Well, the idea for the contest came about when Random House was kind enough to send me a copy of the book. I have been meaning to share some thoughts on the book, and with this being a quiet bye weekend for the Giants now seems like a good time to do just that.
I don't usually read books like this one. Most of these post-Super Bowl or post-World Series type books are slapped together ramblings just meant to make the ghost writer, the publishing house and the athlete "writing" the book a quick buck.
I have better things to do, and better ways to spend my money, than to buy books like that.
"A Team To Believe In,' written with Brian Curtis, is different. I suspected that it would be since it is Coughlin's book and the story of the changes in Coughlin was so central to the team's 2007 success.
We all know the story. The way his family intervened and encouraged him to change after the awful 2006 season, the way Coughlin opened up and reached out to players, the motivation gained from Greg Gadsen, the decision to try to beat New England in the final regular season game.
We know these things, but it is interesting to hear these things from Coughlin. The fact that Coughlin would lend his name, his time and his thoughts to a book about himself and the Giants Super Bowl journey is amazing all by itself.
I enjoyed reading Coughlin's take on the systematic way he reached out to media and the players. I enjoyed his ability to poke fun at himself, evidenced by his referencing TV images of his frozen face during the NFC Championship Game in Green Bay. His feelings for Gadsen, the paralyzed soldier who became an inspiration to the team, are genuine.
This is the quote on the back cover of the book.
When I think back to how it all came together, it wasn't magic. There wasn't a manual that the coaching staff picked up last off-season with the ten steps on how to win a championship. There is no blueprint for rising from the depths. There were no drastic changes to the New York Giants from one season to the next, outside of some staff changes. No major free-agent acquisitions, no new ownership, and no new playmakers. What did change, however, was our belief in ourselves and the unselfish act of putting the team above self.
The story of how that happened, from the coach's perspective, is a great read for Giants' fans.