- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS –- Tom Coughlin referenced former UCLA coaching legend John Wooden, used Phil Collins’ music and reiterated the team’s motto of “finish” in his Saturday night speech to the Giants.
During his final meeting with the team on the eve of Super Bowl XLVI, Coughlin told his players how much he loved them, emphasizing that Wooden’s famous Pyramid of Success, and “Love” being at the top of the pyramid. Coughlin talked about how championships are won by teams that show immense love for one another.
He started off with a five-minute highlight video set to Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” –- a song that is universally popular with athletes, especially some Giants.
The video showed highlights, with most coming during the Giants’ current five-game winning streak, as well as some moments from the team’s 24-20 win over the Patriots in New England in early November.
Coughlin then talked for five-to-six minutes, starting with "Finish" -- the theme for the team set back before training camp. He told the Giants how proud he is of how they stuck together during the tougher times this season, when the team went through a four-game losing streak and was 7-7 at one point.
He described how players celebrate winning a title by hugging teammates and then looking up to the stands for wives and parents with the feeling of being a world champion.
And Coughlin finished by going back to one of his coaching idols, Wooden, and the pyramid. Wooden used to have "Competitive Greatness" at the top of the pyramid, but toward the end of his life, Wooden placed "Love" at the top.