When the Texans play the Giants Sunday it'll be a match-up of the league's youngest franchise against one of the oldest.
These two teams have only gotten together every four years so I haven't gotten to talk much about the importance the Giants have in helping make the NFL the most successful sports league in the world.
Without the late Wellington Mara agreeing to let the league divide national TV rights fee money equally, losing his stranglehold on New York market dollars, we wouldn't have the kind of balance we do today.
In 1958, The Giants lost an overtime thriller to the Colts (uggh) in the NFL championship game. Kids, this was 10 seasons before we had a Super Bowl. The ratings were huge and the game brought the NFL to a new level of national appreciation. The Jets started two years later and were called the Titans, playing in the fledgling AFL.
Within a couple of seasons, Pete Rozelle took over as NFL commissioner and sought out bigger TV dollars from the networks. He also pushed the then-radical concept that every game should be televised to increase the league's popularity.
To make the idea work, the Giants would have to cooperate. At the time they were getting quadruple the TV dollars of some teams because they lived in the country's biggest market.
Rozelle got his wish and the league took off in popularity as each franchise was able to compete financially and nurture its on field product accordingly.
If you look at other sports, the national television money is divided evenly but so much of their revenue is from local market TV, creating an imbalance between large and smaller markets.
The Giants could have fought this but knew what was in the best interest of the sport. With more revenue, they could've afforded higher salaried players and won more games.
So we all owe a bit of thanks to the Maras for helping create a model that provides us with endless entertainment.
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