Tom Coughlin may be out as New York Giants coach, but one of his oddest traditions will live on with the team’s new coach, Ben McAdoo.
In honor of the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, McAdoo, who served as Coughlin’s offensive coordinator for two seasons before being promoted to headman, will keep all the clocks at the Giants’ facilities five minutes fast.
Giants coach Ben McAdoo was looking to honor Tom Coughlin. Coughlin told him, "Don't mess with the clocks." They'll stay 5 minutes fast.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 15, 2016
Here’s an explanation of the five-minutes-fast tactic, from a 2012 NJ.com column:
“Because the fines for being late are steep — there are league rules, but around here, we go by TC rules,” safety Tyler Sash explained. “And the No. 1 TC rule is you have to be five minutes early to everything.”
Yes, by now we’ve all heard about the renowned Coughlinian punctuality. The Giants head coach sets every clock in the massive complex ahead by five minutes, everyone conforms to his weird fixation (except for the microwave in the players’ lounge, actually — it’s only three minutes fast), and nobody gives it a second thought.
Though “Tom Coughlin Time” does stress the importance of timeliness, it seems to mostly just makes everyone’s lives more difficult. If you know you’re considered “late” unless you’re “five minutes early,” then “five minutes early” becomes “on-time,” and you’re kind of back to where you started.
Ironically, Coughlin’s forced resignation earlier this month was probably the result of poor clock management. The Giants repeatedly floundered in the final minutes in 2015 on their way to a 6-10 record. McAdoo’s success in the Meadowlands will probably depend more on what he does with the game clock than how he handles the ones in the practice facility.