Sportsman's Daily


Giants Coach Rallies Downcast Team: “Cheer Up, It Could Be Worse”


Former player who lost torso in bottling plant mishap, visits Giants locker room. Coach Coughlin's motivational gambit appears to be lifting team spirits, though there have been isolated reports of melancholy and intestinal discord.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (The Sportsman's Daily Wire Service) -- Shaken from the aftershock of their latest heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Giants are struggling to regain their psychological equilibrium as they head into a make-or-break game next Sunday. In an attempt to rally his crestfallen team and lend some perspective to their recent misfortunes, coach Tom Coughlin has been bringing in a succession of former Giants players – many of them little known even to long-time team followers – whose post-playing days turned out to be far less than they’d hoped.

Former Giants who were brought in to visit ranged from Clint Baker, a fourth string fullback (during the 1982-83 season) who has been living in a group home since he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1984, to Deron Howard, a seldom-used cornerback (1988-1989) who did five years for armed robbery (paying homage to Woody Allen’s comedy classic “Take the Money and Run,” Howard held up a bank in Santa Fe with a bar of Ivory soap; George Young, the Giants’ GM at the time, said if Howard paid as much attention to game film as he did to Woody Allen’s, he might have seen more playing time).

“I want our players to know that things are not always as bad or as dire as they seem,” said Coach Coughlin. “Yes, last Sunday’s loss was humiliating and never should have happened. But I want our guys to see ex-players, former Giants, who have it far worse, who’ve suffered personal tragedy, made bad decisions, had significant setbacks, from which there’s no turning back. Having them in our midst will lift the spirits. When I’m a bit down, I see someone I knew from back in the day with a limp, one eye, living out of an old station wagon, for some inexplicable reason the day begins to brighten and I’m ready to kick some tail.”

So far, reaction among Giants players has been mixed.

“When they said the guy who lost the right side of his face in a boating accident played left tackle in the late 70’s, I was like, whoa, I’m sure as shit happy to be 6-5, at least I got my face,” said an unnamed player who, ironically, is widely considered to be one of the ugliest players in the league.

After being introduced to a former Giant who lost his kneecaps and upper lip in a high-stakes poker game, Tiki Barber was visibly shaken. “That’s pretty fucking depressing,” said Barber, who announced earlier this year that he’ll be retiring once the season ends. “I don’t know how this is supposed to get us ready to play when half of us are on the verge of puking.”

Giants General manager Ernie Accorsi is encouraged with the results thus far, despite an embarrassing incident that happened earlier in the day. A former player who lost an arm while operating a chain saw couldn’t hold a jersey lobbed in his direction by Eli Manning. Mistaking the one-armed ex-Giant for one of the Giants’ current receiving corps, Coach Coughlin, who was only ten yards away when the jersey was dropped, unleashed a blood-curdling scream and gave the handicapped ex-Giant a very hard kick in the ass. Later, when he was made aware of his mistake, Coughlin was contrite – particularly upon learning that the player also lost three quarters of his ass when a toilet he was sitting on exploded.

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