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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The passing of Brad Van Pelt

I like to tell the story of one my earliest Giant memories. It was the last Sunday of the season, the Giants were playing the LA Rams, they were 9-4 and a win meant the Giants were in the playoffs. They lost. That was 1970, and it took 11 more years until they got to the playoffs. During that time, being a Giants fan meant a whole lotta misery. How you got through it was basically an exercise in self-deception. You focused on the defense, and that meant watching guys like Mendenhall and Van Pelt. Van Pelt made the Pro Bowl 5 times, so that was the way you wore your colors. At least we had a guy who could make a difference.

Bluenatic tells the story of how Van Pelt was the oasis in the 1970's desert. And like others who wandered there too long, his star faded just as the championship arrived.

Russ stated in yesterday's comments that the Giants would be fortunate enough if they could get a LBer this year who could play like #10. Amen to that.

Long live Brad Van Pelt in our fondest of Giant Big Blue memories.


Russ Wellen said...

Thanks for sending us over to Bluenatic, Andy. I'd completely forgotten about the Crunch Bunch. Van Pelt, Kelly, Carson, and LT on the same team boggles the mind.

Motown Blue said...

Sad that we always truly get to appreciate those great and integral players until they part ways. Brad was the one guy I looked to for hope in those dismal years that actually flirted with blackouts. I recall acking my Dad what that meant when they announced it on the radio that tey were on the cusp of not selling out.

In his 11 years he had only 1 winning season. Think about that as it relates to the present day players who rant and rave about salaries and a franchises commitment to winning.

Other tidbits on Van Pelt. He played in all stadiums for the Gs with the exception of the Polo Grounds. In a speech by LT for a rookie award he ackowledged Van Pelt for mentoring him off the field. Van Pelt was known as an MVP off the field in NYC in his days.

I would like to open up a debate on an available player in free agency, Haynesworth. My feel is a DT to match with Robbins would make this D and elite unit. My concern is why would the Titans not franchise him. There are questions regarding consistency, dedication and to a lesset degree character but the guy is a monster. Imagine Tuck, HAYNESWORTH, Robbins and Umenyiora as a unit.....freaky. I hope Wonder can comment on this????

markfalconer said...

Wow...that's young.

I had a litter of cats w/the wife ages ago. There were 3. We named them Harry, Brad and Lawrence.

Our friends thought we were strange!

Russ Wellen said...

Motown Blue wrote:
"Imagine Tuck, HAYNESWORTH, Robbins and Umenyiora"

And don't forget the rotation would hopefully include Cofield and Kiwanuka.

xtian said...

back in those bleak 70's after fran tarkington left, we had a decent defense and an outstanding lbers with van pelt and carson regularly going to the pro bowl.

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