Dec 082004
Washington Redskins 31 – New York Giants 7

Game Overview: Forget everything I said last week about having patience. This team is one of the worst in the NFL and it will not be a contender for years. In the era of free agency and the salary cap, the product on the field is ultimately determined by differences in ownership, management, and coaching. And the Giants are so out-classed by the elite of the NFL in these three areas that simply put there is no hope.

Ernie Accorsi, a former public relations man, has been an unsuccessful general manager for three teams (Colts, Browns, and Giants) and 17 years. His teams have never won a Championship but ownership will not fire him. And his supposed coup de main, the trading up for Eli Manning in return for multiple draft picks, has blown up in his face and mortgaged next year’s draft.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s last four teams have been 7-9, 6-10, 6-10, and 5-7 (on the way to 5-11). The Giants finished the 2003 season with an 8-game losing streak. The 2004 Giants will likely finish with a 9-game losing streak. Right now, he looks like another failed NFL re-tread. Once again, the Giants have hired the wrong coach.

But it all starts at the top. The Mara-Tisch partnership, inaugurated in 1991, has proven to be a complete disaster. Occasional winning seasons do not erase 14 years of incompetence. It’s the owners who keep Accorsi on and who hired Coughlin.

Co-owners Wellington Mara (old age) and Robert Tisch (brain cancer) will pass away soon. Their respective families will inherent their halves of the team. Unless the families sell the team to someone who knows something about implementing a winning football program, the Giants will likely remain inconsistent and uninspiring.

Get ready for a return to 1970’s-style football! The kind of football we’ve seen for the past two seasons will continue for the indefinite future.

There will be no position-by-position breakdown this week. The entire team stinks and did not come to play on Sunday. They got crushed by a bad 3-8 football team. The Giants only picked up seven first downs and gave up 31 points to a team that had only managed a season high of 18 before facing New York. The Giants have lost four games to four of the worst teams in football (Redskins, Lions, Bears, and Cardinals). What does that tell you?

Another December – Down and Out

by David Oliver of

I can think of younger days when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do.
I could never see tomorrow, but I was never told about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow, no one said a word about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.


There are days when I think this should be the theme song of Giants’ fans. Sunday night was a crusher and I am just recovering enough to put some thoughts to paper. Needless to say, The Corner has been a total downer this week; Eric has hit bottom; as usual, when the Giants are in the tank, almost nothing goes right for me. So I think back to my Bison in Yellowstone, trudging through a white out blizzard, maybe not even with the energy to live into the spring, but putting one foot in front of the other, trying to out walk the blizzard. So I am going to emulate him; I am going to take the photos, even if no one wants to look at them; I am going to go to the games, even with the prospect of crushing defeats; I am going to do a little write up each game. I’m going to do because I am, just like the guys on the field, a professional. They make a lot of money; I make a little bit. But for most of them, it’s more than a job; so it is for me. People talk about finding a passion in life; some even ask me if photography is my passion. No, it’s not photography, it’s the Giants; it has always been the Giants. You would think by now that I would be inured to suffering; maybe I am more catholic than I like to think, because following the Giants is like putting on a hair shirt so I can offer up even more suffering.

But I won’t walk away; I will take the beating until morale improves. Regardless of the pitiful expressions in The Corner, I’ll keep on coming back. I like these kids; I love this game; I was born a Giants’ fan, and I’ll die a Giants’ fan. Of course, like any other Giants’ fan, I’ll never give up my right to criticize the bastards when they play like they did Sunday night. And I’ll offer up my insights, or outtakes, musings and ramblings – because that’s what Giants’ fan do. But my comments today will be a little different than the normal gloom and doom, although gloom and doom are never far off.

I’m going to try to make this short-er and sweet-er than usual; not to much bloviating; that’s O’Reilly’s job. I am going to just list some basic things that concern me, such as:

