What is your favorite non-football Tom Coughlin memory?
It is impossible to select only one. I had the privilege and the pleasure to attend 11 Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation Golf Classics in Jacksonville, as well as the annual Champions for Children dinner in Manhattan. I’ve also seen him deliver speeches at numerous other events. There is no more inspirational, dynamic and passionate speaker than coach Coughlin, particularly when he discusses the Jay Fund. I enjoyed listening to every one of those speeches, and hope to hear many more. I also had the honor to enjoy a weekly 15-20-minute one-on-one session in his office two or three days before every one of his 203 games with the Giants. I was there to conduct the Q&A for our weekly series, the Coughlin Corner, but seldom did a week pass that we didn’t discuss family matters, national events or the latest NFL news. Sometimes, he would get angry at the questions I asked. More often, though, he provided detailed, thoughtful, candid responses. His off-the-record musings were priceless – and humorous. I will miss those meetings.
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Which is a more memorable season, 2007 or 2011?
To me, it’s always been 2007, for two reasons. First, many people outside the organization thought Tom Coughlin should have been fired after a tumultuous 2006 season. The next year, new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense got strafed for 80 points while losing the first two games. Had anyone suggested then that the Giants would win that season’s Super Bowl, they would have had their sanity questioned. But a resolute Coughlin never flinched, never panicked, and the Giants won their next six games. The second reason is that 2007 was the Year of the Patriots. They were 16-0 in the regular season (including a victory over the Giants in the finale). When they won their first two postseason games, they seemed destined to be undefeated Super Bowl champions. They weren’t, because the Giants upset them in Super Bowl XLII, one of the greatest achievements in NFL history.