Former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin appeared as a guest on the “MSG 150 at Home” on Friday night at 5:00 p.m. (and again at 7:30 p.m.).
Coughlin shared some of his favorite memories with hosts Bill Pidto and Alan Hahn from the team’s spectacular Super Bowl run in 2008, when they won four postseason games on the road including Super Bowl XLII against the undefeated New England Patriots.
The Super Bowl win was one the biggest upsets in the history of the NFL and the Giants knocked off Bill Belichick, Tom Brady & Co. with a smothering pass rush and little divine intervention from the football gods on offense.
“Super Bowl 42 has been on a couple of times,” said Coughlin. “I just wanted to make sure David Tyree made that catch. So I went back and looked at it again. It was a lot of fun watching that, it really was. It brought back fabulous memories.”
Leading up to the game, few gave the Giants a shot at winning and Coughlin takes pride in the fact that he and his team made them all look foolish as the Giants won, 17-14.
“One of the things I loved the most about Super Bowl 42 and that run was that when you look back, FOX had the game and their experts were all on. And from the first playoff game on, nobody picked us to win,” remembered Coughlin. “Not one game. Not in Tampa. No way in Dallas, they had beaten us twice. No way that the Giants were going to beat Dallas. And they certainly can’t beat Favre in Green Bay. There’s no way. They are going up there and it’s -27 (degrees). How can they win? And they can’t beat the Patriots. There’s no way. I remember Jimmy Johnson picked the score, 34-14 or something like that. And every one of them was wrong every time.”
Most coaches rest their starters late in the season but Coughlin did not want to interrupt the flow of his team heading into the playoffs. They faced the 15-0 Patriots at home in Week 17 and he felt he needed to play his starters and try to stop the Patriots from going undefeated.
The Giants almost did. They ended up losing, 38-35, but they showed they could play with anyone. The meeting would come in handy five weeks later when the two clubs met in the Super Bowl.
“I remember I got chastised for playing my starters against New England in Week 17,” said Coughlin. “My whole point was that we are the New York Giants and there’s no way history is going to look back at this and say that the Giants didn’t put their best foot forward against a team that was vying for an undefeated season.”
They did put their best foot forward, running the table with an improbable storybook ending.