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New York Giants Friday Morning Storylines: Hall of Fame Quarterback Y.A. Tittle Battling Dementia

July 18th, 2014 at 7:00 AM
By Dan Benton

Happy Friday, New York Giants fans! In just a few short days training camp will officially begin and things will pick up tenfold. In the mean time, please enjoy these morning headlines over your first coffee of the day.

Eli Manning and Four Other NY Giants with Something to Prove in Training Camp

Eli Manning says he’s energized and revitalized, ready and excited to learn a new offensive scheme for the first time in a decade. And next week, when the Giants open training camp in East Rutherford, their two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback will finally get to show it.

The non-contact minicamps and OTAs are done, and the time for slow improvement is over. When camp begins on Tuesday, Big Blue will be hoping to see big progress from Manning.

The offense seemed to click by the end of spring workouts, and Manning said he’d seen his group improve “like night and day” by last month’s minicamp, but he still has work to do. A year ago, Manning threw a career-worst 27 interceptions, and some blamed deteriorating mechanics. To that end, Manning must polish his fundamentals, while also still honing his knowledge of the McAdoo “O.”

Hall of Fame Quarterback Y.A. Tittle Takes a Final Trip Home

You remember the picture picture. Y.A. Tittle is on his knees in the end zone after throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Swollen hands on his thigh pads, eyes fixed on the grass, he is helmetless and bleeding from the head, one dark stream snaking down his face, another curling near his ear. His shoulder pads make him seem hunched over, resigned, broken down. The black-and-white photo was taken in 1964, the final year of Tittle's career. It hangs in a silver frame at his home in Atherton, California, not with the prominence befitting one of the most iconic pictures in sports history but lost among many mementos from a Hall of Fame career. The picture is now 50 years old, and Tittle is now 87. He does not remember much anymore, but that photo is seared in his mind. "The blood picture," he calls it. He hates it.

On a December morning, he's sitting in his usual spot on his couch, flipping through a photo album. His breathing is labored. There is fluid in his lungs. Waistline aside, Tittle doesn't look much different now than he did in his playing days: bald head, high cheekbones, blue eyes that glow from deep sockets, ears that have yet to be grown into. His skin is raw and flaky, and when he scratches a patch on his head, a familiar line of blood sometimes trickles down. He shares his large house with his full-time helper, a saint of a woman named Anna. His daughter, Dianne de Laet, sits nearest him, leaning in as he touches each yellowed picture.

Remembering his Texas days seems to bring a youthful spirit out of him, which is why Dianne gave him this album today. But then he flips to a photo of himself during his college days at Louisiana State, and something slips. "Where did you get these pictures?" he says to Dianne. "I haven't seen them."

She knows that he has seen these pictures many times, of course. Some even hang in his house. Dianne is 64 years old, with blue eyes shining from a face that she tries to keep out of the sun, and it is hard for her to watch each old photo bring the joy of a new discovery. She lives feeling a loss for her father, a loss that he doesn't feel for himself — until something stirs it up. That happens when Y.A. mentions that his phone has been strangely quiet, considering that Christmas is in a few days. He suddenly realizes that he hasn't heard from his best friend from high school. "I don't think Albert died, did he?" he says.

Three Giants Who Have the Most to Gain

The Quest Diagnostics Training Center will host the first practice of the 2014 New York Giants Training Camp this Tuesday.

For some, the opportunity is there to earn prominent roles for the first time in a new-look Giants lineup.

1. TE Adrien Robinson The competition for the Giants’ fifth starting tight end in as many years is open to five players: two new veterans signed this offseason, a pair of homegrown pros, and an undrafted rookie. Adrien Robinson falls into that middle group, struggling to find playing time for a variety of reasons since being drafted by the Giants in 2012. Robinson, who has played in just three games with no receptions in his first two seasons, enters camp without an incumbent to compete with after Brandon Myers — last year’s leading tight end for Big Blue — signed with Tampa Bay in free agency.

Also…

Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at TicketScore.com, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Adrien Robinson, Brandon Myers, Eli Manning, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Y.A. Tittle

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4 Responses to “New York Giants Friday Morning Storylines: Hall of Fame Quarterback Y.A. Tittle Battling Dementia”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    kujo says:
    July 17, 2014 at 10:34 PM
    How’s it going, man? Haven’t been around here lately, whatwith the pregnancy and all. You been holding it down and keeping FF55?s knobgobbling at bay?

    I’ve been doing well “Kuj”. My mom has been in and out of the hospital since February. However, she’s doing a lot better the last month. I still keep an eye on this place. I suspect I always will. I understand you are going to be blessed with a “Kujo” Jr. All the best to him, the wife and you brother. Peace……….

    Oh yeah, FF55 hasn’t run completely amuck……………yet. LOL……………

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Will it be running amok when I remind folks that I was high on Brandon Mosley when he was a forgotten man; that I expressed doubts about Will Beatty long before he played like a high-school second-stringer last season; that Andre Williams has become the stud I suggested he would be when I said he was the steal of the draft; and that I was a huge supporter of Antrel Rolle as a player and a leader back when everyone was saying he should just shut up?

    That’s all coming, along with the dance I might do around the idiots who insist that Eli Manning has to prove something this season. Really? Two rings don’t do it? Playing without an offensive line, a running game or two really solid receivers for two seasons doesn’t explain a quarterback’s troubles? Really? Only for those who’ve never played the position or closely observed football.

    Okay, on a more important note, best wishes to rlhr with his mother. I hope that works out. I lost my father this January and my mother is in decline. It is both great, and horrible, to have parents who live to a ripe old age. And to kujo, get ready for the best thing that will ever happen to you (although having had a grandchild recently I have to say it’s a close call). Just remember, it goes fast and you MUST consider that child and any other you have more important than anything else. Careers come and go. Houses, cars, clubs, etc. are all expendable and don’t really matter. That child is a miracle and don’t you ever forget it.

    •  skinnydoogan says:

      Perhaps we should just “tap” the brakes here a little? Season has not even started and Mosely is the starter already? and good one?

      •  rlhjr says:

        FF55 you are loved.

        I do recall saying that Beatty was not big enough to be a fearsome left tackle. Not enough size in either his legs or arms.
        He did thrive a few seasons ago because he was able to handle Trent Cole.
        Sadly in the NFL and most business situations its:
        “What Have You Done for Me Lately?” That determines one’s worth.

        As for the young running back, no one has ever received less media attention for leading the nation in rushing than Mr. Williams. The kid was a beast in school. It’s almost time for pads so we will see.

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