It’s a story that simply won’t go away — this 2016 ‘boat trip’ excursion down to Florida by the New York Giants receivers before a big playoff game.
During a recent appearance on the 2nd Wind Podcast, Sterling Shepard, the only remaining player from that trip who is still on the Giants’ roster, was asked once again about the ill-advised jaunt which was followed by the Giants getting trounced, 38-13, by the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round.
“We didn’t put out the picture,” Shepard said, as transcribed by Sports Illustrated. “To be honest, everybody went out that night; it’s just that most guys went into the city. Me, O (Odell Beckham Jr.), Victor (Cruz), and Roger (Lewis), we had the means to go get a (private jet) and go to Miami for the night.
“Now, we didn’t know the PJ was going to have malfunctions and not be able to get back when we were supposed to be back, but yeah, we just took it to Miami. Which, in hindsight, all the distractions that it caused, I would take that part about it back, but we had a good time, and we had two weeks before the playoff game.”
Many believed the trip was the beginning of the deep problems the organization would endure after the “parting of wats” with Tom Coughlin after the 2015 season.
And the loss that started it all will always be connected with that dreaded boat picture.
“We knew we were going to have to play a perfect game, and if not, it was going to be blamed on that, and we didn’t play a perfect game. We didn’t play a good game at all,” Shepard says.
The Giants have had five head coaches and even more coordinators since Coughlin left the building. They have been among the NFL’s cellar dwellers the past decade sans a trip to the playoffs last year.
But they sunk right back down to the bottom of the league this season amid injuries and dysfunction leading fans to again question if the club is headed in the right direction.