This week of practice and preparing for a football game may have been one of the most difficult for New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, as he is currently dealing with personal tragedy following the death of his younger brother, John Coughlin, who passed away due to head trauma on Monday night at the age of 63.
The younger brother of the Giants coach was attending the game between the Giants and Broncos this past Sunday and was returning to his home in Hackensack when he slipped exiting a cab and hit his head, which caused a brain hemorrhage. Since then, Coughlin has been trying to focus on football, although he did have to step away from the team on Monday to attend to his brother and family, but as he told Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News this week during practice, he's been battling his emotions all week while trying to prepare for football.
"It's an emotional tug of war is probably the best way to say it," Coughlin said. "You drift back and forth between your family and your brother and even my wife (Judy) was very close to John and is close to all my sisters. So you're not there for anybody, to be honest with you. But that's understood. They all understand that."
The 67-year-old Coughlin is deeply committed to the game of football and to the Giants, who currently sit at 0-2 and are desperately searching for their first win of the 2013 season this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. But even with that, nobody would blame Coughlin if he couldn't completely focus on the job at hand with the loss of a family member. But even in the wake of a family tragedy, Coughlin still found it very hard for himself to separate himself from the team, something he loves so much.
"Monday was a day in which the initial shock for me was at about 5 in the morning, going over to the hospital and seeing John and then listening to the doctors and their options and then going back in the afternoon and having my sisters there," Coughlin said. "We all were in there together. Then the doctors came by, the neurosurgeons, and they went further with the explanation. And then we went back Monday night to say goodbye. It was that, and then you're trying to get as much information as you can about the next opponent and you're trying to go ahead and take care of things that you do."
The Giants players have all rallied around their head coach during his tough time and are looking to help Coughlin get through the game on Sunday against the Panthers. After the Giants play the Panthers in North Carolina, Coughlin will then head back to New York, where his brother's funeral will be held on Tuesday in Waterloo, New York.
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