It took a while for the school to settle on a team name, but fortunately the sports editor of the “Nebraska State Journal,” Charles “Cy” Sherman, called them the Cornhuskers in 1900, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Since those early days, Nebraska’s football teams and their players have brought home a number of impressive awards, including five national titles, three Heisman Trophies (Johnny Rodgers, 1972; Mike Rozier, 1983; and Eric Crouch, 2001), and a slew of other awards throughout their impressive history. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is one such player – he  received the Outland, Lombardi, Bronko Nagurski, and Chuck Bednarik awards, and was also named the AP College Player of the Year in 2009.

Unsurprisingly, there have been many former Huskers drafted into the NFL (or signed as an undrafted free agent), including Link Lyman, Guy Chamberlin, Boomer Brown, Will Shields, and Mick Tingelhoff – all Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees. Let’s take a look to see which former Nebraska football players are currently playing in the NFL.

Cornhuskers in the Game

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There are 26 former Huskers in the NFL today. As we glance over the current players list, one of the biggest names that stands out is Ndamukong Suh, the former Nebraska superstar who continued a high level of play in the pros. Suh has been elected to five Pro Bowls over his career, which got its start in 2010 when he was drafted No. 2 overall by the Detroit Lions (he currently plays for the Miami Dolphins). He’s also been selected to the First-Team All-Pro three times and has been a sack machine over his seven-plus years of professional play (he has 49 sacks and counting).  

Woke up feeling like

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Another player to mention is Prince Amukamara, who earned the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 while at Nebraska and is a one-time All-American. He was drafted in 2011, 19th overall, by the New York Giants, and was part of a championship winning team his rookie year. Amukamara currently plays for the Chicago Bears.

@strap_ent @strap_ent 🔥🔥🔥

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Richie Incognito is another former Husker currently playing in the NFL. Incognito entered the NFL in the third round of the 2005 draft for the St. Louis Rams after a great Nebraska college career, and has been selected to three Pro Bowls during his time in the NFL. Incognito currently plays for the Buffalo Bills.

I know when I give my guy @shadymccoy a little space he’s about to do something special #TheRealSlimShady

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Go Big Red

If you’ve been following the Huskers for decades, or you’re a newer fan of this brand of college ball, make sure you’re properly suited up for a visit to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, by visiting Fanatics. You’ll find loads of authentic Nebraska gear, including shirts, hoodies, and hats.

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Coaching Tree: Ben McAdoo

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Ben McAdoo – the current head coach for the New York Giants – hails from Pennsylvania, where he attended college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and earned a master’s degree in kinesiology from Michigan State University.

McAdoo’s first football coaching job was at the high school level. He continued to coach at Michigan State University, where he worked as a special teams coach and offensive assistant in 2001. He then worked his way into a position as the offensive line and tight ends coach at Fairfield University, eventually making the leap to the NFL in 2004 after a yearlong stint at the University of Pittsburgh as an offensive assistant.

Ben McAdoo Coaching Influences

Ben McAdoo Head Coaching Influences

Ben McAdoo has an impressive list of coaching credentials on his resume, but his current acumen may be due in part to the vast experience and expertise of the head coaches he coached under before his current position.

His first coaching experience was with the Saints under Jim Haslett, who worked his coaching magic and got the team to the playoffs his first year manning the helm.  

McAdoo also coached under Mike Nolan in 2005 when he was the head coach for the 49ers, but his longest stint with a single head coach was with Green Bay, where he worked under Mike McCarthy for eight seasons. McAdoo’s mentor, Mike McCarthy, finished up his 11th regular season as head honcho of the Packers and led the team to a Super Bowl championship in the 2010 season.

The last coach McAdoo worked under was the venerable Tom Coughlin, who was a longtime coach in the NFL and earned three Super Bowl rings during his tenure with the Giants (one as the wide receivers coach in 1990 and two as the head coach in 2007 and 2011).

