Bill Parcells is angry in this picture. Or hungry. It's hard to tell. One thing is for certain, though; he's looked a lot more miserable in recent times with the Cowboys than ferocious. And today, under somewhat odd circumstances, Bill has announced his retirement from football coaching.
Bill "retired" from the New York Giants in 1991, just months after winning his second Super Bowl in five years. Before long, he was the New England Patriots head coach. In 1996, he "retired" from the Patriots, going so far as to say he had "no desire to continue as an NFL coach." Parcells caught the coaching bug after an eight-day retirement (which, really, ought to be enough for anybody) and took over the New York Jets.
Three years later in 2000, Bill must have realized the Giants hadn't switched their colors to green and white and he "retired" from the Jets, saying at the time that he'd "coached [his] last game" and that "[His] intention is to stay retired as a coach."
After doing some time on Sunday NFL Countdown, Parcells went back to coaching in 2003 with the Cowboys. And, frankly, if I were forced to work with a fat, pontificating, bloviating, slovenly, annoying, obnoxious, arrogant douchwad like Chris Berman I might look for other work, too.
What bugs me about all this is that Parcells is hailed as an absolute frickin' genius. John Clayton even wrote a column about how Parcells is going straight to the Hall of Fame. Well, okay, I guess.
Parcells has a 172-130-1 record in 19 seasons as a coach. So he averaged 9-7 over his career. If I told you your favorite team was going to go about 9-7 every year for the next 19 years, would you be excited? Maybe these days you would since it's often enough to make the playoffs. But still, that sounds like just a shade above mediocrity most of the time. If you're a shade above mediocrity for two decades, your record looks like 172-130-1.
Was Bill a good coach? Sure he was. His players listened, for the most part, and he developed some amazing talents such as Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, Joe Morris, Curtis Martin, Drew Bledsoe, etc., and he turned many of them into championship-level players when maybe their talent wasn't that high (see Simms and Bledsoe).
But in recent years, it's become apparent that Bill is just old. He's 65 now and when he faces a younger, more modern-day coach, he often doesn't fare well. The best and most glaring example was when the Cowboys were riding high this year and the New Orleans Saints came into Dallas, led by young Sean Payton. Payton and the Saints absolutely crushed the Cowboys, getting to a point where they were kneeling down with three minutes left out of respect. The Saints could have hung over 50 points on the 'boys that night without a doubt.
Parcells also hasn't won a playoff game in eight years, since those Jets won a single playoff game in 1998 on thier way to losing the AFC title game to the Oakland Raiders. It was ten years ago that Bill last went to the Super Bowl, with the Patriots losing to the Packers. And when was the last time he won a Super Bowl, you ask? Why, it was after the 1990 season with the Giants. Sixteen years ago. He won two Super Bowls with a very talented Giants team that had just reeled off 55 wins over five seasons.
My point is that people shouldn't wonder if the game has passed him by -- they should accept that the game zoomed by him many years ago. Parcells is a good coach and good coaches win the games they probably should win and get smoked in games that are a bit more of a challenge (sort of like Joe Tiller at Purdue, just as a "for instance" off the top of my head).
Parcells Cowboys played in two whole playoff games in his four years in Dallas and they lost both of them. Do you know what legendary coach Bill Parcells' playoff record is since those Giants Super Bowl days? 3-5. In the last sixteen years, his playoff record is 3-5.
So sure, go ahead and put him in the Hall of Fame. But let's not forget that Parcells is a genius because the media have annointed him so. His record doesn't bear it out.