10. Bill Parcells
Whenever talking about Bill Parcells’ amazing NFL coaching career, somewhere in the background, the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” is playing.
As with Revis, it’s possible to be both a hero and a villain. Parcells’ valiant attempt to turn around the New York Jets keeps him from appearing closer to the front of the line. His first sin was leading the crosstown Giants to two Super Bowl wins. Jets fans had to swallow a bitter pill and admit NYG was the better franchise during his eight-year tenure at The Meadowlands.
Sin number two came in 1993, three years after he retired from the Giants following Super Bowl XXV. Parcells went from a crosstown rival to an AFC East Division rival. Worse, he took a team that was 14–40 over the four years before his arrival to the Super Bowl XXXI, four years later.
The following spring Parcells left the Pats after a personnel dispute with owner Robert Kraft. Jets owner Woody Johnson finagled a way to bring Parcells to Gang Green. It wasn’t a pretty situation, but Johnson found a way to get it done.
Parcells took over the New York Jets in 1997. He turned a team that went a combined 4–28 the previous two seasons and turned them into a winning team at 9–7. A year later, Parcells led Gang Green to a 12–4 record and a trip to the AFC Championship game. The 1999 season didn’t go as planned as the team stumbled to an 8–8 finish, which led to sin number three.
By then, Parcells had enough of life running a team from the sidelines. He retired for a second time, vowing never to coach again. Although he served as New York’s GM in 2000, it left a bitter taste in the mouths of Gang Green Nation, that he didn’t finish what he started and left a talented team hanging. A feeling that amplified when the Dallas Cowboys lured Parcells out of retirement three years later.