Players' Tribune Oral History Series

The Players’ Tribune podcast network presents a journey inside some of the most historic moments in sports, as told by the players themselves.

Episode 1: Giant Steps

Greatness isn’t a fluke or an anomaly. Oftentimes, it’s the result of a process — a process that moves slowly, one step at a time, from the bottom up.

Such was the case for the 1986 New York Giants. Long before Eli Manning led them to Super Bowl wins in 2008 and ’12, the Giants were a team known mostly for futility and failure. Despite being one of the NFL’s flagship franchises, New York had only won four league championships — and no Super Bowls — since its founding in 1925.

But in the early 1980s, a newly minted head coach named Bill Parcells and a first time defensive coordinator named Bill Belichick began collecting the pieces of what would become one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history. Their quest to change the fortunes of a franchise culminated in 1986 with the team’s first Super Bowl victory — but that short synopsis doesn’t even begin to tell the real story.

This is Giant Steps, the first oral history podcast offering from The Players’ Tribune. In one hour, Giant Steps goes behind the scenes to get the inside scoop on how two men transformed a group of talented individuals into a team of champions. Narrated by former New York defensive end Michael Strahan, the hour-long podcast tells the story of the 1986 Giants in the words of several former players from New York’s legendary defense, as well as Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells.

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