‘The Two Bills’ shows Parcells ruined potential New York Giants dynasty

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells late in the game as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34 to 31 at Monster Park, San Francisco, California, September 25, 2005. (Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary)
Cowboys coach Bill Parcells late in the game as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34 to 31 at Monster Park, San Francisco, California, September 25, 2005. (Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary) /

At the end of the day, this article isn’t about vilifying Bill Parcells.

It will set the record straight for some New York Giants fans about the Hall of Fame coach. The ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, “The Two Bills” gives us a rare glimpse into the persona of Bill Belichick. Unless you lost your television set for the last quarter century, you already know plenty about Bill Parcells.

But aren’t documentaries supposed to change the hearts and minds of the viewers?

This one invigorated my thought process. Honestly, it had been dormant when it came to both of these coaches. I cannot find myself hating Bill Belichick because of his unparalleled success. Maybe that makes me different than some Giants fans.

As for Parcells, time heals most wounds. No one should be judged on his or her worst day. With that in mind, I choose to remember Parcells being carried off the field in Tampa after victory in Super Bowl XXV.

Conversely, as much as fans like to hate on Belichick, this documentary makes that more difficult. Because of the Super Bowl titles, most New York Giants fans want to deify Parcells. Yet for me, it wasn’t so much what Parcells did over time – it was how he did it.

Think of it this way, Belichick has no lingering questions to answer. His record speaks for itself. Quite simply, he has outpaced his old mentor in every way, shape and form. On the other hand, Parcells still appears to be a man, who still has trouble being honest with himself.

Power Grab

Bill Parcells’ place in New York Giants history was crystal clear on January 28,1991. Unfortunately for New York Giants fans and players, life is a series of dynamic events. And after that date, things get very cloudy. Parcells resignation from the New York Giants triggered a lot of what happened around the NFL for almost two decades.

New York Giants
New York Giants /

New York Giants

First, if Parcells resigned as New York Giants coach for health reasons, then why did that take until May to find out?

By the time Parcells quit Big Blue, Belichick was already with the Cleveland Browns for three months. Wellington Mara then illogically elevated Ray Handley to be the head coach. That hire ended the Giants championship run with a thud.

No one questions the accuracy of the health issue surrounding Parcells. Some of us question the timing of events though. Parcells danced around the issue back then, and he still dances around it today.

"As Lawrence Taylor said in the documentary: “Belichick should have been our next head coach. Y’all should have worked that out.” He later added, “That move really affected a lot of people.”"

As we see, Parcells seems to be a magnet for drama. He quit every head coaching position he had in the NFL and did so because he wanted universal control. Ironically, total team control was never in the DNA of the New York Giants.

It still isn’t.

The fact that Belichick then followed Parcells around to stops with the New York Jets and New England Patriots might not sit well with New York Giants fans. But no one can argue that he didn’t pay his dues. Clearly, Belichick is the loyal one.

Place in history

Upon winning the AFC Championship in 1996, New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft declared that Parcells was “the greatest coach in the history of the game in modern times.”  Little did Kraft know.

And let’s be honest, Kraft and his franchise have had plenty of luck along the way. After all to install Belichick as head coach, Kraft fired a future Super Bowl champion in Pete Carroll. Getting Belichick to reconsider the Patriots was incredibly fortunate.

In terms of the documentary, Parcells continues to try and put lipstick on this pig. He wants to gloss over his ugly NFL divorces with every team he’s coached. We also forget that “Big Tuna” left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a lurch at one time.

And let’s not kid ourselves here. The jobs Parcells took seem carefully calculated to irk his previous employers. Even when he put the “shopping for groceries” comment out there in New England, Parcells still tried to run away from his power grab.

The most poignant moment of the documentary came when the producer asks if the two Bills “were pretty pissed” at each other after the New York Jets situation transpired.

Parcells immediately jumps in and says, “I wouldn’t say that.” Belichick simply smirks. That gesture says it all.

In terms of the The Two Bills, remember this: Parcells has two championship rings. Belichick has seven championship rings, and has been to the big game 11 times!

Parcells ruined a possible legacy, not once, but twice. Not only has Belichick successfully removed himself from Parcell’s shadow, he created an unmatchable legacy. The documentary brought back distance thoughts for me.

That was a good thing.