Parcells will be inducted in the NFL’s Hall of Fame along with Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Larry Allen, Curley Culp, Dave Robinson and Jonathan Ogden. It was an honor that he deserved based on his work with the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys. He turned all four franchises around after they were a laughingstock before his arrival. It was something he relished doing as a head coach.
Parcells’ induction is not going to be a big deal for Broncomaniacs, but for a kid that grew up watching him, it is. Think of this as what John Elway is to Denver is to what Parcells is to New York. What both accomplished in their town was significant.
Living in New York forever, there is an appreciation what Parcells did with the Giants and Jets.
As a kid growing up, it was something to see Parcells win two championships with the Giants. He drafted well, and he molded his players into winners. The Giants always had a chance to win the Super Bowl every year because of the head coach. He knew how to run a great game plan, and he put players in a position to succeed.
The run the Giants had in 1991 was something to remember. The Giants beat three great teams in the Bears, 49ers and Bills to win a championship. That was a credit to great coaching by Parcells. He had his guys believing they can beat those three teams, and it paid off.
At the time, the Giants were viewed as the best regular season team. There were questions about the Giants beating two powerhouses in the 49ers and Bills, who were dominating as the season was winding down.
The Giants beating the 49ers in the 1991 NFC Championship Game is in a way an upset. No one expected them to beat a powerhouse 49ers team on the road except Parcells and his team. That’s a credit to the head coach who had his players believe they can beat them. That set the stage for the Giants to play the Bills well in the Super Bowl. Of course, it helped Scott Norwood missed the game-winning field goal for the Bills as the Giants held on to a 20-19 victory.
That coaching performance showed he was a Hall of Fame material.
As a Jets fan, one can only wish the Jets had a coach like Parcells, who demanded greatness and accountability. That fantasy became a reality in 1997 when he was hired to be the Jets coach. He came when the Jets were in the lowest of lows as a 1-15 team under the inept leadership of then-Jets coach Rich Kotite.
Immediately, Parcells turned that sorry franchise around. The Jets were a 9-7 team in his first season with them in 1997, and they almost made the playoffs. They made it to the AFC Championship Game the following season before they bowed down to the Broncos by playing awful in the second half that resulted to a 23-10 loss.
Parcells quit as a head coach following the 1999 season with the death of Jets owner Leon Hess and Woody Johnson buying the team.
Parcells’ time as a Jets coach was the best run this Jets fan experienced. There was actually hope, leadership and direction. It’s all what he wanted. It was like the Jets becoming a NFL franchise again after years of bad football.
It wasn’t just his work with the Giants and Jets that intrigue this guy, but his work with the Patriots was something else. Remember he took over when they were at their low point, and he built them up to where they played in the Super Bowl in 1997 before he left them. They don’t become the franchise they are without Parcells’ influence.
He also made the Cowboys back to being America’s team when he took over in 2003. In his first year, he transformed them into a playoff team. He even won a playoff game with Quincy Carter that season.
He won games with quarterbacks such as Phil Simms, Jeff Hostetler, Vinny Testaverde, Ray Lucas and Quincy Carter. Those guys will never be mentioned as Hall of Fame quarterbacks. That’s what is called coaching.
There is so much to like about Parcells. He was a master motivator. He had a way to get the most of people, and he knew what made them tick. He knew what he was doing when he was coaching football. He had that supreme confidence about himself. He was interesting to watch.
There are not many guys like Parcells anymore. Most coaches are bland, and they don’t scream at today’s players.
For this writer’s money, Parcells is the best coach in the history of football based on how he made losers into winners in the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys. That is also good enough for him to be the best coach NY Sports ever had based on one man’s opinion.
It was an honor and privilege to watch Parcells at his prime. That’s the perks of being an old guy.
That’s why he earned his place in Canton tonight.
There won’t be a coach like him in this writer’s lifetime.