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How do you remember the Fassel era?

SFGFNCGiantsFan : 2/4/2024 6:32 pm
The thread the other day about the worst Giants losses got me thinking about Jim, who I still can’t believe is dead.

The positives:

1) He got us to a Super Bowl.
2) He went 10-5 vs. the Eagles, including a playoff win.
3) The team was generally competitive even in years we didn’t make the postseason. ‘98, ‘99, & ‘01.
4) Giants usually dominated December.

The negatives:

1) We got our doors blown out in said Super Bowl.
2) UFB losses in WC games to Vikes & SF.
3) STs always seemed to suck.
4) The team always seemed to play up or down depending on the competition. Not a great mark for a coach. I still can’t believe we lost in 02 to the inaugural season Texans.

IMO…a good coach, but not one I will tell my grandchildren about. A helluva better than the Judges and Shurmurs of the world, but you could do better. And I know the innuendo about why he never got another HC job, but his record warranted one.
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Your #4 negative was his calling card  
V.I.G. : 2/4/2024 7:44 pm : link
It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he had more losses as the -4.5 favorite than any Giant coach. He could never consistently get the team that would show up to beat the great teams to show up and beat lesser competition.

I wanted him out years before
Chris684 : 2/4/2024 7:51 pm : link
Fassel ended the offensive futility of the mid-90s.

His teams always beat up divisional opponents for the most part.

Always played their best football in December.

It always sucks to lose a Super Bowl, but the 2000 Ravens place in NFL history tells me the better team won that day and that not a whole was going to be done to change that outcome. I do think things maybe snowballed a little bit and the score could’ve been a lot closer but I’m thinking a solid 8 out of 10 times that Raven team would come out on top in that matchup.

The other 2 playoff losses we can definitely quibble about. We had not business losing 97 or 02 when we did, but again, fun to my head I don’t think we’re talking Super Bowl teams there.

The Fassel years were just a good, solid yet unspectacular era of Giants football. Definitely lots of excitement.

My first year up at Albany while my old man and I were walking around UAlbany campus and one of the first things we stumbled upon was a softball game with all the beat writers and journalists. Fassel and Bob Tisch (both fine now) were sitting on a golf cart watching and they were really cool to me. Chatted for a couple of minutes and signed my hat.
That should read  
Chris684 : 2/4/2024 7:52 pm : link
(Both gone now) obviously
97 was a great and unexpected season  
mfsd : 2/4/2024 7:58 pm : link
that was fun to watch, that ended with a gut wrenching choke job in the playoffs.

Kinda encapsulates his entire tenure, lot of unexpected wins and fun moments, and a lot of brutal choke jobs
Wasn’t a fan  
GiantsRage2007 : 2/4/2024 8:01 pm : link
But in retrospect

What would we give to have a coach make the playoffs 3 out of their first 6 years including a SB and the other seasons be 8-8 or 7-9.

Same with Coughlin.

We thought their bad years were bad

Little dud we know what bad was….
thrunthrublue : 2/4/2024 8:02 pm : link
How can anyone speak bad about it?  
Sean : 2/4/2024 8:07 pm : link
Prior to 2003, his worst season was 7-9. He got the Giants to a Super Bowl with Kerry Collins at QB.

Time has made the Fassel era look much better considering the last decade.
christian : 2/4/2024 8:17 pm : link
If you read some of the posts by our resident clown, the high water mark recently was the Gettleman years. Under that lense, Fassel was a veritable Don Shula.
Compared to the past decade  
lax counsel : 2/4/2024 8:22 pm : link
It’s was a comparative golden age of giants football
got a lot out of nothing  
Dankbeerman : 2/4/2024 8:33 pm : link
getting a real QB helped him go even further but always one thread away from unraveling.
SF '02  
NormanAllen_95 : 2/4/2024 8:35 pm : link
Everything else is a blur and barely remmeber any of it. Including the beat down we gave Minny.

That SF game ruined any productivity I jad in me for a week.

I worked at a Starbucks in college and I remmeber being on the espresso bar the next day making drinks. When I heard someone on the line to order talking about the game, I was straming a pitcher of milk for cappuccinos. I started staring into space contemplating how on Earth that could have happened and burned my jand because the milk was boiling over about 35 degrees anove foaming tenp and shooting hot milk all over the place.

