2003-01-04 / Sports

Locals Look To Playoffs. Cowboys Look To Past

By Elio Velez

By Elio Velez

ABC announcer Al Michaels uttered the line, "Do you believe in miracles", seconds before the end of the unforgettable 1980 U.S. hockey upset win over Russia. That line can now apply to the Jets and Giants.

What was evident is the fire that has risen from both of these squads. Instead of lying down and scheduling vacations for warmer climates, the Jets and Giants decided to save their seasons with inspired play that made the NFL take notice. The national media is now comparing Chad Pennington to Joe Montana, a high praise not seen for a Jet since Namath grabbed the ladies and a Super Bowl back in 1969. The team is making big plays and the AFC is getting mighty scared of the Jets.

Jeremy Shockey may take off his helmet one time too many and Jim Fassel has more lives than any lucky black cat but the Giants are not to be ignored. Three wild card games is a daunting task but the Giants can realistically beat the 49ers this weekend and will not be afraid of the Philly crowd and the Eagles. If it weren’t for two abominable holding calls by incompetent referees that erased two TDs off the board, the Giants would have won by two or three touchdowns.

I am very positive that both of our teams will make a good showing in the 2003 playoffs. A great month of playoff football begins Saturday. I will be watching and if luck prevails for me, I will be at Giants Stadium to watch the Jets.

Picks of the Week: (I am not facing off against Rolfe folks)

Jets 27 Colts 17- The Jets defense must be able to put pressure and use blitzes to ruin Peyton Manning’s rhythm. The Colts D is improved but not good enough yet to stop a potent Jets offense. J-E-T-S. Jets Jets!

Giants 28 49ers 24- The Giants D should contain Terrell Owens but the 49ers should be able to keep it close. If the Giants win on a Jeremy Shockey 4th quarter touchdown, his subsequent celebration alone can quiet the chatty 49ers’ lips.

Steelers 20 Browns 13- This may be a snoozer. Pittsburgh has enough offense with Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress to win. I’m not going to be shocked if Pittsburgh loses. Who is the Steelers going to trust at QB?

Packers 27 Falcons 13- The growing legend of Michael Vick will be stunted at least for one more year. The Packers are not going to be beat at Lambeau Field and that’s the bottom line casue Brett Favre said so.

Parcells-Jones Marriage

"The game's in the Refrigerator
the door's closed, the light's out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard, and the jello's jiggling"-Chick Hearn.

The fired Dave Campo’s body wasn’t even cold yet last Monday when a report from the Dallas Morning News the next day said that Bill Parcells would become the new Dallas Cowboys coach. A 4 year-$18 million dollar deal is sealed soon for the Tuna to become the big dog in Dallas.

When Bill Parcells tells the media he is done with coaching, people know not to believe it. But for the life of me, I don’t know how Parcells can co-exist with Jerry Jones, a meddling owner who is also GM and President of the football operations. Bill Parcells even told the media a few years back that Jerry Jones should not have meddled with former coach Jimmy Johnson, who won two Super Bowls in the 1990s with the Boys.

Though the Cowboys haven’t won since Troy-Emmitt and Michael were in their prime, has Jones finally seen the light to allow a legend to save his franchise?

Bill Parcells left the Patriots in 1997 because he wasn’t allowed to buy the groceries or in laymen’s terms, make the final personnel decisions by owner Robert Kraft. Jones is 10 times worse than Kraft. Jones stalks the sideline during the games, always seeming to cast a huge shadow (which is larger than Texas Stadium) on whatever coach he has. Will Parcells allow Jones to walk the sideline and give him pointers on how to convert a first down? Parcells won’t let that happen.

So in the end the two will clash heads. It’s only natural since their egos are as large as any professionals in sports today. A Super Bowl win would cure a lot of ills. Parcells can reclaim the mantle of best coach in football and stamp his induction into the Hall of Fame with a title for America’s Team.

It would be as exhilarating accomplishment as well as satisfying for Jones. The criticism of his team for the last 5 years has become such a burden when he told reporters that any coach could win a Super Bowl with his team. After the resignation of Barry Switzer in 1997, Chan Gailey and Dave Campo have both combined for 2 playoff appearances and a losing record in the last three seasons.

The 2003 version of the Dallas Cowboys will be a rude awakening for Parcells. The team does not have a star quarterback, competent offensive line, wide receiver depth and an running back to eventually replace Emmitt Smith. Also a question will be who makes the final decision when the NFL draft occurs. The rumored GM possibility of Jets assistant GM Mike Tannebaum, who Parcells hired back in 1997 for the Jets, can be the best bridge between the field and the luxury box. Though Parcells may not even stay for the full 4 years, everyone will closely watch how the Tuna swims in Dallas.

Until next time, Peace.

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