WTF is Bashir Levingston? Jim Fassel knows. In November of 2000, the 7-2 Giants lost two games in a row and Fassel was doing his typical underachievement, unable to handle prosperity. His contract was coming due, and he knew his days were numbered if this team with a softer schedule in a soft conference failed to meet expectations. So with the team now 7-4, Fassel made his legendary push ‘all-in.’ He guaranteed the team was going to the playoffs. BFD. He knew he was gone if they did not get in anyway, so by itself, he really had nothing to lose by doing that. The players allegedly responded by saying that Fassel took all the pressure off of them, en route to a 5 game sweep of the remaining games. Nice fairy tale ending, right?
But a lesser known move by Fassel was what MORE LIKELY put him over the top. (1) ON THE SAME DAY as the “guarantee,” he cut his kick returner, Bashir Levingston. As the kick returner, everyone assumed this alpha male of the special teams was untouchable. But word had it (I cannot confirm this) that Levingston was a troublemaker, a disrupter in team meetings etc…, and HE WAS SHOWN THE DOOR. He never played in the NFL again. (2) He simultaneously shook up special teams and placed many prominent starters in the jobs that are generally relegated to 1st and 2nd year players. Veterans don’t take kindly to being put in harm’s way by kamikaze gunners etc…so these team leaders took charge and overnight there was a complete change in attention and discipline as the veterans went after the younger players and played better themselves when they too realized their jobs were not safe either.
The inmates have been running the Coughlin asylum for a while now.