Bock’s Score: Giants’ Owners Rendered Right Decision in Overruling Judge


It took Joe Judge 11 minutes to make people wonder about his long-term qualifications to coach the New York Giants and two quarterback sneaks to convince them that what they thought about him was on target.

It took the club’s owners two days to punch the coach’s ticket out of town.

The losing was one thing. Teams lose all the time, especially with the rag tag roster the Giants were stuck with each week. But Judge took the losing a bit further and that finished him.

After a typically depressing 29-3 loss to the less-than-awesome Chicago Bears, Judge was asked a straightforward question about how the fans should view this sorry season. Off he went, consuming 11 minutes in a discombobulated speech about clubhouse culture and how his team was a lot better than the critics thought.

Hmm, the critics thought, that was not good. A week later, it turned downright bad.

In the final game of the season, the Giants played an equally inept Washington Football team, soon to have a brand new nickname. A WFT punt pinned New York at the edge of its own end zone, not a comfortable place to start an offensive series.

Judge’s play calling solution to that dilemma were two quarterback sneaks. No running plays. No passing plays. No let’s try and get a first down. Instead, a couple of give-up quarterback sneaks.

It was about then that John Mara and Steve Tisch decided to give up on Judge.

They could have lowered the boom on Black Monday, the traditional end of the line day for failing NFL coaches. Instead, they waited until the next day to lower the boom on Judge.

His exit was all but certain as soon as general manager Dave Gettleman left East Rutherford, eased into retirement after four dreadful years constructing a dreadful roster. If the Giants were going to hire a new general manager, it would make no sense to saddle him with a holdover coach, whose credentials are a 10-23 record over two seasons.

And so, the revolving door for coaches continues in East Rutherford. Ben McAdoo never made it to the end of his second year. Pat Shurmur was excused after two years and now Judge is out, another two years and done.

A parade of general manager candidates began interviews a day after Judge left. It behooves Mara and Tisch to be extra careful with the hire. Whoever gets the job will come up with the next coach and lately those selections have been flawed.


About the Author

Hal Bock

Hal Bock is a contributor with NY Sports Day. He has covered sports for 40 years at The Associated Press including 30 World Series, 30 Super Bowls and 11 Olympics. He is the author of 14 books including most recently The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty and Banned Baseball's Blacklist of All-Stars and Also-Rans. He has written scores of magazine articles and served as Journalist In Residence at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus where he also served on the selection committee for the George Polk Awards.

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