Jim Fassel waited patiently as the cavernous auditorium filled, just to make sure everybody was present. He was the New York Giants’ coach at the time — a man whose team had won the 2001 NFC Championship Game over the Minnesota Vikings just two days earlier — and he wanted to establish his strategy for Super Bowl week.
But it wasn’t only players and assistants who had arrived for this meeting at team headquarters. Wives, girlfriends and even a couple of mothers had been asked to attend, as well.
What Fassel understood was that the days leading up to Super Bowl XXXV would be rife with the kind of distractions that can cripple a team’s focus. And the last thing he needed was to face the Baltimore Ravens with even one player not having had a great week of practice.