More on Parcells.
Why did Parcells leave the Giants?
Recall, in May 1991, after winning two Super Bowl championships as Giants head coach, Parcells was calling it quits. At his final Giants press conference, Parcells lead us on to believe his health was the main reason for his surprising resignation. Was it really his health? Is Parcells the ultimate opportunist? Or, generally speaking, are the Giants “cheap”?
Parcells left the Giants at an inappropriate time. I believe his selfish decision to leave the team set back the franchise. Because of Parcells’ abrupt departure, GM George Young scrambled to find a replacement. With training camp a few months away, Young narrowed his short list down to two candidates: Bill Belichick and Ray Handley. Unfortunately, for Young and the Giants, he chose unwisely by selecting Handley over Belichick. Later, Young would say the appointment of Handley “My worst decision”.
Here are four reasons why Parcells left the Giants:
1) He had a quarterback controversy and an aging team especially on defense. With the Giants not drafting well in recent seasons, outside of an aging Lawrence Taylor, the Giants did not have a young play maker on the defensive side of the ball.
2) Tim Mara sold his 50 percent share of the team. Parcells was closer with Tim than Wellington.
3) I think Parcells wanted to become a coach and GM. He wanted ultimate power. Later, he was able to get this with the Patriots, Jets, and to an extent with the Cowboys.
4) I think Parcells’ ego was affected when the Giants did not lock him up to a contract sooner rather than later. Parcells would later say “They are treating me like a player”.
Perhaps, the Giants did not want to pay Parcells. Historically, the Giants have been a conservative organization. Back in the sixties, they could have had Joe Namath. However, when Jets owner Sonny Werblin inked Namath to a record contract at the time 400,000 dollars, the Giants were not going to pay a player this kind of money. In the excellent biography titled Namath written by Mark Kriegel, the Cardinals, “turned the rights to negotiate with him over to the Giants, who it is believed would have drafted him in the first place but didn’t want to get into an open bidding battle with their crosstown rivals. “When the Giants went looking for him, Namath was unavailable. The Giants said they weren’t interested in any rookies for nearly $400,000, much less one with a history of a knee injury.”
Imagine if the Giants had Namath. And right after Super Bowl XXV, imagine if the Giants would have worked out a deal in principle with Parcells.
Instead, Giants fans endured years of lousy football from 1964 until 1980. Additionally, after Parcells, the Giants have won one championship.
What are your thoughts on Parcells’ departure? Do you think the Giants organization has been too conservative?