Gearing Up For ESPN’s ’30 For 30′ On Old Friends Bill Parcells & Bill Belichick

Tonight is the night. ESPN presents their latest documentary. ‘The Two Bills’ chronicles a pair of the greatest football coaches ever. Both coached the Patriots, among others. I’m not big on comparisons in terms of who is better. I’d rather just appreciate greatness. Obviously Bill Belichick’s accomplishments speak for themselves. Younger fans probably don’t realize how great Bill Parcells was. As Lord Tree Sap told me, the guy pretty much rebuilt everybody in the AFC East.

Sorry, Buffalo. Parcells turned around the Pats and Jets. He took New England to a Super Bowl. Today we think of New England as a primary franchise. Before Parcells took over, New England was in disarray. Robert Kraft bought the Patriots from someone who wanted to move them. They would have been renamed the St. Louis Stallions. Even if Belichick did a better job or won more, there is something to be said for the guy doing it first.

Without Parcells, Belichick does not get a chance for so much greatness. Of course, that could be said about Belichick’s whole career. His first job as head coach followed years of coaching in the Giants organization under Parcells. After coaching New England for four years, Parcells headed back to New York.

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The 1997 Jets went from 1-15 a season earlier to 9-7. Year two as Jets coach saw additional improvement. In 1998 the Jets won their division and earned a bye. They beat Jacksonville and were up 10-0 in Denver with a Super Bowl on the line.

Later, Parcells was the Executive VP of Football Operations for Miami. He engineered another amazing turnaround. The Dolphins won just once during their 2007 campaign. They finished 11-5 in 2008. The Dolphins were division champs. Lightning had struck for a second time. Parcells had done it again. More first year magic.

That’s just part of what Parcells did. Despite his AFC East greatness, much of what Parcells is known for happened in the NFC East. He won his two championships coaching the Giants. This is another example of fans only knowing what the team represents today.

Many do not remember their long drought before Parcells got there. His final work as a head coach came with Dallas. Tony Romo’s fumbled snap prevented a playoff win in Seattle. Mike Francesa often told the story of how Dallas would have advanced to play Chicago, and Parcells was confident about that potential matchup. Francesa should be featured tonight, but that’s a topic for another time.

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Perhaps the most interesting part of tonight’s documentary will be having Belichick and Parcells together. I’m sure plenty of time will be devoted to their relationship. I wonder how much time will be spent on Belichick walking away from the Jets. Another juicy subject will be when Belichick’s Browns beat New England (coached by Parcells) in a playoff game. I have been waiting to see this for months. Enjoy tonight’s presentation on ESPN at 9:00.

18 Years Ago Today Bill Belichick Resigned as New York Jets Head Coach

January 4th, 2000. Bill Belichick steps to the podium just 24 hours after becoming head coach of the Jets and successor to Bill Parcells with a piece of paper that read, “I resign as HC of the NYJ.” And just like that the New York Jets franchise was altered forever, as Belichick went on to take the Patriot job amid a turbulent ownership change in New York just over two weeks later. The Jets received a first round pick as compensation for Belichick in the 2000 draft, which happened to turn into Shaun Ellis.

Bill teamed up with Tom Brady and has gone on to torture Jets fans with a 19-9 record against us this millennium. Belichick has compiled 214 regular season wins in 18 years at the helm in New England, delivering 5 Super Bowls in 7 trips with a .743 win percentage. Ironically, the Jets ushered in the Brady era after Mo Lewis knocked quarterback Drew Bledsoe out in a 2001 regular season match up in Foxborough.

As a kid you hear about something like this and don’t think much of it. The magnitude of this move amplifies each year, as the Pats notched their eighth straight 12-win season and 15th consecutive 10-win campaign. Then you have the New York Jets, whose owner took a job in the U.K. to assist Donald Trump’s agenda, and still have not found an answer to their lingering quarterback situation since Parcells departed in 2000.

One thing in football history that I don’t think gets enough credit was Bill Parcells’ ability to turn around tumultuous franchises. The Big Tuna led the Giants (2 Super Bowl Victories) and Patriots (One Super Bowl Appearance) before helping resurrect the Jets, while adding stability and direction to the Cowboys and Dolphin front offices.

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I’m really looking forward to ESPN’s The Two Bills 30 For 30 at the top of February detailing the history between Belichick and Parcells, who hasn’t spoke much since departing from NFL sidelines. I need some closure on why Bill Belichick left the Jets to finally put this curse to rest. All we are left is what could have been and a snake-bitten franchise. The upcoming 2018 season marks 50 years since our lone Super Bowl victory. The misery never ends.

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