Ben McAdoo Coaching Career

Ben McAdoo NFL Coaching Positions

In 2004, McAdoo entered the NFL as an offensive assistant and quality control coach for the Saints. But after only one season, he left to work for San Francisco as an assistant offensive line and quality control coach.

McAdoo then left the West Coast after one season and headed to Lambeau Field, where he spent eight seasons with the Packers: six as the tight ends coach and two as the quarterbacks coach.

He joined the Giants staff in 2014 and called the plays as the team’s offensive coordinator. When the legendary Tom Coughlin stepped down as the head coach after 12 seasons and two Super Bowl titles, McAdoo was named the man in charge prior to the 2016 season.

Ben McAdoo Coaching Connections

Ben McAdoo NFL Coaching Connections

There are numerous coaching positions on any given NFL team. In addition to the head coach, the main coordinators (offensive and defensive), and the special teams coach, each respective team unit also tends to have a coach (such as quarterbacks, tight ends, receivers, running backs, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, and secondary). There are also strength and conditioning coaches, and teams may have coaching positions uniquely suited to their needs.

It’s no wonder then that many coaches cross paths professionally as they weave their way through 32 teams. This is certainly the case with McAdoo, who worked closely with his mentor Mike McCarthy as he made his way to his first head coaching job in the 2016 season.

McAdoo first met up with McCarthy during his NFL gig with the Saints. McAdoo was hired as an offensive quality control coach and worked with McCarthy, who was the offensive coordinator. He eventually followed McCarthy to the 49ers – McCarthy reprised his role as offensive coordinator and McAdoo worked as the assistant offensive line and quality control coach.

When McCarthy grabbed the head coaching job for Green Bay, he called on McAdoo yet again, installing him as the tight ends coach. McAdoo remained on staff with the Packers for eight seasons. His work was not overlooked when he left the organization for the New York Giants.

Ben McAdoo's Coaching Tree

It’s not unusual for coaches to cross paths. It’s also not unusual for them to coach against one another, as the 2016 Wild Card Weekend sees McAdoo leading his New York Giants against his mentor, Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packers.

If you’re a Giants fan, make sure to get all your gear from Fanatics.com, as they have exactly what you need to suit up for the playoffs and beyond.

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The Evolution of the New York Giants Logo

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The New York Giants came about in 1925 in New York City. Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Mara purchased the franchise for $500 and “borrowed” the name from the MLB team, the New York Giants – which was a common thing to do at the time. The Giants won their first NFL championship just three years later in 1927 with a stacked defense led by Steve Owen, who later became the head coach. Owen isn’t the only legendary player to come out of the organization; quarterback Eli Manning has done some great things. Manning led the Giants to two Super Bowl championships in 2007 and 2011 against the Patriots. The Giants have four Super Bowl championships total and four other championship titles from wins prior to the announced 1966 merger of the NFL and AFL.

The Giant Greats

Behind every great football team is a great running back. Tiki Barber is the Giant’s all-time leading rusher with 2,217 rushes for 10,449 yards and 55 touchdowns. Barber was selected to the Pro Bowl three times and was awarded First Team All-Pro in 2005. Before the NFL and AFL merger, there was Hall of Famer Frank Gifford. Gifford – eight-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time First Team All-Pro – helped lead the 1956 Giants to an NFL championship.

Amani Toomer is the all-time leading receiver in the franchise’s history. Toomer caught 668 passes for 9,497 yards and 54 touchdowns. He played his entire career of 13 seasons with the Giants.

A team can’t succeed without its quarterback. Phil Simms was one of the greatest in Giants history. The two-time Pro Bowler helped to lead the Giants to two Super Bowl winning seasons in 1986 and 1990 (although Jeff Hostetler played in the Super Bowl due to Simms incurring an injury during the 1990 regular season) . Simms ended up playing his entire career of 14 seasons in New York City with the Giants, throwing for 33,462 yards and 199 touchdowns. Another great Giants quarterback is Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle. Tittle played the final four seasons of his career with the Giants and, during that time, was selected to the Pro Bowl three times. He was also a two-time First Team All-Pro quarterback.

