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Reactions to Tom Coughlin’s resignation

by Brendan Ripley-Barasch

As new head coach, Ben McAdoo sits in his office, evaluating the state of the New York Giants organization and Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. prepare for the Pro Bowl later tonight. One man is confined to his couch getting ready to watch his former superstars perform, Tom Coughlin.

After 12 years as the head guy in New York, on Jan. 4, Tom Coughlin decided to step down from the position. Coughlin leaves with an overall record of 102-90 and two Super Bowl rings while also having had the opportunity to coach multiple elite players such as Michael Strahan, Eli Manning and Odell Beckham. During his tenure as Head Coach, something fans could always count on from the team was that the players were going to run out of that tunnel and play as hard as they could for Tom. It was hard to say that was true the past three years. Maybe that is what led to his resignation, or was it that the team had not made the playoffs since 2011? Or was his age becoming an issue? At 69 years old, Coughlin was the oldest coach in football. Any one of these reasons could have been the deciding factor for him to move on from the New York Football Giants.

At first it wasn’t clear whether Coughlin had stepped down under his own power, or the Giants had actually let him go, but out of respect told him he could tell the media he was resigning. Adam Schefter of ESPN cleared the air when he said Coughlin, “decided to step down before Giants asked if he wanted to stay.” Most New York media outlets running stories about Coughlin chose to describe the resignation as him stepping down or moving on from the organization; its easy to see the amount of respect that not only the fans have but also the media because instead of saying he resigned or was forced out they chose to use softer words to describe it.

During this past season, especially towards the end, there were pretty much two points of view on Tom Coughlin and his future with the Giants among fans and the media. One was that it was time to start fresh, after four years of missing the playoffs and having a losing record three of those years, most people were ready for a change. Many media sources wrote about Coughlin in negative but respectful ways, citing his multiple failed attempts at going for it on fourth down rather than kicking the field goal and more notably about how Coughlin didn’t remove Odell Beckham Jr. from the game when he and Carolina Panthers cornerback, Josh Norman, had multiple altercations during the game including trash talk, shoving and pushing, and even throwing punches at each other. The other view people had on the Tom Coughlin issue was that fans should stay loyal and the Giants organization should keep offering him one-year deals until he was ready to call it quits. Some people might have felt this way because of the two Super Bowls he brought to New York or because he brought the Giants back to elite status. The thing that may have swayed many loyal fans into having the first point of view was probably when the Giants were absolutely dismantled on Monday Night Football by the Minnesota Vikings, losing 49-17. When the team was pushing for the playoffs and playing in a huge Monday night game, they came out just flat and no one seemed like they wanted to be there or even cared about the outcome. With those circumstances, the team should have come out and played with a fire under them, but instead they rolled over and allowed the Vikings to do whatever they wanted.

All of the wins and losses, Super Bowls, and division titles are now just a thing of the past. All we can do now is look back at Tom Coughlin’s legacy with the Giants and it’s probably a safe bet to say that most people will remember him in a very positive way. He goes down as one of the best coaches in New York Giants’ history and we will all miss seeing him and his rosy cheeks on the sideline every Sunday.

Merging World and Sport Headlines: Sport Media Coverage of Ebola

By Savannah Malnar

Sports are so integrated into our society that when there is a significant world event, it is inevitable that said event will slip into ESPN or other sport headlines. The Ebola epidemic is no exception.

It was only a matter of time until this major headline seeped into sports. When going to ESPN’s home page, right above the major headline ticker is a small tab that says “Ebola Concerns in the NFL.” This should be no surprise, with the primary cases of the disease in America being centered in Dallas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Giants are scheduled to play in Dallas this Sunday, October 19th. Local news sites in both Dallas and New York are littered with headlines all telling the same story: The Giants were briefed by their medical staff about the disease and on ways to be cautious while there.

The fact is, all NFL teams have this information available to them through the league and their infectious disease partner, Duke Infection Control Outreach Network.  Despite this, it was reported by Dan Graziano of ESPN that the Cowboys themselves have barely talked about it as a team. Jason Garrett, coach of the Cowboys, was asked if addressed his team regarding the disease. He responded: “Really haven’t, to be honest with you. I don’t think it has directly affected us. So it hasn’t been something we have addressed directly with our players.”

The world media has certainly been all over the Ebola epidemic. The sport media may be soon as well. Already it seems every sport media source, local and national, has published an article regarding the Giants’ briefing on the disease.

While it is still very early to be extremely concerned, the sport media needs to be careful to present the information fairly and not over exaggerate. All the articles regarding the Giants were fair in saying the players were not concerned about going into the region where the disease was (though they may not bring children and wives along to this game, as a precaution), with Eli Manning saying, “I’m not worried about myself or the team. With what we’re doing and where we’re staying, I think we’ll be fine.”

Ebola is a fair concern in sports where traveling is a necessity, but the sport media should consider to err on the conservative side of reporting on it until it is clear whether players in any sport are in any real danger of contracting it through travel.