A Team to Believe In: Our Journey to the Super Bowl Championship
by Tom Coughlin with Brian Curtis
ESPN Books, 2008
Tom Coughlin’s memoir of the New York Giants 2007 season and win over the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII could have been a lot more than it is. Like the public persona of the coach, it lacks a bit of personality and inside information that football fans are looking for. I did find it worthwhile reading, anyway.
This book functions as a mini-autobiography of Coughlin’s coaching career and the high pressure and long hours it requires to be a successful coach in the National Football League. One of the better features of the book is learning about his coaching pedigree and his discussion of how he had to loosen up a little bit with the New York Giants, who as most recall, were seemingly in near-mutiny of Coughlin’s old school rules and discipline.
And while Coughlin does a good job with the above, his recounting of the season and the Giants team is often devoid of personality and inside information about how the team overcame some of the squabbling and questions about leadership to go on their improbable run to a Super Bowl victory.
He certainly pays lip service to the quiet leadership skills of the oft-criticized Eli Manning and his rocky but repaired relationship with older players like Michael Strahan, but it's more reportorial than emotionally engaging.
There also is little about football strategy and X’s and O’s in this book, which is fine as I didn’t expect much. But for an avid football fan like myself that always adds a great deal to a book about football.
Despite these drawbacks, I am sure New York Giants fans will enjoy this look back at the season from Coughlin’s perspective. I would not, however, recommend this to the casual football fan.