When it comes to defense, some say that Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor is the best linebacker of all time. Taylor – a 10-time Pro Bowler and eight-time First Team All-Pro selection – contributed to the victories of two Super Bowls with the Giants.

Today’s Giants

As mentioned, Eli Manning, like Phil Simms, has given the Giants two Super Bowl wins as a two-time Super Bowl MVP. The four-time Pro Bowler has thrown 3,920 completions for 46,668 yards and 306 touchdowns with the Giants thus far.

The Giants’ current primary wide receiver is Odell Beckham Jr., who two years ago had an incredible one-handed catch into the end zone against the Cowboys. Beckham made the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons and won the 2014 NFL AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Another productive Giants wide receiver is Victor Cruz. Cruz has been one of the most consistent receivers in recent years. Known for his salsa dance touchdown celebration, he made the Pro Bowl in 2012 and was a part of the 2011 Super Bowl championship team.

Evolution of the New York Giants Logo

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The current logo has a blue, block lowercase “ny” outlined in red. The logo is somewhat controversial because the team plays in East Rutherford, New Jersey, not New York. Close enough, right? Let’s look at the many different logos of the New York Giants.

1945: The Giants use the New York City skyline as the backdrop for the logo with a picture of a quarterback throwing a football. The logo is in a circle with “New York Football Giants” written around it.

1950: The logo becomes a lot cleaner with a similar image and wording – modernized to fit the time.

1956: The wording is completely taken out, and the quarterback is placed against what is now known as Yankee Stadium, which is the stadium they play in.

1961: The logo is entirely replaced with a stylized lowercase “ny” in blue block letters.

1975: The team switches to a blue and white uppercase “NY.”

1976: The team switches to a bold and italicized uppercase “Giants.” The font changes to blue outlined in red. The change is sparked by the team moving to the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

2000–2016: The team goes back to the lowercase “ny” but keeps the color scheme of blue outlined in red. This is the logo used by the Giants today.

Now that you’ve learned about the evolution of the many different Giants logos, head over to Fanatics.com so you can rock the logo yourself!

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The Evolution of the New York Giants Jersey

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Professional football was introduced to New York at the same time that the New York Giants were established in the tristate area by original owner Tim Mara. The organization was legally named the “New York Football Giants” to distinguish itself from the New York Giants baseball team. The Giants experienced initial success during their inaugural season but struggled financially up until they faced Red Grange and the Chicago Bears in their 11th showdown. The match attracted over 73,000 fans and resulted in an influx of revenue altering the course of the franchise forever.

Big Blue in the Big City

The New York Giants are partially responsible for the surge in popularity of American football in the United States. The team partook in what is known today as the “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” On Dec. 28, 1958, the G-Men faced the Baltimore Colts in the NFL championship game the first championship match to extend into a “sudden death” overtime. Although the Giants lost, the game drew national attention after the intensity on the field was broadcast on NBC throughout the states.

Since their inception into the National Football Conference (NFC East), the Giants have appeared in the Super Bowl five times emerging victorious four of those times. The team brought the Lombardi Trophy back to the Big Apple for the first time in 1986, after defeating the Denver Broncos (39-20). Two subsequent victories would follow, first in 1990 and again in 2007. One of the most memorable Super Bowl wins was against the New England Patriots in 2011 (21-17), which set a new record for Super Bowl champions with the lowest regular season record.  

Historically, the Giants are known for utilizing different shades of red, blue, gray, and white in their jerseys. Throughout the years, the team has stuck with solid, bold colors and a minimalist design for its on-field attire.

Read on to see how the G-Men have transformed their patriotic-themed jersey over the course of decades, playing in one the greatest cities in the world.

