"Giants among Men" author Jack Cavanaugh at Borders on Nov. 13

"Giants among Men" author Jack Cavanaugh at Borders on Nov. 13

Image: Jack Cavanaugh Jack Cavanaugh, adjunct professor of journalism at Fairfield University, was hard at work last year researching and writing a book that would detail the rise of the New York Giants in the mid and late-1950s and early 1960s. The book was intended to recapture the formidable characters who made up one of the teams in the "Greatest Game Ever Played," 50 years ago in 1958 between the Giants and the Baltimore Colts. It was as if today's Giants could feel the ghosts of the past and made their own stab at history, coming from behind to win a staggering - and by most predictors "improbable" - victory over the highly favored New England Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.

Whether swept up in the glorious Giant season of today or looking back on the pioneers who first brought glory to Big Blue, "Giants Among Men," published by Random House, is a book to be savored. Several book stores, libraries and community organizations have invited the author to speak about the book and this Thursday, Nov. 13, he will be speaking at Border's Books in Fairfield, 1499 Post Road, at 7 p.m.

For Connecticut residents, Cavanaugh's story has special meaning because the players were so much a part of the local scene - conducting summer pre-season training camps at Fairfield University and frequenting the local stores and restaurants. When Stamford native Andy Robustelli was traded to the Giants in 1956, he introduced the players to his hometown and at one point a third of the team made Stamford their home base.

But it's through the members of the team, some who were World War II veterans, that the real story of the NFL's rise to prominence is told. During that era the Giants had six Hall of Fame players: Frank Gifford, Emlen Tunnell, Roosevelt Brown, Sam Huff, Y.A. TIttle, and Andy Robustelli; and two Hall of Fame coaches, Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi. Many of the players went on to lucrative business or broadcasting careers. Cavanaugh calls them "probably the smartest team of all time."

Throughout his career Cavanaugh worked on newspapers in New Haven and Providence and, later, was a longtime sportswriter for the New York Times after working as a news reporter for ABC News and CBS News. He is also the author of the Pulitzer-Prize-nominated "Tunney," a book about former heavy-weight champion Gene Tunney.

Posted On: 11-10-2008 10:11 AM

Volume: 41 Number: 126