When the New York Giants ended their 2016 regular season, they were locked in as the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoffs at 11-5. Considering the year before they were just 6-10, a five-win improvement was certainly something to celebrate.
So, they did. In Miami. On a boat. The Monday before their Wild Card playoff matchup with the Packers at Lambeau Field.
New Giants coach Ben McAdoo was a clear departure from the stern hand of former coach Tom Coughlin. The former coach, a notorious disciplinarian, likely never would have allowed any members of his team to leave town the Monday before a playoff game. But McAdoo was a first-year coach, still trying to find his way at the front of the room.
Technically, the team’s wide receivers didn’t do anything wrong. No practices were missed and those that did the South Florida excursion on the water were down and back the next day. But the picture taken (and shared millions of times on social media) on the boat gave Giants fans problems with optics and gave the rest of the football world a reason to mock a trip that could have happened whenever the season ended.
"At first, I’m not gonna lie, I was apprehensive," wide receiver Victor Cruz recalled saying to teammate Odell Beckham, Jr. "'Odell, do you wanna do this? Sterling, are you sure?’ They look at me, salivating: ‘Let’s go to Miami."
As it turned out, they could have just gone a few days later and avoided the perception they didn’t care.
Riding the hot hand of Aaron Rodgers and the elusiveness of Randall Cobb, the Packers dominated the Giants that day, 38-13, in a game that became known as "The Boat Trip Boat Race.”
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