The Irish secret to Tom Coughlin's Super Bowl success -- Mike McCarthy, Sean Payton also have the magic formula
By: Sean O'Shea | Published Sunday, February 5, 2012, 8:00 AM | Updated Sunday, February 5, 2012, 8:00 AM
Is there something about the Irish and coaching Super Bowl champions?
Three of the best four coaches in the NFL, Tom Coughlin, Sean Payton, Mike McCarthy have Irish backgrounds. Hall of Famer Bill Parcells, real name Bill O'Shea (His father,born Charles O'Shea, was adopted) is another.
In Britain it is well known that Scottish managers such as Alex Ferguson, Matt Busby, Bill Shankly are the best soccer managers that were ever produced.
There is something in the Scottish gene that makes them great managers of men.
It was Shankly, the Liverpool supremo who made the classic quote about the level of commitment great managers have.
"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."
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Could the same level of success be true of Irish and NFL coaches?
Yes is the answer. Tom Coughlin is back in his second Super Bowl. Mike McCarthy won it last year with Green Bay and had a terrific team this year again.
Down in New Orleans, Sean Payton led them to the promised land in 2009 and also had a helluva team this year.
All are good Irish Catholic boys who seem to get the mix of discipline and encouragement right.
Then there's Rex Ryan of course, another Irish guy who has yet to get to the big show but came close two years in a row.
Coughlin, Payton, McCarthy look and act like altar boys, clean living guys who inspire their teams with an army type discipline, teaching fundamentals and reexamining every facet every new season.
They don't like showboats, don't need the ego gratification themselves and always stress the team.
Kinda like Catholic school don't you think?
Patrick Sean Peyton, the New Orleans coach, a Chicago area native, is named after the Irish Catholic priest, Fr. Patrick Peyton, known as the famous "rosary priest."
Tom Coughlin once studied for the priesthood, while Mike McCarthy is the son of a fireman who was also a bar owner -- you don't get more Irish than that.
You gotta believe that Irish Catholic upbringing with its emphasis on discipline, teamwork and selflessness has something to do with it-- as well as the ability to communicate, never in doubt when it comes to the Irish.
There is a lot of God and Country type sentiment in there-- and clearly it works...