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On the cusp of his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I had the honor of chatting with legendary coach Bill Parcells. As always, I recommend you download the pod to your smartphone so you can listen on the way to work, or maybe while you're working out. In the meantime, here are some highlights:
Bill Parcells on one of the most significant lessons his father taught him:
One night I was playing a school basketball game and we got beat by 12. We didn’t play very well. My dad said, “You oughta just give it up. If you’re gonna go down there and do what you did tonight, just give it up. Because it was a poor effort by everybody, you included. If you’re party to that, you’re not gonna make your way.” That’s always a reminder to me that it doesn’t matter what the scoreboard says, if you’re a good competitor.
On being competitive:
I always resented guys who portrayed themselves with: “I hate to lose.” When I hear that, I know I’m looking at a guy who’s scared of the combative part of competition. It’s not so much competitiveness. It’s the willingness to do things longer than other people. That’s what allows you to succeed. You don’t have to do it better, you have to do it longer. You can grind them down if you stay at it.
On making it as a coach in the NFL:
You come into this profession just trying to win enough games to keep the job you have. Then as time goes on, you start to hope you get the opportunity to do something. With the Giants, I eventually got the opportunity to be a head coach, and then I had to make the most of it.
On surviving as a coach in the NFL:
In 1984, when we were 3 and 3 going to Atlanta, I thought if we lost that game I could be fired in my second year, in the middle of the season. But we won it, we went on a streak, won 5, 6 or 7 straight, made the playoffs, and things were better.
On his love for the Giants:
I always felt like I was a Giant at heart. I grew up around the New York area, I was a Giants fan as a youngster. At the end of my Giant tenure, I had a heart problem and I just wanted to get that solved. I had been there ten years and I thought I’d been there long enough.
On Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones:
I liked him. I got guys like him. He was passionate and willing to back it up and his word was good. If he told you he was doing something, he was absolutely doing it. That goes a long way with me.
The football business is tough enough. If you don’t know who your allies are, it’s really tough.
On starting each new year:
Every year’s a new year. You gotta start where you start. You can’t go back and pick up where you left off. That never works. You have to start over and put the time and investment in. Every team’s a different team every year and that’s how you have to approach it.
On the reason he left the Jets:
You have to listen to get that answer!
And don’t forget: You can LISTEN TO MY OTHER PODCASTS, including Victor Cruz, Eli Manning, Magic Johnson, Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, JR Smith, Lou Holtz, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Robert Wuhl, Dave Winfield & Brian Cashman, by clicking >> HERE. <<