Joe Judge vs. Marc Colombo

Who ya got?

Jim Rome
November 19, 2020 - 10:50 am
Marc Colombo

USA Today


The New York Giants fired offensive line coach Marc Colombo yesterday. Head coach Joe Judge said in a statement: "We appreciate what Marc has done, but I felt like this move is in the best interest of the team.”

Normally, I wouldn’t be talking about the staffing moves of a 3-7 football team, but I’m talking about this one. Because it’s bizarre to be firing an offensive line coach when it seemed like the offensive line was actually improving.

They had run for 150 yards or more in three straight games. Sure, two of those games were against Philadelphia and Washington, but they still technically count as NFL games.

But again, that’s not really enough to get me talking about who Joe Judge is hiring and firing.  But Joe Judge firing Marc Colombo for punching Judge in the face is. That’s incredible. And that was the initial report. 

Don’t get it twisted. I am not a fan of workplace violence. That goes without saying. But if there’s a report that an assistant coach broke the head coach’s face, then I’m talking about it. That I AM HERE FOR! 

There is a rich tradition of coaches punching each other in games. There was the moment when Houston Oilers defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan punched Houston Oiler offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride in the middle of a game. Not at a practice, not in a film session, not in a meeting room, but during an actual NFL game. 

There were the reports that Raiders head Coach Tom Cable punched a defensive assistant in the jaw and sent him to the hospital. And then there was some mystery because the injury might have happened when Cable allegedly flipped him out of his chair and the assistants face bounced off a cabinet. Either way, it was a great sign for the Raiders.  That’s who they are: an organization that will give anyone the finger: and the hands.  Including themselves. 

Then there was the time Bobby Petrino got into a fight with the pavement and the pavement kicked his ass. 

And now we have the report that Marc Colombo punched Joe Judge yesterday. I don’t know if it’s true or not, I just know I want it to be true. Again, I don’t condone workplace violence and solving something with your fists is never a good solution, but it is most football coach thing ever to square up with one another:  that’s as football coach as it gets. Especially Judge; all we ever about this guy is his no-nonsense approach: no nonsense Joe Judge: Joe Judge: isn’t having it: Joe Judge is a tough guy, blah blah blah: the surprise isn’t that he and one of his assistants gave each other the hands, or that Judge got the hands, allegedly, it’s that it took as long for it to happen as it did: I mean, when you’re dealing with someone who is THAT no nonsense, someone is getting the hands: allegedly. 

And that was the initial report: that Colombo and Judge exchanged hands and that, Colombo got the best of Judge, and Judge fired him on the spot. 

Then again, maybe I’m being unfair: maybe I shouldn’t be saying they exchanged hands: maybe that’s not accurate: if it happened at all: not accurate because –

Because Marc Colombo is six feet, eight inches tall. He was listed at 320 pounds in his playing days. That’s like stepping in against Andre The Giant. Unless you’re Bruce Lee fighting Kareem, You’re not giving him anything.

I don’t know how big Joe Judge is, but he was a backup quarterback and holder in college. So I’m guessing he’s not 6 foot 10 and 400 pounds.

In other words, if there was a fight between Colombo and Judge, it did not last long. Not unless Judge is a some freaky jiu jitsu master, shot low, took that fight to the mat and choked Colombo out: if the two of them stood in the middle of the ring and exchanged hands, there was no exchange: Colombo let his go and judge started bleeding.  I’m guessing if that’s how that went, judge didn’t counter. 

If Marc Colombo punches you, you stay punched. To quote Pete McMeat, if you’re about to get in a fight with Marc Colombo, you would have a big dump in your pants.

Colombo v. Judge would be the classic two-hit fight: his fist hits your head, your head hits the floor. And it may or may not still be attached to your shoulders.

And how about the idea that they fought, Colombo won, and Judge fired him immediately? If they really did fight and Colombo really did land a punch, Judge isn’t talking to HR about firing someone, he’s talking to a doctor about fixing his face. And more likely, he’s not talking to anyone at all.

The team said the report of Colombo and Judge fighting was “absolutely false in every way.” 

Of course they would. You have to say that if you’re them. I don’t know if it is or isn’t false, but I do know that you if have to deny that your first year head coach was fighting his offensive line coach, that is never good news.

That is not the sign of a functioning environment. You don’t hear the great teams in the NFL denying reports that their head coach got knocked the hell out by an assistant: I don’t remember hearing about how mike Vrabel put Bill Belichick to sleep.  Or that bill Belichick put Bill Parcells to sleep. 

And then there is this tweet from Kim Jones of the NFL Network: Heard from a bunch of people today. I am convinced Joe Judge & Mark Colombo never got physical. I do believe Colombo called Judge, his boss, one of the dirtiest words in the English language.

And don’t come in here with some weak joke like “Colombo called Judge one of the dirtiest words in the English languages - he called him a Jet?”

It’s already been done, a billion times. But it does raise the question – what word could be so dirty and filthy that it would get Colombo fired? And it raises another question – how the hell is this happening with the New York Giants?

We’re not talking about the Houston Texans or the Detroit Lions or the Washington football team. We’re not even talking about the New York Mets. We’re talking about the New York Giants.

This is one of the Tiffany franchises not just in the NFL, but in all of professional sports.

They used to be held up as a model organization. Now they’ve been one of the worst teams in the NFL for years and they have to deny allegations that their offensive line coach knocked their head coach the hell out. And don’t tell me that this is a good thing and further evidence that they’re on the right track and that Judge once again has set the tone: a head coaching getting knocked out by an assistant and firing that assistant on the spot allegedly, is not leading from the front. It’s not a sign of good culture: it’s a sign of complete dysfunction and how jacked things are in that building. I just wonder if Judge looked at Colombo first and said, yo, Paul Bunyan, what do you say you and I just take this outside.  And if columbo said what do you say I just break face right here and now. Allegedly.