Former Jets head coach and general manager Bill Parcells was among seven people elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame tonight.
The class of 2013 also included a pair of senior selections, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson. The announcement was made in New Orleans, site of Sunday's Super Bowl.
Parcells was head coach of the Jets from 1997 to 1999 and general manager from 1997 to 2000.
People might say the Jets are a laughingstock today. They either lack memories or any sense of history. Before Parcells took the Jets over they were actually laughingstocks. In the 1990's they were comparable to where the Browns, the Raiders, and the Bills are today. He took a team that was 1-15 to within a game of the Super Bowl in just two years and was the driving force behind bringing Curtis Martin to the team.
Because of that, Parcells' legacy with the Jets was very good. it was really more of a mixed bag. While Parcells clearly elevated the Jets a lot, he also made some abominable decisions that prevented the team from reaching greater heights. He allowed Ray Lucas and Leon Johnson to throw killer interceptions in Detroit in 1997 in a game that cost the Jets the Playoffs. His loyalty to favored veterans cost the Jets dearly in the AFC Championship Game in Denver in 1998 when Dave Meggett muffed a kickoff that was a decisive play in the loss. When Vinny Testaverde got hurt in 1999, the Super Bowl contender had so poorly addressed the backup quarterback position that the Jets went to Rick Mirer. He left the team in relatively poor shape financially and was influential in bringing in Terry Bradway as general manager. His Draft record was a mixed bag including his trade of the top overall pick in 1997 that could have been used on Orlando Pace. We might never find out what really happened behind the scenes that drove Peyton Manning back for his senior year at Tennessee when the Jets had the top overall pick.
There is no doubt Parcells is a legitimate Hall of Famer, though. The Jets were the third terrible franchise Parcells brought to respectability. He took two teams to the Super Bowl and won multiple titles without a great quarterback. Parcells is a Giant first because those championships he won were with the Giants, but I think Jets fans can respect his work and feel happy for him tonight.