  • in photo after photo of the offensive line, it is obvious that 5 men cannot block 7 or 8. The Giants have no prolific TE blocker. Therefore, it is useless to go to 2 TE sets; it is ridiculous to keep Shockey in to block; it is hopeless to expect Tiki to pick up a charging tackle. The key to success is to break the tight box of the defense – and the Giants have been playing nothing but good defenses. The running game will be nonexistent with these schemes. The Giants must go over the box; they MUST spread the offense to spread the defense; they must utilize Shockey, Tiki and Dayne in the flat and in the 8-15 yard game. Until they integrate these plays into the O, the O will not go. Balance is meaningless when you play a ferocious 8 or 9 man D, and you have a rookie QB.
  • in photo after photo, it is obvious that Eli is having some mechanical problems. He is overthrowing his open receivers, even when he has time. I only wonder, where is Buddy Ryan when we need him? Somebody has to slap some sense into the QB Coach – these are problems that Eli has never had in his life – they should be easily correctable.
  • it is obvious from watching Eli play that he has got “it”. The kid has an iron, almost stoic composure under adverse conditions; he can read defenses; he can make his downfield reads and identify his open receivers. As Wayne Lucier told me, “We have to run the ball to take some pressure off Eli. It puts a lot of pressure on him to sit back there and make plays.” Wayne, and every other offensive lineman knows they have to help Eli; Wayne, and every other offensive lineman knows they aren’t doing it; Wayne, and every other lineman, is too circumspect to place blame on anything but performance. As David Diehl told me, “There are a lot of people who don’t know what’s going on. If they want to put it on us, that’s fine.” David also told me, “We’re all tough characters; we’re all tough guys.”
  • it is obvious from photo after photo that the loss of Michael Strahan started the log rolling; the loss of Norman Hand completely capsized it. A defensive line with one starter playing is not a very good line. The Joe Gibbs’ offense is a slash offense; with no one in the middle to meet the surge, to stay in position to stop the slash; Gibbs will bleed a defense to death. That is what happened Sunday evening. All of the defenders, and I mean all of them were chasing the play; no one could keep the RBs in front of them. I saw more ass on the Giants’ side of the field than in an x-rated porn movie. The game is up for Coach Lewis. He now knows how the Giants’ coaching staff felt last year. He is Custer at the Little Big Horn. And I have no suggestions, not even criticisms. You play with the team that suits up, not the one you would like to have. (courtesy of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld).

It makes no sense to question whether Eli should be playing, or Kurt. Eli is playing, that’s how it is; that’s how it’s going to be. It serves no purpose to question whether the Giants should have stockpiles draft choices or picked another QB. If they had more draft choices, that would be so much more agony in looking at next year’s Injured Reserve. And no other QB, rookie QB, would be doing well in this offense.

I saw something really scary Sunday evening. I saw Coach Coughlin answer questions in the interview in a civil, low-key manner; I saw him walk out carefully groomed, composed. I saw Vince Tobin in the guise of Coach Coughlin. He came in thinking he could win; he’s going out looking for a glimmer of hope for the future. He’s watching his QB, trying hard to judge if the pressure is getting to the kid; he’s mellowed some of his idiosyncrasies, hoping a leader will appear; he is realizing that he is in his 4th losing year, in a row; that all the hype about his methods and his efficiency and his preparation and his motivation, just may have run the course. He is realizing that NY is different than anywhere else in the world, and that in the words of Frank Sinatra, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” And in all that, I am beginning to think this man might, just might, strap on a reality visor this offseason, cut the crap about injuries being a mental cancer and micro-managing everything and everyone in his universe. He will go out and get himself some major league assistants – and he will go get some professional players to back up his starters. If I’m right, he just might have the capacity to turn this thing around. If I’m wrong, and he remains TC, hardass, I won’t have to worry much more than another year, because if he doesn’t win next year, he’ll just ne another Arnsparger and go back to the college ranks where that act still plays.

The O-Line are my favorite guys. They are tough guys; they don’t whine, they don’t point fingers; they go out and get bruised and battered every week; and they give as good as they get. Ad Diehl said, “We just have to keep fighting, that’s all we can do.” David keeps improving. He tells me the more reps he gets, the better he is becoming. He strives to “improve one thing each week,” and to work on his fundamentals. He feels Eli is making progress, that the line is getting used to him, that they need to play with him for the rest of the year, and that “the more he is in there, the better the offense is going to be.” In the same vein, Wayne Lucier told me they are committed to working harder and he feels, “it’s going to click for us.”

I also talked to Greg Walker, a huge man with a great outlook. I introduced myself and kidded him about his speed and footwork. He laughed and then we got serious. I told him that to me he showed some potential and he told me that, “God blessed me with talent and ability, so everything I do, I do for His glory.” He wasn’t jiving. He is a low key, serious young man, so I put to him a direct question, a question about going through the motions, or having deep feelings for the game. He told me, “It’s a loss. Every loss hurts. We put a lot of energy and heart into it and when you lose, like we lost tonight, it hurts. Nobody is smiling, everybody is dejected; but we’re not going to hang our heads down. There are four games left and we have to do our best to win, we have to prepare mentally, physically and we have to do everything we need to do.” I told him that there were a lot of fans out there who never played the game, at any level, and I asked him to tell us, how it really feels. I told him a lot of the younger generation had PlayStation or an XBox, and that these games flavored a lot of opinion on the game. That maybe to some, the real game looked as if the players were just going through the motions, checking in and out. Greg told me, “We all play PlayStation, XBox, Madden. Take that feeling you have when you lose in these games and magnify it by, say, 100,000 times; that’s how it feels to lose a game. But we come back the next day, and we take that loss, learn from it, correct and go on to the next game.” He told me that right now you will see units of players gathering together; that “what we want to do is show our support; we want to encourage the guys on the field; everyone needs encouragement.”

OK, Greg. I’ll be in Baltimore Sunday. I’ll do my damndest to get some good photos. And sometime next week, I’ll sit down and try to write something a little better. I’ll do it Greg, because I am a not only a member of the Media – I am a Giants’ fan.

(Box Score – New York Giants at Washington Redskins, December 5, 2004)
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Eric Kennedy

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

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