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Tom Coughlin loses his brother after accident


When I noticed earlier today that the younger brother of Giants coach Tom Coughlin recently had died, I added the item to the list of stories to get posted at some point in the near future.

When I noticed tonight the circumstances, the story shot to the top of the stack.

As explained by Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger, 63-year-old John Coughlin tripped and fell after Sunday’s game between the Broncos and the Giants. John Coughlin had arrived at his Hackensack apartment, and he had just paid his cab fare. He suffered a head injury and brain swelling.

The next morning, Tom Coughlin learned that his brother was on life support.

Two days later, Coughlin was back at work.

Via defensive lineman Justin Tuck, Tom Coughlin told the players “that time on this earth is precious and don’t allow yourself to think otherwise. . . . Then he went right into the game plan.”

Coughlin will remain on the job this week, with a key game coming up in Charlotte.

“It’s tough, but has to be done,” said receiver Victor Cruz, whose grandmother died last year during football season. “We’re counting on him and he’s counting on us.”

For Coughlin, football will help distract him from the constant reminder that his brother is gone. And Coughlin will grieve when he can find the time to grieve.

He’ll grieve in his own way, for now honoring his brother’s memory by respecting the notion that our time is indeed precious. Coughlin spends most of his time doing something he loves, and that’s undoubtedly what his brother would want him to keep doing.

We extend our thoughts and prayers to Coach Coughlin, his family, and to John Coughlin’s friends and colleagues.