For the 2006 season, retiring New York Giants GM, Ernie Accorsi, invited Tom Callahan into the front office of the organisation.
The result of that experience appears in his book: ‘The GM’. Inside is both an account of the rollercoaster 2006 New York Giants season, and an insight into the life of one of the league’s great characters, a dying breed of NFL brass that began life as football fans, football writers, and worked their way up through the system.
This book provides something that’s rarely glimpsed in the NFL, a look behind the scenes in one of the league’s top franchises. Callahan had unfettered access to the front office, locker room and players during the season, and as such is able to tell stories that regular sports writers don’t get the chance to. This book is a must for all Giants fans, as well as anybody interested in the inner workings of an NFL franchise, but the star of the book is Ernie Accorsi himself.
The pages are stuffed full of information about both the New York Giants, and the NFL as a whole, as told through the eyes of a man who has lived the NFL for the best part of his life. Ernie Accorsi finished his career as a GM, but was a scout at heart, and never lost the passion of unearthing new talent. He was also a rare breed of man manager who would tell everyone the truth, regardless of how harsh it might be, and it meant he was one of the most respected and loved characters in the league. Players respected him because he told them the harsh truth, which enabled them to work on the things they needed to, and everybody else just loved a straight shooter.
Perhaps Accorsi’s greatest legacy has only really come to light in recent seasons, because he was steadfast in his conviction that Eli Manning would become one of the league’s best. After last season, he looks dead on.
As Tom Callahan, the author, is quick to point out the book is Accorsi’s story, and is well worth the read for the dozens of anecdotes alone. This is a man whose life has been dedicated to football, and who has been around some of the game’s great characters. The book provides insight into Accorsi the man, but also shows what his life was like as the GM of the Giants, and what it means to him to be stepping back from football into retirement.
I liked the book enough to get in touch with Callahan, and you can read the interview here.