By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
By now, after all the championships and two decades worth of unprecedented success, you’d think we’d be bigger than something like this. But Bill Parcells is still on the outside of the Patriots Hall of Fame, looking in through panes of glass seemingly tinted (and tainted?) with pains of resentment.
Get over it, folks, whoever you are.
Earlier this week, after all, Richard Seymour was elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame, winning an election over both Parcells and Mike Vrabel, which is fine. Seymour is certainly worthy, maybe the greatest Patriots defensive lineman of all time. But the continued absence of Parcells is now an embarrassing blemish on both the Patriots and the entire six-state region of New England, a reminder of what Boston was (and still is?) before and underneath all the winning.
So whom do we blame? That is difficult to know. Elections wouldn’t be elections without some measure of fraud, be it on the part of the voters or those who created the Patriots Hall of Fame in the first place.
Maybe Patriots ownership still harbors some bitterness for the disgraceful manner in which Parcells left the team almost 25 years ago. Or maybe Patriots fans are resentful – or too young to know what the arrival of Parcells meant to a franchise that was minor league in every sense of the term.
Thus, with all respect to millennials, let’s say it again just to be clear: you have no idea what you were born into. You just don’t.
In the three years before Parcells became the coach, the Patriots were 9-39, the worst record in the NFL. They authored both 1-15 and 2-14 seasons. They were the Cincinnati Bengals of their era.
Then Parcells showed up and gave New England instant credibility, and football here really hasn’t been the same since.
Did Parcells win his only Super Bowl appearance here? No. And he left here in tactless fashion. There was plenty of bad to go along with the good. But lest there be any doubt, Parcells is the definitive line of demarcation in Patriots history – before even Robert Kraft – and anyone who was here at the time knows it.
New England football changed forever the day Bill Parcells walked into Fobxoro.
The least we could do here now is to hold open the door so that he can walk into the team Hall of Fame.
Anything else, frankly, is embarrassing.