I’m completely in denial that the NFL season is over so I decided to continue the Giants-Patriots theme by lamenting Bill Parcells’ Canton snub. Parcells’ proteges are of course Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick who have a combined 5 Super Bowl wins as head coaches between them so his coaching legacy alone should push him over the edge. As anyone who followed the Giants during his tenure knows, Parcells was never a warm and fuzzy guy. However, he resurrected the franchise, winning 2 titles along the way – one with a back-up QB – and gaining the reputation as the best motivator in the NFL (a little known fact is that the Gatorade shower after a big win originated when a Giants player wanted to get revenge on Parcells for being so hard on him in practice.) Just ask the Bears or Colts how difficult it is to win, let alone go deep into the playoffs, without their starting QB!
With the passage of time, I’ve come to the conclusion that the disappointing end of his career as a Dolphins executive along with his “journeyman” travels hurt his HOF chances. However, Parcells is also the only coach in NFL history to take four different teams to the playoffs (Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys). Aside from his success with the G-men, Parcells’s legacy includes an AFC Championship (Patriots), AFC title game (Jets) after the team had gone 1-15 the previous year and making the Cowboys relevant again (with Romo underachieving even back then). So, Parcells didn’t simply wander aimlessly from team to team but had a big part in laying the groundwork for future success.
I’m disappointed that the 44 HOF voters – whoever they are as the process is shrouded in as much secrecy as when a new Pope is elected – couldn’t see what seemingly everyone else in the industry does: Parcells deserves to be elected. I only hope they come to their senses at the next vote!