Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

+-

Giants had a similarly awful Monday night matchup in 1994

New York Giants head coach Dan Reeves yells

New York Giants head coach Dan Reeves yells from the sidelines in a game against the Dallas Cowboys. (Dec. 24, 1994) (Credit: AP)

Much has been said and written about the awfulness of Monday night's Vikings-Giants matchup on ESPN, what with the teams a combined 1-10 thus far in 2013.

Fair enough. But this Monday night stinker has caused me to wax nostalgic about another, similar one back on Nov. 21, 1994, when the Giants visited the Astrodome with a 3-7 record - including a seven-game losing streak - to play the 1-9 Oilers, who were playing their first game under a young interim coach named Jeff Fisher.

So bad were the Giants that Lawrence Taylor, who had retired after the previous season, felt compelled to deliver a scathing, emotional pregame speech to his former teammates.

The Giants ended up winning, 13-10, after Kent Graham took over at quarterback for a concussed Dave Brown. They would go on to win their final six games and lose out on a playoff spot when the Packers beat the Buccaneers on Christmas Eve.

That game also was memorable for what happened afterward. With his bus on the way to the airport stuck in traffic snarled by a car fire, head coach Dan Reeves and three assistants set out for a McDonald's about a mile up the road.

At one point, Reeves climbed over an overpass, surprising a homeless man who had taken refuge there, in part because Reeves was wearing a jacket and tie at the time.

Reeves and his friends eventually secured 10 burgers. But while they were away, the traffic suddenly let up and the busses were back on their way to the airport, leaving behind Reeves.

Eventually they all made it to the airport before the plane left, and Reeves told the story over nearly a half-hour at his next news conference, to great dramatic and comedic effect.

When it was over he noted with a smile that winning is much better than losing.

How long ago was all this? I had hair, and I wrote my game story on a TRS-80 Model 100. Sigh...

Tags: ESPN , Giants

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Neil Best on Twitter

advertisement | advertise on newsday