Mister Reese, Tear Down Your Countdown!

On June 12th, 1987, at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, President Ronald Reagan looked into the eyes of the world and unflinchingly, challenged Soviet Premier, Mikhail Gorbachev: “Mister Gorbachev,” he said. “Tear down this wall!” Today, October 1, 2013, sitting at my computer, I look into the eyes of my keyboard and unflinchingly challenge Jerry Reese: “Mister Reese,” I say. “Tear down your Super Bowl Countdown!”

I say this with all the respect in the world for Jerry Reese. I think he’s a brilliant General Manager and the Giants — and the Giants fans — are damn lucky have him running the operation. And unlike those venting on Facebook and Twitter and in the blogs and newspapers, I’m not debating or doubting his expertise. Absolutely not. In his seven-year tour of duty as Giants GM, he’s drafted well, made some solid free-agent signings, instilled an atmosphere of professionalism and — oh, yeah — put together two Super Bowl Championships. Not exactly chopped liver.

And like all good managers, Jerry Reese looks at — and more importantly, can actually, clearly, see — the big picture. That’s what he’s supposed to do. That’s what ownership wants him to do because that’s what ownership does — and that’s exactly what they’re doing to guarantee the long term stability and competitiveness of the Giants. But Mister Reese, even brilliant people make mistakes and that countdown idea was a mistake — oddly enough because it’s “big picture.”

The big picture is the absolute last thing your footballs players and coaches should be focused on. They should be absolutely, totally, focused on nothing other than the next team they’re playing, which, this week, is the Philadelphia Eagles. And when the game starts they should be focused on absolutely nothing except their assignment on the play being run, and then the next assignment and play, and the next assignment and play after that. And if they concentrate and execute their assignments, they’re going to run successful plays. And if they run successful plays, they’re going to win football games. And if they win football games, they’re going to get to the playoffs: assignment by assignment, play by play, game by game. And Mister Reese, you better than anyone else should know, beyond any doubt, when your NY Giants get to the playoffs, anything can happen. You’ve proven that.

So, Mister Reese, you made a minor error of judgment. It happens. No big deal. It’s not the entire reason for the team’s failures thus far. Not at all. But I think it is, and has been, something of a distraction. A minor one, but a distraction, nonetheless. I call upon you to do what all great leaders do: admit your mistake. Walk into that locker room, head up, unabashed, and tear down that countdown. Don’t send someone else to do it and don’t do it when no one’s around. Do it yourself with your own bare hands. Walk into that locker room, with all the media present, go over the countdown and tear it down. And then, if its paper or cardboard, tear it up. If it’s sturdier material, break it apart or twist it into a knot and toss it in the trash.

Yes, your big picture goal is always getting to, and winning, the next Super Bowl, and the Super Bowl after that, and the Super Bowl after that. But for now, this team needs to win a game — just one game. They cannot be focused — even mildly focused — on anything else: nothing other than the game they’re about to play and then playing that game, assignment by assignment, play by play. Nothing else! Not even, yet another incredibly stupid Toyota commercial — but I digress. That’s another article for another day, okay?


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4 Responses to “Mister Reese, Tear Down Your Countdown!”

  1. great post! tear that clock down

  2. Dave says:

    Well said! It actually makes the team look ridiculous right now. TEAR IT DOWN!

  3. Craig says:

    Totally agree. They just aren’t focused on their weekly opponents and the execution of their plays.

  4. DP says:

    Well written post, the clock was never necessary. If JR wants a clock, he should put a countdown to the draft clock in his scouts offices.

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