If you’ve watched any NFL this year, you’ve heard plenty about the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins and their unsurpassed achievement of 50 years ago. That the 1972 Dolphins (which is covered brilliantly in this 2022 book) stand alone as the only undefeated team is thanks to the 2007 New York Giants and their surprise victory in Super Bowl XLII over the 18-0 New England Patriots of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Randy Moss and Junior Seau amongst others. Even an Eagles fan like myself can appreciate a division rival for saving all of us from 50+ years of New England boasting.
A Giant Win is a dissection of that Super Bowl game, series by series, by the team’s coach Tom Coughlin. The retelling of such a historic game from a coach’s perspective provides a really fascinating insight into both the technicalities of the sport and the emotional challenges of competing for championships. The broader context of the season, the players, and Coughlin’s career are interposed with Coughlin’s detailed analysis of the game resulting in a book that is part memoir, part football lesson and part celebration but is always interesting, insightful and entertaining.
Coughlin worked with Greg Hanlon (who also worked on Eric Dickerson’s excellent memoir) on the book, and together they have superbly captured Coughlin’s voice and tone. Coughlin’s personality as a coach – both of football and of men – and his passion for the game is apparent on every page.
The book also provides an interesting look at some of the key players in modern Giant’s history and allows Coughlin a platform to record his appreciation of, and respect for, many of the players he coached. There is no score settling – this is a book of celebration and reflection from a remove of 15 years by a man secure in his legacy. It’s a book that any Giant’s fan will love and any NFL fan would enjoy.