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06 February 2012

On Coughlin and My Old Man

I've always liked Tom Coughlin, but until last night, I wasn't sure why.

Growing up, I found myself intrigued by the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, built to win "now," as opposed to their newly birthed counterparts, the Carolina Panthers.  The Jags had a left-handed quarterback with some mobility, Mark Brunell, and a coach that didn't take any prisoners, Tom Coughlin.  Both of these men, as stock characters of sorts, intrigued me.  I've always liked Coughlin.

I (think I) remember that soon after the Giants hired Tom Coughlin, he manged to get a whole bunch of players upset.  He was too tough, too demanding.  He instituted these meetings and asked the players to be here or there earlier than they had been required to be in the past.  And the media railed.  I've always liked Coughlin.


And then Coughlin allegedly got kinder and gentler.  So, a few years ago, there went Eli Manning (who had problems of his own) and Tom, never wavering, winning the biggest game of their respective lives against the Goliaths of football, replete with the Darth Vader of Coaching, the guy who was meaner than Coughlin but could get away with it.

A not-so-flashy coach defeats Bill Belichick.  Eli Manning has the game of his life.  Giants win the Super Bowl. I've always liked Coughlin.

I found myself in almost the same place last night.  Sitting on a couch.  Fourth quarter.  Giants down.  Eli with the ball.  Coughlin with his trademark glare.  Gone were the questions over whether Eli could be considered elite.  Gone were Coughlin's detractors who whispered whether he had "lost the team" after a few terrible losses this season.

Eli to Manningham in one of the best money throw and catches you'll ever see.

Bradshaw up the middle.  Touchdown.  Down goes Goliath.  Again.

There stood Coughlin on the podium after the game, giving the credit to his guys, the players he had supposedly lost during the season.  Same steely eyes.  Some measured voice.  I've always liked Coughlin.

But why?

Last night, as I watched Coughlin coached I realized why I liked him.  I thought it was great when he got upset over the non-pass interference call.  I thought it was great how quickly he calmed down again.  I loved it when he put his hands on his hips with that, "you got to be kidding me" look.  I loved the consistent clap, rap-rap-rap, that he always does, urging his guys on.  I've always liked Coughlin.

I realized I like Tom Coughlin because he reminds me of my dad.  I realized that I loved the way Coughlin supported Eli because that's the same way my dad supported me.

I've always loved my dad.

1 comment:

DaisyMama08 said...

LOVED this !! Great game by the way--not a single Patriots fan at my party!!