New York Giants fans gathered Sunday at the Meadowlands Exposition Center to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their franchise’s first Super Bowl victory. The great 1986 Giants team will be almost completely reunited – 51 of 53 players that were on the roster that year attended along with the head coach and all the living assistant coaches.
The attendees included coach Bill Parcells and then-defensive coordinator Bill Belichick (who’s made a little Super Bowl history of his own since then with the Patriots). Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms, who set a record by going 22 of 25 in that game with a unheard-of passer rating of 150.9, will be there. Hall of Fame linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson were there too.
Much of the credit goes to Carson, who was the driving force behind the reunion. Even Carson was surprised at the ultimate turnout. With help from the travel agency sponsoring the event, Carson was able to get all but two members of that 1986 roster. And the only two players who could not attend had previous commitments – backup quarterback Jeff Hostetler (traveling in Africa with his family) and running back George Adams (on a college trip with his son) sent their regrets.
“We were a very cohesive group,” Carson said in an interview with the Star Ledger. “I’m very happy there are guys who are able to make the time and be a part of it, because we all share the same thing. We all share the title of ‘world champions.’”
The final player he reached, and the hardest to track down, was Vince Warren who was a backup receiver whose NFL career was very brief. Warren played in just four games that year, and was on the bench throughout the Giants’ playoff run. The next season, the Giants drafted three receivers and Warren was gone. He spent a few months with the Dolphins and then was out of football the following year. However, he will always be a world champion.
“I still have that ring,” Warren said. “I’ll always have the ring. If I was broke, I wouldn’t trade it in to buy food. I’m going to have it until the day I die and they pry it off my dead hands.”
“I always say that the group from ’86 was the absolute best group of guys to be a part of, because they were just so unselfish,” Carson recently recalled in an interview published on the Giants’ team website. “We all worked together, we worked with the coaches. Whatever differences we had, we put them aside. I always (say) that we checked our egos at the door and we did what was best for the team.”
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