Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brad Van Pelt

This Christmas, I got my son an Eli Manning #10 jersey and it appears he plans to wear it until he leaves for college. But it also made me take a moment and remember Brad Van Pelt who passed away earlier this year. With all due respects to Manning, the Giants should have retired #10 a long time ago.

In the 1970's the New York Giants were a complete disaster. Van Pelt was the stepping stone between 15 years of misery and the foundation of success that they've tenuously sustained since the mid-80's. I started to love the team in the late 70's, a dark time for Big Blue. Van Pelt was their lone superstar, a label I'm not sure he liked as he seemed a humble hard-working grunt. Van Pelt also changed the character of the team. They were once the Madison Avenue marquees of the Gifford Fifties. But with Van Pelt the team began to morph into blue collar tough guys bellied in the swamps of Jersey. I suppose he was the first sports hero I called my own and along with Harry Carson, my favorite all-time Giant.
Thanks goes out to The True Blue Review for the photo.

1 comment:

  1. He looks there like a zombie Eli Manning. He was their marquee man. I remember him well.