New York Giants

The New York Giants was the first "big-city" football franchise, formed with the hopes that New Yorkers would get acquainted with the still-nascent sport of football. Of course, the New York Giants are based out of New Jersey - but no matter!

The franchise was reportedly purchased for $500, by a bookmaker named Tim Mara. He handed over the franchise later on to his sons, Jack and Wellington, making the latter the youngest football team owner in history at the age of 14.

The New York Giants have been part of sports history ever since then. They were the first team to play with "sneakers", in an effort to get better traction on an icy playing field. In the post WWII years, the New York Giants dominated the football scene with such players as Kyle Rote, Eddie Price, Rosie Brown, Frank Gifford and Sam Huff. In the late 1950s, the team's coach lineup included Tom Landry for defense and Vince Lombardi for offense.

Their 1958 game against the Baltimore Colts was known as "The Greatest Game Ever Played". It was the first game to be shown to a national broadcast television, launching professional football into the popular arena.

The success continued into the early 60s, when they won three consecutive Eastern Division titles. The tide then turned, and the New York Giants struggled through the next two decades. The team finished in last place or next-to-last eight times in the 1970s, but then things turned brighter in the 1980s when they won two NFC East division titles. By 1986, the New York Giants made it back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1956.

The New York Giants and the New York Jets have announced plans to jointly build a stadium next to the current Giants Stadium. The new facility should be ready for use in 2009.