It was embarassing, but also the truest example of being in a state of shock that I can fathom.
An up and down tenure,  
Section331 : 2/4/2024 8:47 pm : link
but he looks like prime Belichick compared to what we’ve seen most of the past decade. I agree that his teams regularly played down to the competition, but he put together some good seasons. Won a division title with Danny Freaking Kanell as his QB.

His teams are good but very undisciplined. The Viking and SF playoff losses were prime examples of that.
Fun team, exciting games, some really good players  
D HOS : 2/4/2024 8:55 pm : link
Got to watch that team pummel the falcons down here in Georgia.

It was fun. Didn't feel like watching them play was some kind of punishment, like these days.
I think it depends on your timeline as a Giants fan  
GiantTuff1 : 2/4/2024 8:56 pm : link
I am extremely positive on his tenure since he was the coach for my entire high school time into college.

Before that I went through the end of elementary school and all of middle school with the inept offenses of Dan Reeves and being subjected to QB play of Dave Brown. I HATED Dan Reeves, partly because he was so conservative and also because he never so much tried to trust his QBs. The offensive output was putrid.

By comparison I was excited that this seeming Bill Gates-esque nerd who was some offensive savant and QB whisper was coming to New York. It was like Christ coming down to fix our embarrassing team at that point.

The highs were high and the lows were low but it was exciting football! Not boring dog shit. He revived the team, offense with Collins-Tiki-Amani-Ike-Shockey, had an eye for coaches with Payton and Fox and I think was a much better coach than given credit for.

I can write more about him, but I’ll stop there. I really enjoyed his stay especially after Reeves and was sad to see him go since he really was the first coach I truly liked. I was a tad young for the Parcells tenure.
The OP hits it  
AROCK1000 : 2/4/2024 9:00 pm : link
Pretty accurately
Fassel Was OK  
Samiam : 2/4/2024 9:21 pm : link
I thought he lost the games he was expecting to lose and generally won the games he was expected to win. I dont think they won games because if his coaching. Probably he was an average coach even when the talent was above average
Was very friendly to fans in Albany  
GeoMan999 : 2/4/2024 9:23 pm : link
We met him in person as we came out of the bathroom at the end of practice. I was with my wife and two young kids, we wanted him to sign an autograph for the kids and all we had was a Mickey Mouse Disney book as we had just returned from there. We shared a laugh about that and he was great with the kids.
I remember the SF playoff game  
yalebowl : 2/4/2024 9:24 pm : link
With Shockey dropping a decisive pass and then looking at his hands.
Good coach  
eric2425ny : 2/4/2024 10:07 pm : link
I’d take any of the teams he coached over what we have had in recent years. At least they were competitive.
Two words  
Blue Dream : 2/4/2024 10:53 pm : link
Maddengily inconsistent
RE: I remember the SF playoff game  
NormanAllen_95 : 2/4/2024 10:55 pm : link
In comment 16388659 yalebowl said:
With Shockey dropping a decisive pass and then looking at his hands.

That one where he changed his gloves and gave the finger.

Shockey was also awesome in that hame
RE: He was a good coach  
Matt M. : 2/4/2024 11:11 pm : link
In comment 16388572 Mayo2JZ said:
but the Vikings game was brutal. I don’t blame him for the SB. NO ONE was going to beat the Ravens that year
I think they would have lost regardless, but I hated the gameplan they went in with for that SB.
With a lot more fondness then I would have thought at the time  
steve in ky : 2/4/2024 11:20 pm : link
Fassel made lemonade out of lemons ....  
Manny in CA : 2/5/2024 1:15 am : link

Which O-line was worse Fassel's or today's ?

The Frisco debacle should haver never happened; Giants killed the Niners all day, then with lead, couldn't hold it because the line couldn't run to kill the clock.

O-line coach "Mouse" McNally tried hard with that bunch of impersonators, but just couldn't pull it off.

My last memory of Jim was his last game. He had so many players hurt, it seemed like he had to hire dog catchers to play for him. After he got fired, he still showed up in a Giants jacket, doing his best to win the game (and almost did, as I recall).

A pretty good coach  
Greg from LI : 2/5/2024 6:34 am : link
Great defenses, mostly meh offenses.
Third best coach of my Giants lifetime.  
mfjmfj : 2/5/2024 7:26 am : link
If I were a Steelers fan that would make him the worst coach.

As a Giants fan that makes him pretty darn good! Especially since the two better ones are or should be in the Hall of Fame.

