History doesn’t lie

I was thinking back to all the years I have been a Giant fan. It is many more than I care to admit. I have seen it all from the Colts  beating us for a championship to the elation of winning a super bowl with one of the greatest finishes in N.F.L. history. Records fell as a Giant team that was a loser for 2/3 of a season played a New England team they lost to only a few weeks before and beat them. The Tyree catch ranks with the immaculate reception of Franco Harris and a few other truly unique feats that made football history. There was the Jets winning the championship vs a Colt team that seemed invincible. There was the first time an A.F.C. team beat an N.F.C. team to validate the mergter of the two leagues. There was the “ice bowl” in Green bay vs Dallas and there was the undefefeated Miami dolphins “no name” defense and a blue collar offense that made N.F.L history. I remember and cherish those memories and others that the sport has given me. The Giants went out and beat team after team on the road to get to the big dance. They played in all kinds of weather and it went from a team you thought would find a way to blow every game to a team that made you feel they were destiny’s child. They would face this Patriot Juggernaut with very few thinking they would escape alive. They won in the most dramatic way possible. A special teams player made an impossible catch and a man who would be sent to prison in a year were the heroes along with a kid who had disappointed as the #1 draft pick in the league playing like his older brother and better. It was heaven. It was one of those moments.

I wanted to take a short walk with you through arguably one of the biggest problems the Giants have always faced. They just couldn’t get it right in the front office or picking a head coach. They had many of the best minds and most successful future coaches walking their sidelines over the years but they always made their bones somewhere else. We can start with Tom Landry and point to Sean Payton and Billy B of today. There was the Parcells era which was the reward for Giant fans who had suffered through almost two decades of futility. The  marker for me was when the N.Y. Giants had to play home games in New Haven Connectict and if you wanted to see one of the worst teams in football you had to travel to one of the worst facilities. That was rock bottom.

Bill Parcells came along and no one knew what we were getting. He had coached for the Giants but was not recognized for the great coach he was until he changed history. He and George Young the new G.M, started from scratch with a plan. They had a number of high picks because of their futility and chose wisely. They had a vision from which they NEVER strayed and they took us to a super bowl and more. They mentored some of the futures best and brightest minds and although they played a ferocious defense,they won with a conservative,blue collar offense. The rebuilding Peaked with the draft of L.T. One must not forget that they also had the ability and genius to pick up players like Leonard Marshal,Gary Reasons,Mark Bavaro and others who were not exactly house hold names. They took a supposedly washed up O.J. Anderson and got several super years from him. They chose guys like Dave Meggert who came from nowhere. Carl Banks,Harry Carson,Spyder,et all were NOT on anyone’s radar but they were the core of those teams. The Giants also had a knack for bringing in formerly good players and getting a year or two years of peak performance before they retired. We won a super bowl with two of these men playing on the O.L. It was a great time,a great era,an organization that I still hold as one of the best of all time.

Some people call me negative,I am not. Some people weren’t around or too young to appreciate this time in person. Some people don’t remember the futility  and hopelessness  others did. The Giants have had severe organizational and coaching problems post Parcells/Young. The names are easily forgettable but there have been a bunch. We have had some of the brightest assts but incredibly retained none. Ernie Accorsi who has been mentioned as a good G.M. was less than mediocre in my opinion. Bad drafts,bad trades,poor to mediocre football and poor to mediocre coaches. The numbers are out their and Ernie’s last move was drafting Eli and giving away a lot of picks for that honor. He said that Eli is a once in a lifetime quarterback when Ben Rothleisberger and Phillip rivers were available that very same year. We gave up a number of high drafgt picks to get Eli and you can be the judge if Ernie was right. Is 5-6 years long emough to compare? I don’t know. We only have that many at this point. In terms of Eli being the best in a generation might be argued by the success of Rivers,Rothleisberger,Favre,Brady and if Staubach and Troy and others were thrown into the mix it gets more sticky. Is Joe Montana in the mix? Do we include Peyton Manning and maybe even Phil Simms? We can talk about that.

I was fortunate enough to play football all through college and a little later go to work with the Raider’s. The Oakland Raider’s and the L.A. Raiders. I learned a lot and got to learn from some pretty amazing people including Al Davis. I was never a full time scout but I was a game scout,I did evaluate some college guys, and my claim to fame in my mind was when I sat right next to Dick Lynch who was an idol of mine in the pressbox. Dick was doing what I was doing for the Giants. I got to go to every draft in the city I was living for eight years. I got to go to the Raider’s rookie camp every year to just revel in my passion. I still have a friend who is one of the rare few who has lasted with Al Davis for over thirty years. He got me my job.

I complain and get frustrated by this Giants team,these Giant coaches,this Giant organization and the direction this season has taken because I hsve seen so much. It reminds me of the days I suffered through. I see much of the same right now and yes,I hold certain people accountable. The game is a combination of art and science. It is physically brutal and a well choreographed dance at the same time.  My opinions,my experience,my thoughts,my life are my own and Andy asked me to share some of that with you. That is what I am trying to do.

This Giant team is presently as out of control as any I have witnessed. The offense Parcells ran  was super exciting when compared to what we are doing now. The internal problems and dissention are perhaps,the scariest thing of all.

Football is a business. It is a meat market by nature and you hire and draft the most prime you can. If you make a mistake you own up to it and fix the problem. If you don’t you become a loser. Look at what has happened to Buffalo,to the Vikings for years before this one,to the niners who were one of the great Dynasty’s in the sport and of course my Oakland Raiders,the Chicago Bears. The Giants are,in my opinion at that cross road just two years after the big one. Who woulda thunk it?

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