Jun 24 2013, 6:29pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
Jim Corbett of USA Today Sports says Parcells has one haunting memory once he gets inducted into the Pro Fooball Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on August 3: his bitter post-Super Bowl divorce from New England and owner Robert Kraft after the 1996 season.
ESPN Boston recalls Parcells transforming the Patriots from laughingstocks to contenders from 1993-96 but also had clashes with Kraft during that period. What stood out most was the way his tenure end on a sour note. In early 1997, word leaked out he was being courted by their division rivals, the New York Jets, which he left for soon after.
"I regret leaving New England. Had we done things differently...I had a good young team there. I hated to leave that team, because I knew what we could do.
"I was absolutely too headstrong. And he might have been a little headstrong, too. I think both Kraft and myself, retrospectively, would have done things a little differently."
Corbett maintains Parcells and Kraft have made their peace. They have resolved an issue which involved Parcells not having enough say in building the roster, which was decided by then-director of player personnel Bobby Grier. The power struggle led Parcells to taunt Kraft with the famous line: "If they want you to cook dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries."
Kraft recalled the moment when they set their differences aside.
"At a Super Bowl, Bill was standing there as I approached, and he just said to me, 'If I had to do it all over again, I would have done things differently.' And I said, 'So would I.'
"It would have been pretty special. We were just coming at it from different times. And so much in life is timing. But in the end, we have a great relationship today. I have great respect for him. He did a great deal for our franchise. And I will forever be grateful for that.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab, Parcells had good but not great stints with the Jets and Dallas Cowboys before retiring. He won just one more playoff game and one more division title in seven post-Patriots seasons, both in 1998. Parcells won the Super Bowl in 1986 and 1990 with the New York Giants.
Parcells will be 19 days shy of his 72nd birthday on his induction to the Hall of Fame.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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