Bill Parcells to Write Super Bowl Diary for JockStraps
“I’ve been saving some of my best material for this,” said the recently retired coach whose punishing wit, piercing jabs and remorseless satire have been well-guarded secrets for years … until now
Coach Bill Parcells is known to keep score of his witty sideline come-backs. Here he's pictured just after opening kick-off, getting off a "good one" at the expense of head linesman Jim Garrison.
DALLAS, TX (The Sportsman's Daily Wire Service) Bill Parcells could have returned to the Dallas Cowboys to become the first coach to lead three teams into the Super Bowl. Instead, the irrepressible coach revered by close associates for his relentless ribbing, witty sideline banter and lively post-game repartee, will bring his unsparing “take no prisoners” brand of humor to Miami, where he will be covering the Super Bowl for Jockstraps.
For millions of football fans around the country who only know Parcells as a gruff, humorless, controlling monomaniac, the move came as a shock. However, associates past and present, as well as former players, who know the “other” Parcells, took the news in stride and look forward to his stint as a Jockstraps diarist.
Dick LaFontaine, long-time Dallas Cowboys public relations director, said this about the coach whose comic stylings he came to admire. “I’ve been with the Cowboys through the Tom Landry years and believe me when I tell you, Coach Landry was fall down funny – it was all in his subtle Benny-esque facial expressions, just a master. Switzer, Johnson? They wouldn’t know a sight gag if it tumbled out their ass. From the minute Parcells got here it was non-stop hilarity. Damn, just watching the guy riff on some poor secretary in the main office – ‘did you learn to be this stupid or where you born this stupid?’ – the SOB wouldn’t stop, the lines just kept coming, one after another. Just brutal, in a funny way. The guy never ran out of material.”
Former Giant and Hall-of-Famer Harry Carson remembered the time Parcells stormed into the visiting locker room at half-time, with the Giants down by 12 points to a team they were expected to beat handily. “Man, Bill looked scary pissed. He slapped a clipboard from an assistant’s hand, pushed past some of the guys and stood in the middle of the room looking like he was going to kill the first ten guys he laid eyes on. For ten seconds he just stands there, we’re waiting for him to explode, but all we see is steam coming from his ears. I mean literally – steam was pouring out of his ears. Then all of a sudden a loud whistle goes off, Bill opens his fly and pisses into a cup. ‘Anyone for a spot of tea?’ It was the funniest fucking thing I’d ever seen. Perfectly executed gag. And by the way, we went on to win by 14 points.”
Similar stories abound, all attesting to Parcells’ strategic use of comedy and pointed satire -- the barb, the gag, the Thurber-inspired ironic zinger -- always perfectly tailored to the situation at hand.
“One year during mini camp, a rookie offensive tackle was missing his assignments, nearly getting me and my backup killed,” said former Giants quarterback Phil Simms. “The next day, first play we run, same thing, I nearly get run over. Bill pulls the guy aside and replaces him with a 300 pound circus clown in pads. The clown couldn’t block for shit and after three plays had to be airlifted to a local hospital. Was it funny? Yes and no, though watching a 300 pound clown being chased for thirty yards by LT was kind of amusing. But Bill made his point using a comic device as a learning tool. Name me one other coach who knows how to use textbook satire to such positive effect. ”
In his statement welcoming Parcells aboard, Charles Epstein, the Editor-in-Chief of Jockstraps, included a sampling of machine-gun paced one-liners Parcells squeezed off during a recent phone conversation, offering readers a hint of Parcells’ assimilation of classic Borscht-belt humor – one of the many comic influences spanning his Hall-of-Fame coaching career:
“Take Tank Johnson, please. Just make sure he’s in handcuffs.”
“Rex Grossman. An arm only a Jewish mother could love, I’m telling ya.”
“Bill Bellichick. Love him like the brother I wish I never had.”
News that Parcells has joined, if only for a short while, the ranks of sports media who for years were on the receiving end of his blunt, dismissive condescension, did not sit well, as reflected in the following comment by New York Post Sportswriter and media watchdog Phil Mushnick. “Say what you want, Parcells was, is and will always be an insulting, self-serving bully. Parcells’ idea of a punch line is what his knuckles leave on your face. If I want insult humor, I’ll throw on a Don Rickles record. I hope Jockstraps knows what it’s getting into. Good luck.”
The Authors of The Sportsman’s Daily