PARCELLS THINKS HE CAN BEAT THE WEST COAST OFFENSE AGAIN -- History of the Superbowl Part 27

1996

Sometimes the draft works for people.

In sports, expansion teams are often the ones who prove to be the best at scouting, coaching, and ultimately playing and thrilling people.

Who PROVE to be.

There's a reason this actually takes place.

I mean let's look at the NFL any given year.

Look at all that battered meat.

Some of it's almost expired, some of it still needs to be curated.

Even blessed by a Rabbi for goodness's sake.

These players are by and large all at or near around the same ability.

Everyone's old and everyone's in their final year of this and that, everyone's got talent that COULD VANISH TOMORROW if they happen to be elite...

So what makes the expansion teams so special?

How about...they carry a bit more inspiration?

Know why?

They were all deemed to be the bottom 4/11th of their respective leagues.

An NBA team protects seven players when the expansion draft comes. That means that five of them have been deemed the dogshit.

5/12th of every sports league have now have been disrespected in a way that the other guys haven't.

Sometimes it's all the motivation they need.

Nobody banished any of these aching, disrespected San Francisco veterans...to the Jacksonville Jaguars or Carolina Panthers.

And thus...you have the most unique form of Marvel Comics that grow out of this.

Not just football.

Baseball and basketball and hockey feature nothing BUT expansion teams winning titles.

That's the way it's ALWAYS BEEN, BABY.

The Dolphins were an expansion team.

The Diamondbacks.

The Buccaneers went from 0-16 in 76 to the NFC title game in 1979.

The Vikings were winners in the 60s as soon as they began.

The Patriots always got in O.K. Simpson's hair -- who ALSO was on an expansion team that didn't suck THAT bad.

Literally, the minimally shitty Patriots and Bills of the 70s are the LONE EXCEPTIONS.

Florida Marlins have 2 world championships. Dos.

The Rockies were even in the World Series and it hasn't even been fifteen years.

Basketball it's hard because of reasons we'll get to in the NBA Finals hubs.

But Toronto and Memphis/Vancouver after the entrance of Vince Carter and Hubie Brown...two people...have always been competitive.

Literally all the expansion teams that still suck -- nonetheless have spent some FLOW.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have had more all-stars since 1990 then Chicago and the Knicks combined.

The Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat have both stomped on people.

In HOCKEY?! ONLY EXPANSION TEAMS WIN THE CUP!!!

Tampa Bay? Ottawa? Florida got there once...

Colorado Aalanche used to be the Quebec Nordiques and they're always winners.

Atlanta Thrashers and Columbus Blue Jackets were what happened to the Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers.

Even the San Jose Sharks stalled the 90s Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs when Detroit was MIGHTY.

Why?

Because Marvel Comics has a bunch of dudes who won't put down that donut UNTIL they're disrespected.

That's the whole reason they don't function well in school or on NFC teams.

They won't exert the effort without a serious heart-felt reason.

They're not just gonna go through stupid motions.

What the fuck has more stupid motions then football, baseball and hockey?

You don't get to be the star 99 percent of the time just because you put down that joint.

In basketball, however, two guys who apply themselves can get to do EVERYTHING.

They can score, rebound, do all the passing if they want. Go ahead! You want 40 rebounds? Get em! Nobody's stopping you!

And thus the tendency for NFL and MLB and NHL players on average teams to slack off becomes VERY VERY COMMON because you look around and see all these people, all of them.

Who's more likely to end up in a position where they're about to ditch class and flunk out of school -- the students in the big lecture halls...or the ones in the tinier ones where the teacher can keep track of everyone without passing around a unanimous little piece of paper to sign?

Setting the stage for them to be dissed enough to in fact try.

When this happens -- it becomes an ENTIRE LECTURE HALL that gets the picture, not just Baron Davis and Al Jefferson sitting in the back of a car puffing and passing going "fuck doz niggas".

So the NBA expansion club can't be dissed enough before they change.

Two guys don't get their shit together nearly as fast as Fanny May & Affiliates.

So you got the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The first year, you see all the people who are just straight-up cuts like Desmond Howard and Steve Buerlein.

Then they go through the draft and end up with the talent that everybody wants.

Then they go further down the draft and pick up other guys that teams think are risks.

So you got world class talent, young as hell, in the same mix as VETERANS who nobody wants.

Who you think wins?

This is why from 94-96, we see the editions of the draft on these teams, and things take off QUICK.

Big time young talent....immediate playing time...

Suddenly these old veterans are infused with something they couldn't find anywhere else and lacked...speed and power, baby.

Young speed and power. Shooooo....

Let me just say this.

The weakest of the group that comes out in the early to mid 90s, as we're about to discuss...is Kordell Stewart.

That's how good this group was that joins the NFL.

--------------------------------

In college in the early nineties existed a rivalry that was billed as like an Elway vs. Montana.