He was a breath of fresh air after some pretty bad football. That first season, going perfect against the NFCE was awesome!
One thing not mentioned  
Daniel in MI : 2/5/2024 7:45 am : link
That sticks out is he came out the one year very aggressive. And the team failed him every time. It culminated with the pick 6 just before halftime vs the Cards (I think), but he was going in 4th, very much like today’s coaches but the team let him didn’t come through.

No one was beating that Ravens team. They knocked out or hurt every QB they faced and Collins was playing hurt by the 2nd half.
I liked Coach Fassel.  
Fishmanjim57 : 2/5/2024 8:03 am : link
The way the Giants owned the Eagles during his era was a huge positive. The SB loss was against a lethal defence which was coached by a younger, less toxic Wink Matindale, and they had the murderer Ray Lewis to deal with.
Like his teams, Fassel was erratic  
truebluelarry : 2/5/2024 8:07 am : link
and completely unpredictable. There were times when I'd thought he was brilliant, getting the team to play above their potential, and there were times they were maddeningly frustrating and - to borrow Fassels' term - befuddling.

One thing he was not was boring. Whether they were up or down, the Giants were always interesting under his watch.

RE: RE: I remember the SF playoff game  
Victor in CT : 2/5/2024 8:10 am : link
In comment 16388693 NormanAllen_95 said:
In comment 16388659 yalebowl said:


With Shockey dropping a decisive pass and then looking at his hands.

That one where he changed his gloves and gave the finger.

Shockey was also awesome in that hame

Shockey cost them the game. he dropped a sure TD. maybe if he spent more time focused on his his job instead getting i fihhts with fans they would have been better off.

Fassel teams were incredibly undisciplined, just like him.
I am Ninja : 2/5/2024 8:14 am : link
Wish I coulda shook his hand.
One defining trait he had was getting a strong finish  
truebluelarry : 2/5/2024 8:15 am : link
from them almost every year.
Prior to the total collapse in 2003 Fassel's December record was an impressive 19-7.
If he could have extracted that kind of record out of them from September through November he'd have been a legend.
Competitive teams......  
Simms11 : 2/5/2024 8:18 am : link
a team that could consistently beat the Eagles!
As a good coach  
Eightshamrocks : 2/5/2024 8:24 am : link
But also as a coach who was in charge of wildly inconsistent teams, which was frustrating. At least he brought excitement back to a franchise that had become stale and boring during the Dan Reevs era. He also knew how to get the best out of Shockey. Couglin didn't like to feature the TE as the focal point of his offensive's by the time he got to the Giants-much to Shockey's chagrin. The two playoffs collapses in 97 and 02 stung a lot. The big loss in the SB sucked as well. But as I said, I give Fassel credit for bringing back excitement and making the team a contender for most of his tenure.
undisciplined. Fassel coached two games where Giants players  
markky : 2/5/2024 8:42 am : link
actually punched each other on the sideline during the game. This is totally unacceptable.

interesting trivia, Fassel was also on the sideline of the Stanford marching band debacle.

RE: RE: RE: I remember the SF playoff game  
Eightshamrocks : 2/5/2024 8:43 am : link
In comment 16388778 Victor in CT said:
In comment 16388693 NormanAllen_95 said:


In comment 16388659 yalebowl said:


With Shockey dropping a decisive pass and then looking at his hands.

That one where he changed his gloves and gave the finger.

Shockey was also awesome in that hame

Shockey cost them the game. he dropped a sure TD. maybe if he spent more time focused on his his job instead getting i fihhts with fans they would have been better off.

Fassel teams were incredibly undisciplined, just like him.
Oh B.S. in a 38-14 game, one dropped TD pass shouldn't have mattered. The defense cost them the game for letting Jeff freaking Garcia look like Steve Young in the second half. Also, the ref screw job at the end.
RE: I liked Coach Fassel.  
GF1080 : 2/5/2024 8:59 am : link
In comment 16388771 Fishmanjim57 said:
The way the Giants owned the Eagles during his era was a huge positive. The SB loss was against a lethal defence which was coached by a younger, less toxic Wink Matindale, and they had the murderer Ray Lewis to deal with.

