After falling to a disappointing 0-2 record in the opening weeks of the 2013 NFL season, the New York Giants organization has made room for more in their minds than just defensive schemes and offensive plans. On Monday, head coach Tom Coughlin lost his brother in a freak accident. Steve Edelson of USA Today Sports reported that Coughlin took time out of the team’s busy preparation to speak with his players about the situation.
Coughlin’s brother John reportedly passed away unexpectedly after hitting his head when he tripped getting out of a taxi. Although the exact words Coughlin shared with his team were not disclosed, you can almost be certain he urged his players to cherish the moments and opportunities they have in both their fleeting careers and lives.
Edelson said that star wideout Victor Cruz, who can relate to a tragic family loss after losing his grandmother just over a year ago, said that Coughlin was not emotional; rather, the coach was “just putting his feelings out there and telling us exactly how he feels about us… .” Edelson continued to say that Cruz expressed the emotions that Coughlin’s situation stirred up in Cruz who said “I kind of grew some more admiration for my coach, more than I already had.”
As sad as the situation is, the Coughlin family’s loss may just be the very thing the Giants needed to redirect the course of their failing season. An emotional boost has been the clear catalyst for athletes’ amazing performances in the past and the Giants would do well to attempt to channel those emotions into a win against their opponents on Sunday, the Carolina Panthers.
Coughlin will not miss the game as Edelson reports his brother’s funeral will take place the following Tuesday. If the Giants can focus and use this boost in motivation to their benefit a la Brett Favre and Michael Jordan, they will pull off a win against Cam Newton and the Panthers.
My prayers go out to the entire Coughlin family!