51° Good Evening
51° Good Evening

Chris Snee, Osi Umenyiora to be inducted into Giants Ring of Honor on Sunday

Chris Snee celebrates against the New England Patriots

Chris Snee celebrates against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on Feb. 5, 2012. Credit: Getty

Chris Snee and Osi Umenyiora, a pair of two-time Super Bowl champions, will be inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor at halftime of Sunday night's game against the 49ers along with John Johnson and Jack Lummus.

Snee retired at the beginning of last year's training camp and Umenyiora announced his retirement this summer. They are the first inductees who were on both the Super Bowl XLII and XLVI teams.

"Honestly, it caught me a little off guard," Snee said of the distinction. "I know Mr. [John] Mara said that when I retired I would be going in, in the near future, but it still was something that kind of overwhelmed me when he told me. I think in large part because I feel somedays I wake up and I should be going to practice. I'm not that far removed from the game. But to be going up there with the names that are up there, it's overwhelming. I've been a little restless at night, because honestly I'm excited and kind of shocked that it's all happening."

Snee will be one of only four offensive linemen in the Ring of Honor, joining Mel Hein, Rosie Brown, and Al Blozis.

"To me, he was the best guard in all of football," said Tom Coughlin, Snee's only head coach in the NFL as well as his father-in-law. "No doubt. No matter who you put him against, all of the great defensive tackles in the game, the 350 (pound) guys, the 340 guys, he blocked them. When he first came here, he was so, so committed and so driven to excel at the professional level as he had excelled at the collegiate level."

Like Snee, Umenyiora played 10 seasons for the Giants. He did play another two in Atlanta before retiring with the Giants in August.

"Osi was certainly one of the premier defensive ends in the game and a key part of our two Super Bowl teams," said Mara, the Giants co-owner. "But he was much more than that. Osi had so much pride and always gave 100 percent. He represented himself and our team on and off the field like a true professional and was a great example to his teammates."

Snee said it was significant for the two players to be the first to represent the 2007 and 2011 championship teams in the Ring of Honor.

"It is special, because I think it was a great era," Snee said. "The more I get to be around Giants fans and the appreciation for that decade when we were around, the success we had, it was really an exciting time to be a Giant fan. They'll be many more. Obviously, we played with a lot of great players. Eli [Manning] and [Justin] Tuck are still playing, and there will be others I'm sure that will get up there. To be the first two from quite an accomplished decade is special."

The two other inductees saw less significant time on the field but are being honored for off-the-field accomplishments.

John Johnson, now 98, was an athletic trainer for the team from 1948 to his retirement in 2007. He worked with 12 head coaches from Steve Owen to Tom Coughlin throughout his 928-game career with the team. Most of the names already in the Ring of Honor owe at least part of their feats to his healing skills.

"Leaving a legacy is something that we all strive to do, and John Johnson achieved that and more," said Ronnie Barnes, the Giants' current senior vice president of medical services who began his Giants career in 1976 with Johnson. "He was a licensed massage therapist and physical therapist with tremendous hands. Michael Strahan sought him out and made John his personal athletic trainer. He cared for him with the same compassion that he had for Y.A. Tittle, Frank Gifford and Charlie Conerly."

"They were the greatest," Johnson said of the long list of players he treated. "I don't know what I'm doing up there. Here we were, with a great Hall of Fame all around me. Good coaches, great players. You go back 60 years, that's a long time."

As for Jack Lummus, he played just nine games for the Giants in 1941 as a two-way end. In January 1942 Lummus gave up his football career to enlist in the Marine Corps Reserves. On March 8, 1945, Lummus was mortally wounded on Iwo Jima when he stepped on a land mine and lost his legs.

On May 5, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed a citation posthumously awarding the Medal of Honor to 1st Lt. Jack Lummus.

New York Sports