Of overused literary references and strict NFL coaches

Sept. 21, 2004, midnight | By Nick Falgout | 16 years, 3 months ago

Or, how to make the NFL good again

As a public service to New York Giants players across the globe, I have compiled a short list of:

Ways Not to Get Fined by Your New Coach, Tom Coughlin

1. Don't be late to team meetings.
2. Don't be not early enough for team meetings.
3. Basically just establish a psychic mind-link with old Tommy and acquiesce to his every whim at least five minutes before he whims it.

As most of us know by now (and by "us" I mean "me")(and by "most" I mean, um, shoot), three Giants football players have recently appealed fines served by their new Drill Sergeant/Head coach Tom Coughlin, for not being early enough to a team meeting. Carlos Emmons, Barrett Green and Terry Cousin reportedly showed up between 11:09 and 11:11 pm for an 11:15 meeting and were kicked out and then fined $500 a piece.

Sounds reasonable and logical, no? We wouldn't want players thinking they could just show up early for a team meeting without being reprimanded, would we? Before we know it, we could have an epidemic of players showing up early team meetings, which would just tear football apart at the seams, much like celebrating touchdowns or having females perform at halftime shows.

No, now is the time to crack down on this perception among players that arriving early to team meetings is acceptable. Football players are role models to thousands of small, cute, and impressionable little baby seals, I mean children. To teach these children that arriving merely "early" to anything is good enough would be to, um, be bad.

To amend this problem, I propose a series of changes in league policy that would allow coaches to beat this earliness problem right out of their players. First, the punishments should certainly be steepened, as measly fines do not send a strong enough message to these unruly behemoths. I'll leave the actual range of punishments up to the actual coaches, but I've heard that embarrassing facial tattoos, in addition to being somewhat painful, are horrible for a player's football career/endorsement deals. Second, I propose that coaches start team meetings, you know, when they say they're going to start team meetings, such that players showing up before the arranged time can participate without problem.

Whoa. Sorry. Got a little crazy there for a second.

Since we're on the subject of the imperfections of NFL players, why not take this a step further? Have you been watching football this season? Players are dropping passes, fumbling the football, missing tackles, throwing incompletions, drawing bad penalties. Heck, some have even been losing football games. This simply will not do, and is obviously a by-product of this whole earliness scandal. So I say we let the coaches handle this the way they know best: assessing fines. Player drops a pass? $300. Loses yardage? $200. Misses a field goal? $500 ($1000 if it would have tied/won the game). Etc. Also, players who have done nothing wrong should be fined periodically, just to keep them on their toes. Just because they didn't do anything per se doesn't mean they didn't do something earlier that went unpunished.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with a resonant story—a story so chock full of universal appeal and obvious imagery, it almost defies conventional logic. And that is the story of Tom Coughlin-locks and the Three Players He Fined.

Arbitrary player number one arrived late for a team meeting. Tom Coughlin-locks fined that player. Arbitrary player number two arrived not early enough for practice. Tom Coughlin-locks fined that player, too. Arbitrary player number three arrived at just the right time.

Tom Coughlin-locks fined him anyway.

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Nick Falgout. Nick Falgout was bored one day and decided to change his Chips staff information. And now, for a touching song lyric: "I'm a reasonable man, get off my case Get off my case, get off my case." ~ Radiohead, "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd … More »

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