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Michael Strahan, John Mara, and Steve Tisch; New York Giants (November 28, 2021)

Michael Strahan, John Mara, and Steve Tisch – © USA TODAY Sports

THE STORYLINE:
An open letter to ownership of the New York Football Giants:

Dear Mara and Tisch families,

If you are even aware of my website, I’m sure you don’t place much value in my opinion or the opinions of the many fans of your franchise who post on it. Aside from the harsh criticism your families have received from us, you probably hold the same views so famously espoused by Jim Mora in 1989:

You guys really don’t know when it’s good or bad, when it comes right down to it… And I’m promising you right now, you don’t know whether it’s good or bad. You really don’t know, because you don’t know what we’re trying to do, you guys don’t look at the films, you don’t know what happened, you really don’t know. You think you know, but you DON’T KNOW, and you never WILL, okay?

And you would be right. We don’t know what really is going on inside your franchise. And we never will know the full story. Yet while we may never know what lurks below the surface, we do see what rests on the waves. And it isn’t pretty.

Furthermore, while we may not see the full picture, you run significant risks of (1) group think, and (2) not being able to see the forest for the trees.

The fan base believes the following: NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle had to intervene in the ownership dispute between Wellington and Tim Mara in 1979, which led to the hiring of George Young who built the front office structural foundation that continues to this day. I was personally raised in an era of Giants’ football when George Young’s philosophy was “owners own, managers manage, and coaches coach.” Right or wrong, I still believe in that overall philosophy when it comes to running a sports franchise. And we all witnessed the fruits of this structure with the team appearing in five Super Bowls, winning four of them.

I don’t think most fans are suggesting ownership moves away from this philosophy. But as with any private- or public-sector organization, the success or failure of the enterprise depends on the quality of the people operating within it. You may have surrounded yourself with people you have personally become attached to, but that does not mean they are good at their jobs. Some people burn out. Others can’t adapt to changing times. Some were never really good at their jobs in the first place and don’t deserve the reputation you think they have.

We fans may not know much, but what we know is this…your franchise is broken. You have spent almost a decade spinning your wheels trying to improve the team. You are about to change general managers for the third time. You are currently on your fourth head coach. This has become a very unstable team and the rest of the league must know it too. Because George Young was the paragon of stability, this has to gnaw at you. But don’t let your fear of further instability prevent you from doing what is necessary to structurally fix this mess once and for all.

Let’s cut to the chase and be brutally honest here. You messed up. It’s OK. We’re all human. It happens. Ernie Accorsi’s two GM recommendations did not work out. Dave Gettleman told you what you wanted to hear, that is, you didn’t need to completely rebuild the team, you still have time to win with Eli Manning. That was a huge error. Now the fear is you will likely be swayed by GM and possibly HC candidates who tell you what you want to hear, that is, we can still win with Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. The alternative is almost too painful to contemplate, the team blew the #2 and #6 picks in the draft. Don’t fall into that trap again. If mistakes were made, no matter how catastrophic, move on. Or you will remain in the same position you are in right now. Purgatory.

I have three unsolicited recommendations for you:

(1) Use non-team-related surrogates you trust to ask around the NFL what others think of your team, including ownership, front office, and player personnel. Actually listen to what others are saying. You won’t like what you hear, but you need to hear the truth, not what people know you want to hear.

(2) For Christ’s sake, get your family members out of the personnel department. Even if they are good at their jobs, which is a matter open for debate, this is a terrible look for you and your franchise. The negatives far outweigh the positives. And those family members who are involved in the day-to-day, front office positions should fully recognize this themselves. Do what is right for the organization.

(3) Don’t be afraid to blow this up again. You may like Joe Judge, but he has not earned any political capital to influence what you do moving forward. Any QUALITY prospective GM must feel as if he can hire the coach he wants to work with. Get your GM-HC hires in sync with each other. Fans are OK with the short-term instability if they see a long-term plan. Right now, no one sees any plan. Nothing is getting better. It’s only getting worse. Your moves should not be reactive, based appeasing the angry masses, but simply putting the team on the right path. The added benefit is the fans will eventually come along when the product improves.

On a final note, you do run a significant risk here if the team remains a bottom feeder. This isn’t the 1970’s anymore where young people will blindly follow a losing franchise because their parents did. Worse, you are not only losing young fans but long-time ones who are tuning the team out. The team often isn’t even competitive when losing. My interest has waned. My teenage kids want to like the team, but now they just kind of laugh at the franchise, preferring to spend their free time on more enjoyable activities. They have more to choose from than kids in the 1970s. So do the adults.

We may all sound like unappreciative, hyper-critical assholes to you. But we’re the ones still here and watching. We’re pissed because we care. The moment you stop hearing from us is when you should really start to panic. And that time is rapidly approaching.

Go Giants!

THE INJURY REPORT:
Of those on Reserve/Covid-19 List, only Julian Love and possibly Danny Shelton are likely to play.

  • RB Saquon Barkley (ankle – probable)
  • FB Cullen Gillaspia (shin – probable)
  • WR Darius Slayton (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • WR Kadarius Toney (shoulder – out)
  • WR John Ross (knee/COVID ramp up – out)
  • WR Collin Johnson (hamstring – out)
  • TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle – probable)
  • TE Chris Myarick (hip – questionable)
  • OL Billy Price (personal – doubtful)
  • OT Nate Solder (COVID ramp up – questionable)
  • OL Ben Bredeson (ankle – probable)
  • OL Korey Cunningham (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • NT Austin Johnson (foot – questionable)
  • NT Danny Shelton (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • DE Dexter Lawrence (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • DL Raymond Johnson (illness – probable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad/COVID ramp up – questionable)
  • CB Keion Crossen (COVID ramp up – probable)
  • S Julian Love (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • PK Graham Gano (illness – probable)
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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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