|Birthdate:||November 3, 1955|
|College:||Morehead State University|
|Team/Year:||New York Giants; 1979-1993|
|MVP:||Super Bowl XXI|
Phil Simms proved that quarterbacks need not come from major college football powers to succeed in the NFL. He was the New York Giants' first-round draft pick in 1979 after playing for Moorhead State College, a Division I-AA school in Kentucky.
It was a splendid choice. Simms owns nearly every major Giants' passing record, and he helped the team win two NFL championships. He led them to a victory in Super Bowl XXI by completing 22 of 25 passes while earning game MVP honors. He also brought them to the brink of their Super Bowl XXV victory, leading them to a division title before being sidelined with a foot injury. Jeff Hostetler took the Giants through the playoffs and to a 20-19 Super Bowl victory over Buffalo.
Yet for most of his career, Simms was vastly unappreciated by New York Giants fans, who awaited the second coming of Hall-of-Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle.
Simms took the starting job midway through his rookie season and for the next several years-- despite helping the team to the playoffs in 1981 for the first time in 18 years--he often was in and out of the lineup as a combination of injuries and spotty performances hampered his development.
The 1986 championship was a turning point. His leadership, his accuracy, and his mastery at spreading his passes among a number of receivers, and his fiery competitive spirit eventually won the affection of the fans. Now anyone else playing quarterback for the Giants is compared to Phil Simms.