Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Once a Giant: A Story of Victory, Tragedy, and Life After Football (Gary Myers)

The 1986 New York Giants were one of the best Super Bowl champions in history, winning all but two of their games and only losing those two games by a combined eight points. The Giants’ first championship since the 1950’s set the stage for another Super Bowl championship four years later. Gary Myers’s book Once a Giant: A Story of Victory, Tragedy, and Life After Football is an account about how these football players and coaches bonded off the field and have continued to maintain strong friendships over 35 years after their Super Bowl championship.

Myers interviews a number of Giants players and coaches, including head coach Bill Parcells and star players Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor. These interviews cover their time as teammates as well as their lives after football. For many of them, the toll of playing the game and the repeated hitting that is a part of the sport caused nagging long-term effects that included some former players contemplating suicide. Through it all, many of the 1986 Giants have been able to confront and survive these challenges together.

Once a Giant is a great read for Giants fans. The book is balanced, enjoyable to read, and provides several good laughs from some of the anecdotes.