Thursday, September 27, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Tom Coughlin: A Football Life (2012) ***

NR, 45 min.
Narrator: Josh Charles
Starring: Tom Coughlin, Judy Coughlin, Michael Strahan, Doug Flutie, Bill Parcells, Dick Vermeil, Kate Snee

The year before Tom Coughlin was named the head coach of the New York Football Giants my dad wrote a letter to my brother and I about how bad times don’t diminish how great it is to be a Giants fan. His letter spoke of both the past and the future; not just what was, but what would be. I don’t know if my father realized how soon those good times would come back to being a Giants fan, but I think he had an idea when Coughlin’s name was announced. Coughlin was a Giants coach during their 1990 Championship season. Coughlin as head coach only meant more championships to come.

Not being an actual New Yorker, I was removed enough from the New York sports press not to get caught up in their ridiculous notions that Coughlin wasn’t the right man for the job. From the moment he took over, it was obvious that the spark from the late 80s was back in the franchise. It was interesting to witness Coughlin change his image in order to turn his team around. It was incredible to see them win not one, but two unlikely championships under his guidance. And I don’t believe he’s done.

No NFL coach has ever reminded me so much of my father. It isn’t just because he’s the head coach of our Big Blue. He looks a little like my father. My father was also an athletics coach. Seeing Coughlin in coaching mode always reminds me of seeing my father as a coach when I was younger. My father was probably more approachable than Coughlin, but their philosophies seem to be very similar. I’m glad Coughlin is still the Giants coach because of the connection he makes in my mind with my father. It will be hard when one day he retires from the Giants.

My father would’ve loved this documentary. I can just imagine his excitement in anticipation of seeing it. I find myself sharing the same enthusiasm my father did for these sorts of tributes to the team he guided me toward. Wow! That’s a polite way to say it. I may have been kicked out of the house had I not been a Giants fan. I almost kicked my own son out the other night when he chose to play against the Giants on Madden Football. Why would you ever choose to play against the Giants?

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