Four consecutive years without a playoff appearance and three consecutive years with a losing record will do that to any football team.
The time had come for the New York Giants to go in a different direction with their head coach. The start of the New Year would bring a different face to the sidelines for one of the most successful franchises in the NFL.
A face that is not Tom Coughlin’s.
You can easily make the argument that the lack of talent is the main reason why the Giants and Coughlin failed over the last four years.
Although that may be true, the NFL is a results-oriented business. If you don’t win, change will occur, even for a two-time Super Bowl Champion.
The Giants and Coughlin handled his departure in the classiest of manners on Monday.
The Giants thanked Coughlin for his outstanding 12 years with the organization and Coughlin discussed how his departure should not bring sadness, but joy for what he was able to accomplish.
The future Hall of Famer couldn’t have said it any better.
Don’t get me wrong, it’ll be sad for many Giants fans to see a different face on the sidelines next year, but it’s the nature of the business.
Legendary Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry was fired and Joe Torre was offered an insulting contract in 2007 that he had to decline, forcing him to leave the New York Yankees.
Unfortunately, these sort of things happen, even to future Hall of Famers.
In sports, nothing lasts forever. Coaches, players, sometimes even owners eventually move on.
However, the 12 years of Tom Coughlin’s regime will be remembered forever among New York sports fans.
You’ll remember Coughlin’s stoic personality, his frozen red face in the NFC title game at frigid Lambeau Field in 2008, and, most of all, you’ll remember Tom Coughlin holding up the Lombardi Trophy not once, but twice.
Coughlin won’t be remembered for ending his career with three consecutive losing seasons, instead he’ll be remembered for knocking off the undefeated New England Patriots in one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history is 22-7 for his career in the postseason. He’s 0-2 against Tom Coughlin in the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XLVI bought Coughlin equity over these last three losing seasons, but even for a future Hall of Famer, nobody is coach for life.
Not in the National Football League.
Considering all of the amazing memories Coughlin and the Giants have delivered for the fan base, it’s very easy to look back and realize how amazing this run truly was.
Even as a guy who does not root for the New York Giants, I found Tom Coughlin’s Giants very easy to root for over the years.
I admired Coughlin’s tenacity, his discipline and his will to win.
For a man known for his toughness, he’ll be remembered as a coach who put his players interests above all else.
To see the reactions from former Giants like Justin Tuck, Steve Weatherford and Shaun O’Hara, you can just sense how much they appreciated and loved not just Tom Coughlin the football coach, but Tom Coughlin the person.
My main take away from reading all of these stories from current and former Giants players is how Coughlin wanted to teach not only football lessons, but lessons for life.
Bill Parcells said famously many years ago regarding retired Giants quarterback Phil Simms, “They’ll appreciate him more when he’s gone.”
I think we’ll be saying the same thing about Tom Coughlin.
JJ’s Wild Card Weekend Unlocks
(Season Record: 36-42-3)
• Kansas City -3
• Pittsburgh -2.5
• Minnesota +5.5
• Washington -1.5
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