Notable Jersey Changes

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1925: The team kicks things off with red long-sleeved jerseys and simple helmets.

1929: Patches are added underneath the arms along with uniform numbers on the chest.

1930: A yoke is added on the shoulders. The team begins their long tradition of red, white, and blue.

1933: The team uses a red jersey with a horizontal blue stripe across the chest.

1934: An interesting look, the team uses a blue jersey with white numbers featuring red trim along with a white yoke.

1936: One of the more unique jerseys, the Giants use white jerseys with blue numbers and a red yoke over the shoulders.

1945: This season, the team uses solid red jerseys with white pants.

1956 (Away): Stripes and player numbers are added to the sleeves.

1962: Along with white numbers on the chest and sleeves, the Giants’ helmets use the “NY” logo (added in 1961), which remains in use until the end of the 1975 season.

1971 (Away): Away from home, the team uses a white jersey with red and blue cuffs.

1976 (Away): The team uses helmets featuring the full wordmark logo. They continue to be used until the 2000 season.

1986: A blue jersey with red and white cuffs is used. The striping pattern is also added to the neck line. A patch is worn on the left shoulder to honor a late, former player, Carl “Spider” Lockhart.

1990: The Giants make the Super Bowl and add a ceremonial patch to the left shoulder.

1999: For their 75th anniversary, the team wears a commemorative patch on the upper left chest.

2000: The team undergoes a rebranding. Numbers are added to the top of the shoulders.

2012: As part of a league wide update, the Giants get new jerseys, designed by Nike.

2013 (2014 shown): The Giants add white pants back to the uniform rotation.

Looking Back to Look Forward

Today, it’s a fairly common practice for NFL teams to retire the jersey numbers of players who have left their mark on the field. The Giants are no different in this manner, as they have a total of 11 retired jersey numbers – consisting of legendary players who played their hearts out as G-Men. It’s safe to assume that we will see future numbers retired, including that of Eli Manning – the team’s all-time passing leader – or possibly Tiki Barber – the leading all-time rusher for the Giants.

The New York Giants currently have eleven retired jersey numbers:

No. 1 – Ray Flaherty

No. 4 – Tuffy Leemans

No. 7 – Mel Hein

No. 11Phil Simms

No. 14Y.A. Tittle

No. 16Frank Gifford

No. 32 – Al Blozis

No. 40 – Joe Morrison

No. 42 – Charlie Conerly

No. 50 – Ken Strong

No. 56Lawrence Taylor

Are you a part of the #NYGiantsNation? Support the Big Blue by rockin’ out every Sunday with the latest Giants essentials! Head over to Fanatics – the ultimate online retailer of fan gear and memorabilia.

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NFL rivalries New England Patriots vs New York Giants

NFL rivalries New England Patriots vs New York Giants

The New York City metropolitan area has nine major sports teams – six play within city limits, the most of any American city – and almost every one of them has a deeply rooted rivalry with a major Boston-area team.

It’s hard to pin down the reason Boston and New York have such animosity for each other. Cities in the Boston-Washington super-metropolitan area have a certain disdain for each other due to a mutual perception of the other as a commercial and tourism drain. Boston, in particular, has been forced to live in the shadow of the much bigger, much flashier New York City – even though both cities have similar colonial roots – and is forced to actively compete for nearly everything with the nation’s largest city. This includes influence in the media and financial markets, impact on shipping and business, and market access for their various sports teams. The two cities even go head to head over who has the best clam chowder.

Despite this, there is not much of a New York Giants-New England Patriots rivalry. As the Giants are an NFC team, they are not in direct competition with the AFC Patriots. Historically, the Giants have not been much of a hindrance to the Patriots – their intraconference regular-season matchups tend not to be overly notable in the analysis of each team’s history.

