The Hall of Fame Game is in 34 days…
New York Giants Hall of Famer, the legendary Frank Gifford, scored 34 rushing touchdowns during his 12-year career wearing exclusively Big Blue. That’s a number good enough for seventh on the all-time Giants list. Remember, the NFL didn’t incorporate the 16-game schedule until 1978, so Gifford was only suiting up for between 10-14 games per season. In today’s modern NFL that would equate to 8.5 touchdowns per season; and running back was hardly his lone position.
Gifford came into the league as an offense/defense “platoon” player in 1952 before eventually moving on from defensive back and occupying RB full-time. Entering the 1962 season, the Giants again converted Gifford to a wide receiver, and AGAIN he reached Pro Bowl heights (eight appearances). During those twilight years (retired after 1964) he reeled in 110 receptions and 17 touchdowns from the flanker. For his career, Gifford recorded 43 receiving scores — there’s that 3 and 4 again.
Other significance of the #34: Brandon Jacobs donned the number in his return trip to the Giants in 2013, a season in which he rushed for 34 yards per game. Indeed, numerology is a funny thing…
Rookie safety Nat Berhe will carry the burden of 34 in 2014. Big Blue Nation will get its first taste of Berhe’s energizer bunny activity level and “take no prisoners” aggression on August 3rd versus Buffalo in Canton, Ohio. We’re not expecting jack-of-all-trades contributions from young Nat, but a live body on the back line would be a welcome commodity.
For some fans, training camp signifies the entry point into football paradise. For others, however, watching the Hall of Fame Game on NFL Network is when that sensation truly clicks. Pads. Hitting. Battling for roster spots. Betting lines.
Is it football season yet?