Tom Coughlin took “CenterStage” last night on the YES Network. In the interview show hosted by Michael Kay, the Giants’ head coach discussed everything from David Tyree’s Friday practice before Super Bowl XLII to the “contract” he has with his wife regarding how many days he must take off from football.
Here are a few highlights from the interview, which was originally taped in April:
Tom Coughlin talks about advice his father gave him his sophomore year of high school that still sticks with him to this day:
We got beat one afternoon at home, against Clyde-Savannah (N.Y.). After the game, I came home, one of my buddies must have dropped me off ‘cause I went to the front door of the house. As I started to open the door, my dad was standing in the doorway. He looked at me and he said, “If that’s the best effort you’re going to give, you probably ought to find something else to do with your time.” It really hit me hard because, mothers and fathers, (when) they tell you they’re watching the game, they’re watching you. This is the way my dad perceived that particular effort that day (and) he was right.
On Frank Maloney’s hiring of Tom as an assistant for his alma mater back in 1974:
Frank (Maloney)’s 33 years old, I approached him at the end of this talk, I introduced myself, and I said, “You know, I played at Syracuse, I’ve been out a couple of years, I’m a football coach; if there’s ever any interest in talking to me, I’d be interested in talking with you.” That was it, I figured, I’m not going to hear another word. Couple weeks later, I got a phone call, Frank invited me to come down for an interview. It was going to be an evening interview, I had it all wired. I worked all day, and I knew exactly when I was going to get home. I was going to shower, shave and dress: (wear a) suit, put a coat and tie on, leave at an exact time, walk in, 10, 15 minutes early for my interview, it would be perfect. Best laid plans of mice and men. We’ve got two little ones at that time, Judy and I. I came home, and I structured this just as I said. Got everything to go, got ready to leave, and kissed my wife and the kids goodbye, started out the door, no car keys. Where are my car keys? Now I start to sweat, I’m sweating right through my jacket and my shirt. Judy and I tear the house up looking for these car keys. I can’t find them.
Finally I call Frank Maloney, and I said, “Frank, you know, I have to tell you, I’m all set to go, but I can’t find the car keys.” He said, “Well, why don’t you take another hour, see what you can do, call me back if you can’t find them.” I couldn’t find them. I called him back, and he started laughing. You know he said, “Hey, I got kids too.” We had found the car keys; they were in a bobby pin basket under the sink. My crawler (toddler) had grabbed the keys, and dropped it in a bobby pin basket. I never got to go that particular night for my interview. Of course, I’m thinking, “Oh my God, I’ve blown it. This was my chance.” I was (horrified) because I didn’t know what to expect. This was a Division I job, I’m in Division III. Frank invited me down a week later, and it all worked out. But for that one moment in time, I thought, “Well, I’ve just blown my opportunity here.”
Tom receives emotional voicemail from John Madden following his decision to play starters against the undefeated New England Patriots in Week 17:
The next morning (I got a) call from John Madden, which meant all the world. When I came, there was a light on in my phone voicemail. I picked up the phone, “Tom, this is John Madden, I just want to tell you what you and your team did last night is the greatest thing that’s happened in the NFL in the last 10 years. I’m pretty emotional about this, but I believe there’s only one way to play a game, and that’s to win. You play every game to win, you play as hard as you can, and that’s what sports are all about.” As a matter of fact, I listen to it once awhile, every now and then.
His thoughts about the New York Giants chances of beating the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and David Tyree’s Friday practice before “The Catch”:
Absolutely, you’ve got to believe you’re going to win. Now I have to tell you about Friday, which is a great story. We brought in on a Friday practice what we call the green zone and the red zone. You’re going to work on move the field capacity and short yardage, goal line, that type of thing. We get down to the green zone; we had been using David Tyree, who was a Pro-Bowl special team player. David was also very physical, and David would come down and block the safeties. So we decided to employ David in that capacity, but also, to run some patterns for us. He would look as if he’s going to block, and then he would—well, that day was probably the worst practice I have ever seen anybody have. David couldn’t catch the ball. When that practice was over, Eli went to David Tyree and said, “Don’t worry, David, you’ll be there when we need you.” Of course…he makes probably the greatest individual play –I am biased — in the history of (the Super Bowl).
The unique “contract” Tom has with his wife regarding how many days per year are absent of football:
Five days. She calls it her contract. It’s after the season, she gets five days, she’s tried to negotiate for more and I’ve tried to negotiate for less. I’m OK until about the last day (without football), or the last day and a half. Then I get a little itchy because I’ve read the book, I’ve walked around the beach, I’ve sat in the shade. I’ve gone to dinner, what more am I going to do now, besides get back to work?
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Tags: David Tyree, Super Bowl XLII, Tom Coughlin
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