Tom Coughlin receives emotional voicemail from John Madden following his decision to play starters against the undefeated New England Patriots in Week 17 in 2007:
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.
John Madden Voicemail Transcript
"Just called to congratulate you and your team for a great effort last night. Not good, but great. I think it's one of the best things to happen in the NFL in the last ten years, and I don't know if they all know it, but they should be very grateful to you and your team for what you did. I believe so firmly in this: that there is only one way to play the game, and it is a regular season game and you go out and win the darn game. I was just so proud being a part of the NFL and of what your guys did and the way you did it. You proved that it's a game and there's only one way to play the game and you did it. The NFL needed it. We've gotten too much of, "Well, they're going to rest their players and don't need to win, therefore they won't win." Well, that's not sports and that's not competition. I'm a little emotional about it. I'm just so proud. It's something we all need to thank you for, and I believe the NFL needed that."