In the Big Apple, sports fans' moods and attitudes change in a New York minute. In December, some New York Giants fans -- bandwagon-jumpers, if you ask me -- were ready to toss head coach Tom Coughlin under the bus, as the team struggled to stay in contention. In February, Coughlin was being showered with cheers as he rode down the Canyon of Heroes in the team's Super Bowl victory parade.
Over the years, fans' attitudes towards Coughlin have flip-flopped, but he has never wavered. His steady and disciplined approach has guided Big Blue to a record of 82-57 and a pair of Super Bowl titles in his eight years on the sidelines. If ever there was a football coach who deserved a contract extension, it would be the unflappable Coughlin. And that's what he got on Wednesday, June 6.
As reported on Yahoo! Sports, the 65-year-old Coughlin signed a two-year contract extension through the 2014 season. In case you didn't know, he has as many victories (154) as Hall of Fame head man Marv Levy and his 12 postseason victories tie him with former Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher for the sixth-highest total in NFL history. But it's about more than just numbers with Coughlin.
After the Giants won the NFC East, I wrote about how the G-Men took on the personality of their resilient coach, who didn't blink when fans and some in the media was calling for his head. I think it's worth reading again, because the Giants easily could have folded down the stretch in 2012, if not for Coughlin's leadership. Ididn't know it at the time, but Coughlin and the Giants would go on another unforgettable playoff run, like the one in 2007. And, for the second time in five years, Coughlin beat future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Bill Belichick with all the chips on the table. Think about that for a minute. And think about it the next time the Giants lose a game or two next season.
''Tom is a winner and he's a fighter,'' Giants general manager Jerry Reese said, ''and I enjoy and appreciate working with him. From where I sit, I couldn't ask for more in a head coach.''
As a Giants fan, I feel the same way.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. You can follow Adam on Twitter @PegCitySports.