Even though the Giants have beaten the Patriots in both of the teams’ meetings at the Super Bowl – the 2007 season’s Super Bowl XLII, where the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14; and the 2011 season’s Super Bowl XLVI, which saw the Giants upset the 13-3 regular season Patriots 21-17) – Patriots fans’ animosity is reserved for their New York City in-conference rival, the New York Jets.

However, considering the last time these two teams played each other was Super Bowl XLVI, there is the feeling that the Patriots – who are undefeated at 8-0 going into Week 10 – may be seeking revenge against the Giants (5-4). In a season that has been about settling scores – such as taking on and defeating the Indianapolis Colts following the “Deflategate” controversy and the resulting overturned suspension of Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady – the notion of putting to rest the ghost of the “Super Bowl win-that-wasn’t” seems to fit perfectly.

Whether this game ignites a rivalry between the Patriots and the Giants is yet to be proven, but it is more than likely that New Yorkers in Boston this weekend will be more than cautious to avoid giving away where they hail from. The Giants will host the Patriots November 15 at MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:25 PM EST.

Charting Sentiment for a Potentially Sentimental Game

NFL rivalries New England Patriots vs New York Giants friendliest rival

A cursory glance of search term “patriot giants” finds that the Twittersphere is abuzz about the matchup:

@lquibbly

That’s like a Jets fan wanting the Patriots to beat the Giants in a super bowl

‏@absbrownie

Being a Patriots fan is struggling to converse about good football w/o someone saying we’re cheaters or a Giants fan bringing up the SB

‏@The_Natural15

The Giants will play shitty against the Eagles and play like there life depends on it against the patriots

@kminott7

The Eagles are reallllly bad and the Giants making them look like the ’07 Patriots

@xtina_rey

The Giants losing wouldn’t bother me so much if I didn’t live in New England and have to deal with Patriots fans talking shit.

@TarHeel__Belle

Am I the only person viciously enjoying the Giants’ misery and suffering? It fills my Patriots/Redskins heart with so much joy!!

Given the high level of anti–New York animosity currently online, the results of a sentiment analysis of tweets originating in New England about the Giants and New York–born tweets about the Patriots are surprisingly positive. In the case of New York, the positive sentiment perceived among those tweeting about the Patriots averaged a score of 0.31. In New England, those mentioning the Giants achieved a positive sentiment score of 0.29.

Understanding Animosity

NFL rivalries New England Patriots vs New York Giants positive terms

Even though it’s the Giants who will be playing the Patriots on the 15th, New England fans’ minds are never too far from their true enemy. Among the top-ranking positive mention terms is “Revis” – a reference to New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, the six-time Pro Bowl selectee who is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the league and who has three interceptions as of Week 7.

Other top terms were “New York,” “Super Bowl,” “Steve Spagnuolo” (Giants defensive coordinator), “Big Blue” (a reference to the Giants), and “Ann Mara,” the recently deceased matriarch of the Mara family. Mara was the grandmother to actresses Rooney and Kate Mara, mother to current Giants CEO John Mara, widow to Giants former co-owner Wellington Mara, and daughter-in-law to Giants founder Tim Mara.

For the Patriots, only reserve running back LeGarrette Blount made the top 10 positive mentions. Blount is slated to start Week 8 for an injured Dion Lewis. This lack of positive mentions for Boston reflects the fact that – outside of New England – the Patriots are still facing an image problem.

Despite this, the November 15 matchup is shaping up to be a release for those who feel the Giants stole the Lombardi Trophy from the Patriots in 2012. Whether this constitutes a rivalry is for the sports historians to decide, but – for the fans – this matchup between two of the league’s best teams will be an emotional one.

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Methodology:

We pulled every tweet from since the 2014 season with #patriots in the state of New York and #nygiants in New England, and using the Alchemy API, we looked at the targeted sentiment score of the most commonly used terms throughout. The targeted sentiment looks at the words around a particular term and determines on a scale of -1 to 1 how negative or positive these words are, with 0 being neutral.