Monday, February 04, 2008

Eli's Coming

I found this here and edited it a bit and changed the soundtrack to Laura Nyro
a quote from an email my friend Rich:
Although dating myself, I have been a NY Football Giant fan since before the 47-7 thrashing of the Chicago Bears in 1956. However, Super Bowl XLII was the sweetest victory ever attained by Big Blue. No one believed me when I said, "Eli's Coming." No one believed it could be done. It was. It was fantastic. It was glorious. And it was over Bellicheat. And it was over Brady. No perfecto!

Score one also for those who believe in a more democratic form of leadership as Tom Coughlin learned, from Allen Barra in a very prescient 1/29/08 article in the Village Voice
Throughout his 12-year pro coaching career, Tom Coughlin has given a perfect imitation of someone who is both in charge and out of control, with the result that the Giants—one of the most talented teams in the league—have also been the most erratic, forever changing the way of their errors without changing the error of their ways. Things got so bad last year that The Washington Post's Mark Maske wrote, when Coughlin accused the media of being a distraction: "What the media was distracting Coughlin's players from . . . was disliking him and disliking each other."

Somehow, at his and the Giants' nadir, Coughlin went from being someone whom the New York media regarded as only slightly more popular than Hitler (that was Coughlin's own comparison, by the way) to Wilford Brimley. Safety James Butler remarks that Coughlin is "so approachable you can talk to him about, really, anything." By all appearances, Coughlin, at age 61, has achieved the remarkable feat of changing himself from a football coach into a full-fledged human being.

The Giants now have a "leadership council" of players: "I share my thoughts with them," he recently told Sports Illustrated, "they share their thoughts with me, and they take the message to the team. My whole philosophy has been to communicate with the players better." What brought all this on? No one knows, but Coughlin's former general manager, Ernie Accorsi, the man who engineered the acquisition of Eli Manning, believes that "Tom found it in him to change and grow. It's rare when that happens in any field, but it's downright unheard-of in football. It's taken him a long time, but he no longer thinks that he knows it all. He seems to be delegating authority much better. He seems to know what he doesn't know."

But does Coughlin know enough to win a duel of wits with pro football's resident genius, Patriots coach Bill Belichick? "A good question," says Accorsi. "Not too many coaches have ever actually outsmarted the competition. Bill Walsh did. Bill Belichick has. It's a really scary thought that he has two weeks to prepare for this game."

The Giants have fired up this town the way only an underdog can—and make no mistake, despite the wild optimism of sports-radio callers and the reckless predictions of some local beat writers, the Giants are underdogs.  Big underdogs. Perhaps the biggest Super Bowl underdogs in almost 40 years.

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