How Joe Judge Narrowly Avoided A Job Interview Nightmare With Giants

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Joe Judge received a valuable lesson about New York/New Jersey life before he even landed the Giants' head-coaching job last week: There are two Penn Stations.

According to a timeline of the Giants, Panthers and Missisippi State coaching searches provided by NBC Sports' Peter King, Judge was traveling to his Giants interview on a Amtrak Acela train from Providence, Rhode Island, to Newark on Jan. 6, but he disembarked in Manhattan instead of New Jersey. 

"Judge just heard 'Penn Station' and got off the train," King wrote. "The Giants were sending a car for him, and Judge went to what he thought was the appointed spot. No car. Judge called his pick-up man. 'Where are you?' The guy said, 'I'm here. Where are you?' Judge looked around and told him 34th Street, and the Giants rep said, 'You got off at the wrong Penn Station!'"
Judge then ordered an Uber to East Rutherford. Fortunately for him, he left enough time to still arrive at the Giants facility 15 minutes before his interview was scheduled to begin.

Joe Judge talks to the media after he was introduced as the new head coach of the New York Giants during a news conference at MetLife Stadium on January 9, 2020 in East Rutherford, New JerseyRich Schultz/Getty Images

"I didn’t know there were two Penn Stations," Judge said. 

He's certainly not the first person to make that mistake, and he won't be the last.

Judge, as we know now, blew the Giants brass away during that interview. But before the then-Patriots special teams/wide receivers coach left the facility, co-owner John Mara called him into his office for a one-on-one and filled him in on how high the stakes are for the franchise right now.

"I told him, 'This has been our family business since 1925. We HAVE to get this turned around. We CAN’T be wrong on this hire,'" Mara told King. 

Judge had to ace one last test before being offered the job. Co-owner Steve Tisch was not present at the interview in East Rutherford, but he flew to Providence the following day to meet with Judge. 

“Wow,” Tisch told Mara afterward. “I was really impressed. Let’s get this done.”