NEW ORLEANS -- Bill Parcells, this may be your lucky day.
Parcells is one of 17 finalists up for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, and there's a feeling that maybe, just maybe, this is his year. That doesn't mean he's a lock. Far from it. The guy's been up three times before and fallen short. But this year's class is short of slam dunks, and it could open the door for one of the three contributors in front of the Hall's selectors.
Parcells is one of them. So are former San Francisco owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and former Baltimore owner Art Modell. I don't know how the votes shake out, but I can tell you this: Parcells or DeBartolo have the best chances of making it, and Parcells is the favorite.
"It will be a travesty if he doesn't get in," said former Dallas executive Gil Brandt.
I don't know about that. But it would keep people talking, just as it did a year ago when he missed the cut. Critics charged then that Parcells was iced out because of a backlash from writers he alienated during his career as a head coach and front office exec, but that's not exactly true. Granted, there are people who can't forget the guy's bullying, but that wasn't the issue.
His record was.
Nevertheless, Parcells made it to the Final Ten, and that's a start. In fact, I believe it's so much of a springboard that it could launch him this time around. Granted, critics will complain about his 32-32 record at New England or his 34-30 record at Dallas. Or maybe they will point out that he won as many Super Bowls with the Giants as Tom Coughlin, so that doesn't exactly make him special.
But what they must acknowledge is that he reached three Super Bowls with two different teams and three different quarterbacks. They also must acknowledge that he rebuilt four clubs and made them successful almost overnight. He was 2-1 vs. Bill Walsh in the playoffs. He beat Joe Gibbs in a conference championship game. And he beat Marv Levy in the Super Bowl.
All three of those coaches are in the Hall of Fame.
Most of all, they must acknowledge he had an impact of the game; that, as one writer put it, you can't "write the history of the decades he coached without including him." Without Parcells, there's no Bill Belichick or Coughlin, and I don't care what you think of any of them. There are 10 Super Bowls in there and seven Lombardi Trophies.
"If there's a God on high, Bill Parcells should be in the Hall of Fame," said the Boston Herald's Ron Borges, one of Parcells' presenters Saturday.
I guess we'll find out if there is.