Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/29/12
Bill Parcells has been in the news again, and depending on when you read this story, he has either taken, or not taken the head coaching job with the New Orleans Saints. As Parcells has re-entered our collective mindset, I was reminded that the coach is a fan of spending summer months at the Saratoga Race Course. Now, of this I am somewhat of a minor authority. I live only about 20 minutes from the track and I actually worked there on several occasions during my college years. Though, my “college years” are about as easy to quantify as our national debt (Van Wilder has nothing on me).

For this, I cannot help but make a horse racing connection.

It just so happens that in August of 1941, the same month and year that Coach Parcells was born, a horse named Whirlaway won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, capping off an incredible summer; winning the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Whirlaway is the only horse to have won the Triple Crown and the Travers Stakes in the same year.
  Now, not withstanding that Parcells’ nickname could easily be transferred to a thoroughbred champion (can’t ya just hear “…and around the final turn, it’s Big Tuna with a commanding lead…”?), but we can also make another connection: The connection of the Hall of Fame (add echo and ominous music to the reading of “Hall of Fame”).   
Whirlaway was inducted to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, just across the street from the Saratoga Race Course, in 1959. Part of the criteria, I imagine, for this induction was the aforementioned four-race dominance of 1941. Part of the criteria for Parcells will be that he is the only coach to take four different teams to the playoffs. Playoffs?!?
 
The Hall of Fame is important to legacy whether it be for man or horse, and whether or not Parcells is the coach of The New Orleans Saints, it will not diminish any of his previous accomplishments including his two New York Giants’ Super Bowl wins (my first tears as a football fan occurred when the Giants defense let Jim Kelly get the Buffalo Bills into field goal range, but it all worked out… thank you Scott Norwood); all that will matter is when he enters.
 
Now, if you will please excuse me, I have to see a man about a horse.
 
 

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