“He was somebody who had come from somewhere else, who’d been gotten rid of, and a lot of New Yorkers can identify with that.”
Though he was the first to admit that he didn’t look the part — “I’ve been old and baldheaded and ugly since I’ve been 28,” he reflected long afterward — Tittle became a marquee figure with the Giants and one of their most popular players. The Giants’ radio station played the novelty song “I’m in Love With Y. A. Tittle,” and when Tittle connected on long passes, Yankee Stadium reverberated to chants of “Y. A., Y. A.”
Tittle led the Giants to Eastern Conference titles in 1961, ’62 and ’63, though they were beaten each time in the N.F.L. title game.
He threw for 242 touchdowns and 33,070 yards in his 17 years as a pro, and his 36 touchdown passes in 1963 set a record that stood for 21 years. He was named the league’s most valuable…