Whether it’s simply a matter of him enjoying the sound of his own voice or rather him feeling the need to publically voice his resume for his own job’s sake, Joe Judge’s press conferences have become quite the drawn-out spectacle of late.
There’s no better example of this than last Sunday when the Giants coach decided that a postgame presser following a 29-3 beatdown loss to the Chicago Bears was the prime time to unleash an 11-minute rant on the world regarding the positive “foundation” being built in East Rutherford. Asked simply as to why Giants fans should continue to have faith in the organization, Judge unloaded a 2,614-word response towards the latter end of the press conference, per Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media.
The main topics included Judge claiming former players call him multiple times per week wishing they were still a part of the team — despite making more money elsewhere. He also claimed impending free agents currently on the roster enter his office every day pleading their case to return next season. Beyond that, there were a few comments that could be portrayed as shots at past Giants coaches, as well as jabs at other franchises within the division — namely the Washington Football Team, New York’s opponents in the season finale.
“This ain’t a team that’s having fistfights on the sidelines. This ain’t some clown show organization or something else, OK? We’re talking about the foundation built,” Judge said. The Giants coach appeared to be taking a shot at Washington teammates Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, who were involved in a scuffle on the bench during WFT’s 56-14 loss in Week 16.
Ron Rivera Claps Back at Judge: ‘Talk About Your Own Team’
Originally, Washington head coach Ron Rivera didn’t appear all too fazed by Judge’s comments, telling Paul Schwartz of the New York Post on January 5 that he found the statement “interesting” but had no further response on the matter.
However, fast forward two days and Rivera did in fact share further thoughts on Judge’s take. The veteran head coach joined the “Kevin Sheehan Show“, where he altered his tone quite a bit on the situation, via MSN’s Ed Valentine:
To be upfront about it, it disappoints me because for somebody to make a comment like that and not really know the circumstances of the situation we’ve gone through. I mean for goodness sake you know if you pay attention to what’s happening you would have found out that we had just had one of our most popular players [Deshazor Everett], a guy that’s very popular amongst his teammates, was in a terrible car accident where his longtime girlfriend is killed. We had another player [Montez Sweat] who lost his brother to murder and then we had another player who lost another brother.
There’s reasons why things happen, and to take a shot at people when people are going through what they’re going through, that’s not right. If you don’t know and understand other people’s teams, talk about yourself, talk about your own team. That’s what’s fair.
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WFT vs. Giants
Washington (6-10) and New York (4-12) both fell far short of expectations this season — each losing their starting quarterbacks in the midst. Playing in a division that was believed to be up for grabs, the Dallas Cowboys (11-5) and Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) proved to be the cream of the crop in the NFC East, both punching a ticket to the playoffs.
After making the postseason a season ago and nearly edging out eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round, Washington has been eliminated from playoff contention for the fifth time in six years. As for the Giants, a decade of disappointment continues for the once-proud franchise. With a fifth-consecutive losing season under their belt, the Giants haven’t earned a postseason victory since their Super Bowl title in 2011-12.
Frankly, the back and forth between Rivera and Judge means very little in the grand scheme of things. However, the prospect of some bad blood at least gives fans a bit more reason to tune in to a season finale that has very little else at stake.