Editor’s Note: As part of WFAN’s 30th anniversary celebration, from May 1-12, we asked you to vote on the best local sports figures over the past 30 years. Over the course of two weeks, we are revealing the top-10 vote getters.
NEW YORK (WFAN) — Bill Parcells was a magician when it came to turning around lousy teams.
When he took over the Giants in 1983, Big Blue had reached the playoffs just once in the previous 18 seasons. But in the eight years Parcells led the way, the Giants were in the postseason five times and won their first two Super Bowls.
The 1986 team was a dominant crew, led by quarterback Phil Simms and linebacker Lawrence Taylor, that went 14-2 en route to crushing the Denver Broncos, 39-20, in Super Bowl XXI. In 1990, Big Blue overcame a late-season injury to Simms en route to edging the Buffalo Bills, 20-19, in Super Bowl XXV.
As a coach, Parcells wasn’t bad at much — except retiring. Days after his second retirement, in 1997 from the Patriots, he took over as both head coach and general manager of the Jets, who went 1-15 the year before. Two years later, he had Gang Green in the AFC championship game. In all, he spent three seasons with the Jets, going 29-19.
Parcells was known as a fiery disciplinarian, but he also had a clever way with words. Some of his best quotes are still often cited today, including, “You are what your record says you are” and, “If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries,” in reference to his lack of input into personnel decisions while with the Patriots.
Parcells, who also coached the Dallas Cowboys and served as general manager of the Miami Dolphins, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.