INDIANAPOLIS -- Bill Parcells belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he may not get there -- especially if Tom Coughlin wins Super Bowl XLVI.
Think about it. With a victory, Coughlin will have won as many Super Bowls with the Giants as Parcells (2). Plus, he has the added attraction of leading the expansion Jaguars into two conference championship games.
That will enhance Coughlin's chances, but it could work to undercut Parcells, who did not make the cut from 10 to five Saturday in the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection.
Parcells' record includes three Super Bowl appearances, two Lombardi Trophies and playoff appearances with four different teams. That should count for something, but, apparently, it doesn't count enough for Parcells' inclusion. Not yet, anyway, and it sure looked as if this year might be his best shot to get in.
I understand the knocks on the guy -- including his overall won-loss record (172-130-1) -- but look how he fared against Hall of Fame coaches Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs in the playoffs. He was 4-1. When it mattered most, his teams responded.
Yes, he sold himself as a free agent to clubs. Yes, he let his New England team fly home from a Super Bowl while he flew to cut another head-coaching deal. Yes, he could be difficult to deal with. But the guy was successful in four different places -- taking struggling franchises to the playoffs.
Plus, there is this: Look at the team's that are here for Super Bowl XLVI. One is coached by Bill Belichick. The other is coached by Coughlin. Both are products of the Parcells coaching tree, having served on the same staff in New York under the former Giants head coach.
A Hall of Fame writer I respect once told me that when you consider people for Hall of Fame consideration you must ask if you can write the history of the game without them. I look at those Giants teams of the 1980s and the Patriots and Jets of the 1990s. Heck, I even look at Dallas and how he put the Cowboys back on the map in the past decade.
So can you write the history of the NFL over the past three decades without Parcells? I think you have your answer.