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The Giant’s Dark Ages; Joe Don Looney

The 1963-64 off-season started out as pure hell. We’d just lost our 3rd NFL Championship Game in a row — 14-10 to the Bears. We’d lost 16-7 to the Packers in ’62 and 37-0 to the Packers in ’61. Actually, this was our 5th Championship Game loss since the infamous 23-17, sudden death loss to the Colt in ’58. A year later in ’59 we lost to the Colts again. Yeah, we had a great defense and, yeah, we had a great passing attack — but we didn’t have a stud runner to give us that championship balance we needed. Alex Webster was past his prime. Joe Morrison was a ‘Jack of all Trades’ and Phil King was … well, he was Phil King. And, on top of that, Allie Sherman had just traded away Sam Huff — to the Redskins yet! Andy Robustelli had retired and, let’s face it, our defense was diluted. But conventional wisdom held that the best defense was a great offense. That’s why I was totally psyched when I heard that we’d drafted All-World halfback Joe Don Looney out of Oklahoma.

At 6’3” and 230 lbs, this horse could run with power and speed. Physically, he had it all. He was going to be a beast — then the Looney hit the fan. Never in the history of mankind has someone been more aptly named. Okay, maybe Crazy Horse or Attila The Friggin’ Hun. This kid was certifiably nuts, bats, screwy — loony as in … well, Looney. Wouldn’t do anything he was supposed to. No one could get through to him. Wouldn’t even tape his ankles. So, we dumped him. Played for the Colts and Lions for a while then wound up in India contemplating his navel for next decade or so while the Giants sunk into, and wallowed in, The Giant’s Dark Ages.


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4 Responses to “The Giant’s Dark Ages; Joe Don Looney”

  1. Bill says:

    Joe’s Grandson, who is 7, plays running back on long Island NY. He has all the moves even at an early age.

  2. Bill Simpson says:

    Several of my friends knew and knew of Joe Don at OU when he was there. A story I believe to be true was that Joe had a blind date one weekend and arrived at the main desk of the sorority house or dorm to pick her up. The main desk called her to come down, but when she arrived in the lobby she found she had not come quickly enough. She found a curt note that said simply, “Joe Don don’t wait on nobody.”

  3. Jose Lopez-Marron says:

    I don’t think he was that tough. He was a spoiled brat with too much money who happened to have natural talent and size. He and Jery Garcia probably would have been good “smoking” partners.

  4. Jose Lopez-Marron says:

    I forgot. The Giants management and head coach (Allie Sherman) showd they were not able to evaluate personnel: The Looney one, Francis Peay, Tucker Frederickson, etc. Give me a break. They were just as bad as the present Al Davis and his crew.

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