On Wednesday the GIANTS held another of their fan conference calls for season ticket holders. It was one of three that I have participated in, and was by far the best yet. Coach Bill Parcells and Hall of Fame Linebacker Harry Carson were on the call separately and took questions from the fans. They spoke of the 1986 Super Bowl season, a season being celebrated this weekend at GIANTS Stadium with the return of players and coaches alike. It will surely be a magnificent Giant event filled with great stories and wonderful memories.
They both spoke of what a tough and inspired team they were. A caller asked if Mark Bavaro was the toughest player Coach Parcells had ever been around, he answered that Mark was probably the toughest guy any coach had ever seen, but that that team was filled with tough guys. Guys like Jim Burt, Maurice Carthon, and the Offensive Line of Benson, Ard, Oates, Godfrey and Nelson. Coach also offered up the nugget that Phil Simms was the “perfect quarterback” for a Parcells team. He was tough, smart, accurate, and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Parcells stated that most of their famous sideline discussions were Parcells trying to get Simms to be even more aggressive, to trust the play more. Like Davey Johnson and the METS that same year, Parcells challenged this team from day one to dominate the league, and gain what was rightfully theirs….a Championship.
Harry Carson was his normal passionate self. I still believe the players union missed a great opportunity to have him as their representative. He spoke about how this team inspired each other with their play, and how even in practice they loved to be around each other and feed off each others energy. I remember meeting Mark Collins a few years back and he stated at the time that playing with the greats on that defense as a rookie was difficult for one reason. He had to stop watching those guys make plays. He said he would get excited when he knew L.T. was blitzing, and would find himself watching the play instead of concentrating solely on his task. Harry takes great pride in having been this teams Captain, and was the organizing force behind this reunion. He stated that this is the “first time we have all been back together, and it will probably be the last time we are all together”. To his credit 51 of the 53 players will be present this weekend, a true testimony to the man that many Giants call their “Life Captain”. Harry is writing a book that will be out this summer and will certainly be a must read for all Giants and NFL fans.
Of course the subject of the Gatorade bath came up in the conversation. As all Giants fans knew, Bill Parcells was a very superstitious man. Harry Carson said they did the Gatorade dousing once to get Bill back for a particularly brutal week of practice…but once it coincided with a win….they were basically forced to repeat it, until it grew into the legend it is today.
All in all these conference calls the Giants do are very enjoyable, they do turn into talk radio with people wanting to make a point rather than ask a question, but Bob Papa moderates the call and does a superb professional job. It really was a nice way to spend 45 minutes or so during a slow Wednesday afternoon.