What? Wink wasn't a coach on that Ravens team.
I remember the Fassel years well  
ShockNRoll : 2/5/2024 10:11 am : link
As a kid, I was a Giants fan in a school full of Cowboys and Niners fans. Fassel's era started off with the first team to ever go undefeated in the NFC East in '97, and the Fassel tenure coincided with the end of the Cowboys era of dominance. The 2000 Super Bowl run will always be among my best sports memories, as I was 6 when the Giants won SB25, so I had never seen them play at that level before. Obviously the result sucked in SB35, but winning the top seed, handily beating the Eagles and absolutely destroying the Vikings in the NFC Championship game were excellent memories.

My dad, on the other hand, was always frustrated by Fassel, to the point where he referred to him as "Fasshole" lol
Wildly erratic, undisciplined  
JonC : 2/5/2024 10:29 am : link
played down to the level of the opponent constantly. Alot of big wins and good times too, but also often teams significantly overrated by NYG fans.
It seemed that  
Gman11 : 2/5/2024 10:43 am : link
whenever I thought they would have a good season, they were lousy and whenever I thought they'd be lousy they were good.
by November of 2003 I was disgusted with the Fassel era  
djm : 2/5/2024 11:31 am : link
these days I would kill for it. Funny how time and circumstance can change one's opinion.
bc4life : 2/5/2024 11:49 am : link
our worst drafting era ever.
CoughlinHandsonHips : 2/5/2024 1:50 pm : link
I would love to get the full story on why Fassel never got another HC job.

Coaches with way less a resume and success have gotten multiple chances...
RE: With a lot more fondness then I would have thought at the time  
D HOS : 2/5/2024 1:57 pm : link
In comment 16388696 steve in ky said:

one that about Fassel (and Coughlin's) tenure here  
djm : 2/5/2024 2:07 pm : link
was the NFC East was a cream puff from 97-99. 2000 Philly was showing serious promise but NYG were still the better and tougher team. By 01 Philly had taken the reigns but even 2000-2003 the East still wasn't that good at all. Skins were always a joke back then. Dallas sucked. Philly was the only good team and they weren't even good until 00.

Coughlin won in a much tougher division. So did Parcells, obviously.

LEt's see how Daboll does. The east is good again. We need to be good again too.
If you ranked all the Giants coaches in the modern era, say from  
Ivan15 : 2/5/2024 2:47 pm : link
Jim Lee Howell forward, he probably would be ranked above the middle of the pack. Maybe slightly below Perkins and above Reeves.
Fun times!  
Dave in PA : 2/5/2024 3:10 pm : link
Seriously. Coming off the likes of Dave Brown, Danny Kanell and Kent Graham, the Fassel/Collins/Barber era were downright electric. My amazing mother lucked into being able to acquire season tickets in section 305 from a family friend from 1999 through 2001 and that was a great window to see a lot of games in person, including the 2000 NFCC beatdown. Sure it ended terribly and with a major meltdown blown playoff game, but I wouldn't call that era anything less than interesting and at times extremely satisfying.
I give him credit  
DieHard : 2/5/2024 7:17 pm : link
for reestablishing a measure of competency around the team after the Reeves years, even if he was up-and-down as a coach (never had consecutive winning seasons). It's ironic that like the Giants teams of the late 50s, his assistant coaches (Lombardi and Landry, Payton and Fox) ended up going on to much more successful careers than the guy who was their boss.
Pretty solid  
Lines of Scrimmage : 2/5/2024 8:33 pm : link
The D was the lead unit as Young had drafted some really good D players. Fassel did great work building Kerry back up and he had plenty of issues to deal with. 2002 O was pretty exciting. They found a "formula" in his words with Tiki, Jeremy and Amani (his best season).

The NFCE was also on a downturn. Dallas was fading. WFT had been down and Reid was just getting going so he never had that really good NFCE to contend with.

The SB season was great. It did though expose some weaknesses. Two biggest ones were the OL and QB. Then the 2003 meltdown but that led to TC and Eli. TC made sure that the Giants were not going to get pushed around up front again and Eli was the big game QB they needed when the critical times called for it.

I think the 2007 or 08 team would deal with that Ravens D of 2000 just fine. The OL would stand strong and Eli wouldn't buckle.

Very fondly  
PHX Giants Fan : 2/5/2024 11:56 pm : link
The Fassel era was fun, and I have great memories from those years. Scrappy, likable teams playing over their heads at times. Always competitive. Getting Collins from the scrap heap and leading them to a Super Bowl in his first full year as a starter was impressive. Really only one bad season. Glad he was a Giant.
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