Jun 29, 2010

Book Review: The Final Season

Day 241

I finally read Bill Parcells biography on his final season with the New York Jets. Being a fan of Bill Parcells and the Jets I have always wanted to read this book. I have read a few chapters here and there while at a library or at a bookstore but I have never read it from cover to cover.

To say that I enjoyed the book is an understatement. But unfortunately it also brought back bad memories. The year before had been one of the best seasons. The Jets were in the AFC Championship only to lose to the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Denver Broncos. But this season the Jets loaded up and were heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl.

But then tragedy hit. Quarterback Vinny Testeverde was lost for the season. And that was just the beginning of one of the most challenging and difficult seasons the New York Jets had to go through. They lost a respected owner and the team was selling. Injuries mounted and Coach Parcells questioned himself.

Through all the adversity, the Jets did manage to get to 8-8 which is exceptional since they started the season 2-6.

All through the book Coach Parcells is incredibly honest. There are many example of him calling out players for work ethic, admitting he made mistakes and critiquing those around him. But he also takes what he gives out. He was willing to do anything to help the Jets organization and often swallowed his pride to do so.

One of the strangest things to come out of the Jets was when Parcells retired. He was ready to retire but before he did he made sure that the New York Jets organization was taken care of. His then Defensive Coordinator, Bill Belichick was supposed to take over as Head Coach of the New York Jets as soon as Parcells stepped down. Belichick even accepted a million dollar bonus to stay with the Jets for another year while he waited for Parcells to step down but instead he took the owner's money and then stabbed him in the back. When Parcells stepped down, Belichick had a press conference where he announced his resignation. Parcell and the Jets had a contract with him and if he decided to quit, he would not be allowed to coach for the remainder of the contract, which was another 3 years.  Parcells was unhappy with Bill for sure but he swallowed his pride and reached out to his old owner and football team (the New England Patriots wanted Belichick as their coach) and they came to an agreement. Parcells could have told the Jets brass to hold off and Belichick would have been stuck but Parcells did it for the betterment of the NFL.

I guess if Parcells can forgive Belichick and move on, I can too.

Okay, that was my last poke at Belichick

Like him or hate him, you have to admire and respect Parcells. And after reading this book, I have gained even more respect for the man. He knows what he wants and doesn't keep it a secret. Not only does this go over the whole season in terms of wins and losses, you also get his opinion on the state of the NFL. You also get to see how coaching affects him personally.

I you love football, you will love this book. If you are a fan of the New York Jets, this is a must-read.

Now I am off to finish my Tom Petty book.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very insightful, provocative book. It's always interesting to read a book by someone who is not an author by trade (like actors or singers) because they usually have more to share, more to say and it makes for a more interesting reading experience.