Archive for the ‘Ray Handley’ Category

Ray Handley

July 18, 2009

I love telling the story of a dear friend.. his name was Garo Hampar. Gary, as we called him, was walking with us after lunch one afternoon, and the subject of the new Giants head coach comes up. Gary: “I don’t know about this guy Handley. He said if he did not get the (offensive coordinator’s) job he was going to go to law school. Now if I am calling the shots, that is not the guy I hire. Where is his commitment to the sport, to coaching? This smells of trouble.”

Prescient. Two seasons later we saw the franchise take 50 steps backward. What talented players, wasted. And then I remember the words of Bob Trumpy, color analyst broadcasting one of the final Giants games of that ill-fated second season of disaster. The Giants were now playing for jobs for the NEXT head coach, so they played proud and played well vs the Chiefs. It was their only win in the last 7 games of the season. And then Trumpy makes some comments that make my stomach turn:(paraphrased)” I don’t understand what the complaints are about Handley. He’s a good coach, and he is getting a bum rap.” Trumpy was upset at how everyone could pass judgment on a member of the football fraternity so quickly and not give him the benefit of the doubt. There is not a single Giant fan who has any positive memories of the Handley years. I like to juxtapose Trumpy’s sloppy and misinformed defense of Handley with George Young’s candid summary of the hire: “My worst decision.”

George Young speaks

October 11, 2008

This week, Plaxico Burress came back. (Pat Hanlon, quoting the late) George Young: “We are not in the business of well-adjusted human beings.”

Here are some more quotes from the former GM of the Giants…

On Bill Parcells: “Bill knows what defense he’ll call during the second series three games from now. He doesn’t know what he’s doing in his own life three days from now.”

On Parcells’ unscheduled departure in May 1991: “I wasn’t happy Bill left, not at all.”

On hiring Ray Handley: “My worst decision.”

On his new job in 1979 at the Meadowlands: “It’s a funny place. Everybody’s named either Vinny or Whitey.”

Young on player agents: “The three characteristics that I hate most in a person are arrogance, mendacity and greed. And these guys have all three.”

Another word used by Young to describe agents- “Cockroaches.”

On the feud between Tim and Wellington Mara: “I’m just Irish enough to know that you don’t take one side or another, or they’ll both turn on you.”

On his head coaching personnel decisions: “Always hire somebody you know. That way you have a good idea of what the person’s like. No surprises.”

And some more of his insight on hiring: “You hire somebody with a high energy level. And something to prove.”

On picking Phil Simms with his first pick as the new Giants GM: “You’ve got to assert yourself. You just can’t be reacting to what people think you should do. You don’t often wind up with a great arm and the intelligence to go with it. It’s the kind of opportunity that might not occur for another two years. When you get it, you’ve got to take it.”

On picking LT with the #2 pick in the 1981 draft: “I thought they would take George Rogers, the Heisman Trophy running back, but I didn’t stop sweating until they did.”

On picking his heir apparent, Ernie Accorsi: “He knows who to talk to, and he knows who not to listen to.”

On passing up driving a Mercedes Benz that was offered to him: “(Legendary Steelers owner) Mr. Rooney drove a Buick all his life. That’s good enough for me.”

On players- “It’s about the money. And when they say it’s not about the money, then it is definitely about the money.”

On Karl Nelson considering a choice of careers after playing football: “too well-adjusted to coach.”

“There’s one big difference between college and pro football. In college you have your name on the jersey for four years and you graduate. In the pros, the name on the jersey may be the same for nine or 10 years but the athlete isn’t the same guy.”

As for his place in sports, he knew he would be remembered as: “..the other George in New York.”

On going down to Washington DC to visit the White House after winning Super Bowl XXI: “It’s nice to be here surrounded by the Secret Service instead of by the Redskins.”

One more thing on George Young… for those of you who have read “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, you will know that the great companies (/franchises) have succession plans that are built to last and not built to fail. Young hired both Ernie Accorsi and Jerry Reese. This third title has some of Young’s hand in it. Considering he drafted Strahan and Toomer, perhaps more.