Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Coughlin Rises From Dead...Again

By Tony Mangia


Maybe the New York Giants are just getting into the Halloween spirit.  There seem to be so many frightful cliches to describe their play after they turned the Dallas Cowboys into a thing that goes bump on Monday night, 41-35.  They put the final nail in the Cowboy's playoff dreams coffin.  The ghoulish Giants front four buried Tony Romo on the five-yard line, then planted a tombstone inscribed with "R.I.P. Super Bowl Dreams".

The whole Giants team turned the Cowboys into zombies for most of the game. Tom Coughlin has become Count Dracula and risen from the dead...once again.

The whole team basically toilet-papered and soaped up Jerry Jones $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium last night, but is Coughlin really becoming the undead?

One month ago angry throngs of Giants fans armed with pitchforks, torches and PSL's took to the swamps of the Meadowlands bent on ridding the team of the mad head coach. He is too strict and the game has passed him by they cried.  It has become a a fall ritual in New York since 2004.  Every year the same frightful screams for the coach's head and new blood. 

This year's Van Helsing was going to be Bill Cowher--the former Steelers head coach.  Rumors swirled that the "retired" TV analyst who has ties to the Mara family and would be interested in the Giants position, if it opened.  The Giants were 1-2 and the locker room had players tossing garlic and holy water onto the oft-criticized Coughlin. The team been mauled by the Tennessee Titans and looked like a ghost of the team that won the Super Bowl just a few years earlier. The team looked like a group of lost boys and tempers were flaring.

Coughlin, as he has always done in the past, never backed down.  The G-men finally rose up and played disciplined football--Coughlin-style football-- and punished the Chicago Bears (Midway Monsters? More like Monsters Inc.) while knocking out two Bears QBs in the process.  They chainsawed the Texans in Houston, Freddy Krugered the Lions at home and last night sent a message to the NFL that the Giants team is alive!

Big Blue fans might recall that the Giants started 2007 at 0-2 and ended up winning a Super Bowl.  This team has a similar feel. Coughlin took control then and is at it again.

Over the years, Coughlin has been called out by many players beginning with Jeremy "Cujo" Shockey and Tiki "Carrie" Barber to this year's town crier, Antrelle Rolle.  Since becoming Giants head coach, Coughlin has had only one losing season--his first--and a Super Bowl victory.  Barber retired and had to watch that upset victory from his prom seat on the Today Show, while newcomer Rolle has settled into the Coughlin system and they are winning.

The rosy-cheeked coach is an instructor and disciplinarian.  He has a good track record of sending many of his assistants on to bigger assignments and he molded Eli Manning into one of the NFL's most efficient quarterbacks.  He even taught Barber how not to fumble.

Everything is clicking for the Giants.  Brandon Jacobs looks like Frankenstein instead of Frankenberry and  Manning has reverted into Dr. Jekyll and not Mr. Hyde.  Even punter Matt Dodge doesn't look like Igor kicking some corpse's brain on fourth down.  Hell, the mad scientist Coughlin was correct on four replay challenges against the Cowboys last night!

Everyone in Jersey knows about the bodies buried all around the Meadowlands.  Every year disgruntled Giants fans look for another body to add to the graveyard after the first losing streak.  Tom Coughlin is always the first one they seek and every season he rises up. I can't imagine next year the townspeople won't be marching through the streets in their Giants blue looking for Coughlin's body parts again.

The head coach's contract is through 2011. He is getting up in age. His rules are outdated. The game is passing him by.  Tom Coughlin's annual resurrection with the Giants could be a Stephen King novel.  Let's call it The Blue Man in the Swamp.

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