clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Book Review: A year later, "The GM" is still interesting

I know I'm late to the party on this one, but I just finished reading Tom Callahan's excellent book, "The GM," chronicling Ernie Accorsi's final season as Giants' general manager.

I was never a big Accorsi fan, and the book did nothing to change my mind on that score.

It is filled with great stories and incredible insights into the workings of NFL organizations, though.

I found that reading it now, with the benefit of a Super Bowl championship and a year away from from Accorsi's reign, framed the book with a perspective that wouldn't have been available when the book was first published.

Callahan, a veteran sports writer and author of "Johnny U," did a great job capturing the essence of Accorsi and bringing home what we learn is the often messy job of a pro football general manager.

Accorsi's legacy in New York, of course, will be the 2004 draft-day trade that brought Eli Manning to the Giants.

Accorsi's career was defined by quarterbacks. Johnny Unitas in Baltimore, later missing out on John Elway in Baltimore, Bernie Kosar in Cleveland and now Eli.

From the book, here is part of Accorsi's scouting report on Eli prior to the 2004 draft.

I think he's the complete package ... throws the ball, takes the hit, gets right back up ... has courage and poise. He has that quality you can't define. Call it magic ... I honestly give this guy a chance to be better than his brother ... If he comes out early, we should move up to take him. These guys are rare, you know."

The other great quarterback story in the book is how Accorsi manipulated the rulebook to get Kosar to Cleveland via the supplemental draft.

Another great story is how close the Giants came to re-hiring Bill Parcells as coach in 1996 instead of Jim Fassel. To make a long story short, the Mara family wanted Parcells but couldn't communicate that to George Young until after he had offered the job to Fassel.

There are other great anecdotes in the book, including Accorsi's research prior to drafting Jeremy Shockey, and his tenuous relationship with Tom Coughlin.

If you are a Giants fan and you haven't read it yet, you should.