Even though the 2011 season was as extended as it could have been for the New York Football Giants, the offseason remains long no matter what. That gridiron pest bites; everyone scratches; the itch spreads.
Craving Big Blue football isn’t absurd. It’s what drives most of us through mundane and stressful work weeks. What are (again) on the ludicrous side are the overreactions during the par-for-the-course offseason business actions of General Manager Jerry Reese.
Some of the freaking out is borderline humorous, while most is completely unwarranted. Anyone remember last year when Reese was ostracized for having August confidence in everything he did and in what parts he had left to dress in blue? Crazy how that all turned out, since it is how teams finish.
There aren’t clear-cut defined rules to the offseason. There are 31 other teams to compete with here as well. The evidence-based practice that Reese uses isn’t the type of decision-making that will cause the Giants’ foundation to crumble. The knee-jerk reaction of many fans is to act as if it has. Past years are apparently not enough proof to show that making decisions by incorporating the best available evidence with superior general manager and scouting knowledge (combined with his other in-house resources) yields positive results. Moreover, viewing the decision-making picture as a whole – as the character, needs, values and tradition of the franchise is never strayed from – is always of utmost importance to Reese.
The 2012 offseason as compared to the rushed one of 2011 is that this year, there is more normalcy – a truly defined offseason with a full schedule. Yet, the panic is still abounding. Of course there’s the other side of the spectrum -deflection- and the fans that act as if the player or transaction that is the subject of said anxiety never really mattered in the first place. Seriously, they wouldn’t have been a part of the New York Giants team and/or pursued if this were true.
Jerry Reese will always have his work cut out for him when it comes to criticism. This shall always get exponentially worse when winning puts him more in the spotlight. It comes with the territory and dealing with this is nothing new. Recent events not excluded, though, sometimes taking risks doesn’t play out the way intended.
"Yes we thought that he would clear," Reese told Bob Papa and Amani Toomer during a Sirius XM NFL Radio interview this week. "It's rare but it’s not the first time something like that has happened. It's disappointing for us that we didn't get him back. He did a tremendous job for us and we hope he gets well soon and that he can finish his career, whether it’s with New England or whatever team he ends up with. It was disappointing, but that does happen, every blue moon."
Does this warrant the raucous reactions towards the Giants’ general manager that have come about, though? The negative feedback comes from both Giants fans and fans of other teams and are a bit much. For the former, the answer remains a question mark; for the latter, it’s gotta be the second Lombardi he’s brought to East Rutherford.
Truth is, the business side of football isn’t easily understood nor is it one that everyone takes the time to try to gain the understanding of. However, they will question the hell out of it and equally “argue” about it…hopefully only until September 5 at 8:30pm, EDT is here. Less than three months to hold on, ladies and gents.
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