[caption id="attachment_1209" align="alignright" width="300"] Little-known fact: In 1978, Bill Parcells helped shape young military minds as the head coach of the falconing team at the Air Force Academy.[/caption]
By Erez Ladetzky, Smack Zone Contributor
The Giants meet the Bills Sunday in Buffalo. Twenty-five years ago, these two teams squared off in Tampa for an epic Super Bowl XXV. We hear Scott Norwood still can’t find a house anywhere in Buffalo.
With the game this weekend, we thought it would be fun to stroll down memory lane and take a look at the career of Bill Parcells and his historical impact on pro football.
- The Big Tuna -- if this isn’t the best nickname in football, we don’t know what is. He received this name while he was on the staff with the Patriots, because, well ... he had the shape of a tuna. The nickname has stuck ever since, and has become a household name over the years.
2. Gatorade bath -- when a team wins a big game, either a championship or a massive come from behind win, the players usually dump the Gatorade cooler all over their coach. Bill Parcells was the very first coach to have that happen (yes, we know some claim that Mike Ditka was first in 1984, but we choose to believe that Parcells got it first a few weeks before that. Besides, Harry Carson made it famous two years later, so Tuna owns it). Clearly, Parcells is the ultimate trend setter for coaches.
3. Legendary coaching tree -- Parcells recruited so many great coaches under him, many are now head coaches in the NFL. The tree includes Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, Sean Payton, Todd Bowles and Mike Zimmer. Belichick, Coughlin and Payton have all won Super Bowls as head coaches. If it weren’t for Parcells, Belichick might not even know how to spy or oversee the proper deflation of footballs.
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Parcells celebrates victory in Tampa at Super Bowl XXV.[/caption]
4. Impact of a team he never coached -- we all know the effect he had on the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys. But what about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? He had an agreement to become their coach in 1992, but then decided it wasn’t right for him. Although Tampa has won a Super Bowl since, this franchise has mostly been at the bottom of the league. Who knows where they would be right now if the Big Tuna decided to make landfall in the Bay area?
(Oh, and bonus what if
: Remember when Payton was suspended for that whole Saints season after Bountygate? Guess who he wanted to coach the team in his absence. Yep. Tuna.)