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On This Date in Sports December 30, 1956: They are Giants

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

The New York Football Giants win their first NFL Championship in 18 years, beating the Chicago Bears 47-7 at Yankee Stadium. Frank Gifford led the way with 161 yards total offense, including 131 receiving yards with one touchdown as New York dominated the game in the first half, building a 34-7 lead. In a repeat of the 1934 NFL Championship, the Giants chose to wear sneakers instead of cleats on a field with icy conditions. 

It was a new era for the New York Giants as they moved across the Harlem River to Yankee Stadium after three decades at the Polo Grounds. The Giants excelled in their new home as they posted a record of 8-3-1 to win the Eastern Conference by a game and a half. The Cleveland Browns had dominated the American/Eastern Conference since joining the NFL in 1950, as they played in the NFL Championship each of their first six seasons, winning three times. The Giants may have had one of the greatest coaching staffs in NFL history, as Vince Lombardi served as offensive coordinator and Tom Landry served as defensive coordinator for coach Jim Lee Howell. Frank Gifford emerged as a star in New York, winning the NFL's MVP award. 

The Chicago Bears were also making their first appearance in the NFL Championship Game since 1946. They had remained a  contender in the Western Conference but fell short as the Detroit Lions rose to become an NFL powerhouse. George Halas stepped down as coach following the 1955 season. The Bears had a strong season posting a record of 9-2-1 for Paddy Driscoll. 

The Giants and Bears met in the regular season at Yankee Stadium, with the game played on November 25th, ending in a 17-17 tie. Thinking back to the 1934 NFL Championship Game against the Bears, the Giants wore sneakers as the field was icy in the Bronx with temperatures hovering near 20°F. 

Gene Filipski started the game with a 53-yard kick return to set the tone for the day for the Giants. New York scored three plays later on a 17-yard run by Mel Triplett. New York added two field goals from Ben Agajanian and led 13-0 at the end of the first quarter. While the Giants were tallying 13 points, the Bears were tallying up mistakes with a pair of turnovers in the first quarter. After being stopped on fourth down at the end of the quarter, the Giants began to pull away as Alex Webster had a three-yard touchdown run.

Down 20-0, the Bears had their best drive of the game when Rick Casares had a nine-yard touchdown run. However, Alex Webster gained 50 yards on a screen pass from Charlie Conerly and scored from the one as the Giants were controlling every facet of the game. The Giants completed the first half domination as Henry Moore recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to extend the lead to 34-7. 

In the second half, Charlie Conerly had a pair of touchdown passes as the Giants cruised to a 47-7 win. Conerly connected with Kyle Rote on a nine-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. He hooked up with Frank Gifford in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard touchdown pass.