Never before had the nation seen two quarterbacks this good in the same state in the same conference at the same time.

It was happening in the state of Washington.

There was the Washington Huskies, the guys in the purple, who were the big team, the big dicks, the pretty girls, the expensive dorms, and they won the big games. They were such an excited, fun group that they won a national title in one poll while placing fifth in every other one. Just cuz it was deemed by the judges that they were what people wanted to see when it came to college football.

They even had two losses.

Well the next year, they shared a national title with Miami.

It was Billy Joe Hebert who you see taking almost all the snaps (he went to the Saints), but there was another quarterback...the one who threw the pass to Bailey that Bailey used to make fun of Desmond Howard's pose...

That quarterback was Mark Brunell.

Brunell still plays.

If they get to Brees in the Superbowl this year, Brunell will come in to play for New Orleans.

I think I smell a Superbowl MVP if that happens...because he will have Sean Payton's tutelege as well as all that time watching and learning and relaying the plays.

To relay a play out on the field that the coach sends is literally like remembering the drink order when you're a barista at Starbucks.

You can't be stoned or drunk when you do it.

Mark Brunell was the hardest player to use in the video games.

I'm right-handed, and I used to be told to practice my left-hand dribble usiong forks and brushing my teeth with my left hand...but lord do i not throw to the right side f the YV screen well.

Brunell is lefthanded and thus runs off to the left, so the right is where the long bombs are gonna go.

Notice how Favre and Grossman and Montana and Warner's number one options are always on the LEFTSIDE OF THE FIELD?!

They're right-handed like a fucking normal person.

Brunell was absolutely fantastic not only in college, but in the pros.

Brunell is simply a machine. He's fantastic. I urge you to lick him.

In the Elway vs. Montana dynamic, he was Montana.

He had the best team for about 4,000 miles.

Miami's about 4,300 miles away from there.

Yet here's the thing...

At the same time Brunell was doing his thing, across the apple orchards was the Washington State Cougars, the downright Chicago Cubs of the Pacific Northwest.

The Seahawks, Trailblazers, Sonics, Mariners and Starbucks have all shown considerable more promise over the century then "WAZZOU" if that's even the right school that calls themselves that.

Washington State had a quarterback who was the John Elway of the area...the truly great quarterback of the duo, who never won anything surrounded by jagoffs...

Drew Bledsoe.

Bledsoe vs. Brunell would put these Washington programs on the map.

Once they left, these programs went right back down to shitty.

Bledsoe and Brunell would each be chosen at the top by the crappiest and newest of NFL teams.

Brunell went to Jacksonville, Bledsoe to New England when they had the cool emblem with the patriot soldier about to hike the ball and the red uniforms.

And were 1-15, 2-14, 1-15.

Add to this, the Carolina Panthers would get the only member of the whole Big 10's mid-90s hit parade that would pan out-- Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins.

Collins became a hit in New York, and then said some racist stuff to one of the black players, but Carolina, Jacksonville and New England, these three guys would be SWELLLLL.

It's is Bill Walsh's protegee in Green Bay who will end up having to take the form of Spider-Man...trying to save these runaway Norman Osborn, vengeance-seeking expansion teams from completely mutilating the board of directors at Oscorp in San Francisco, Dallas and Denver.

The draft was not nice to alot of teams.

Rick Mirer of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was almost freaking killed in his second or third game with Seattle.

Not until Ron Powlus came along did a Notre Dame quarterback get so much unjustified press.

Ki-Jana Carter from 94 would never recover his knee injury. This was the guy Kerry Collins handed the ball off too.

Yet someone was getting his life resurrected -- Desmond Howard.

Desmond Howard had gone through SHIT.

He was the star of stars in the Big Ten, from Michigan, and then was drafted by the Redskins.

He returns a punt against the Raiders and does his pose.

Then he never does anything again.

He gets sent to Jacksonville.

Ah-hah...

The Packers pick him up on waivers and he's ready to get revenge.

There were more...

Tommy Frazier was on everyone's list...but then gets a blood clot in his leg after the January, 1996 repeat over Florida.

No pro career.

Lawrence Phillips, his starting tailback, would be so freaking good that NFL teams continued to give him changes over and over and over and over again.

Phillips is currently in prison.

Literally the second to last step before the law said FUCK YOU...was when the NFL finally, at long last said FUCK YOU to Lawrence Phillips.

He had to literally make the number of women he beat up...a bakers dozen.

He had to steal YOUR FRIGGIN CAR...and use it to try to run over a bunch of kids who were talking shit after a pick-up game in the park.

------------------------------------------------

Alright, but that's just all the guys we KNEW about when they were in college.

The 96 season would see the emergence of a legend that we didn't.

He almost went undrafted, picked up in the sixth round.

Terrell Davis.

He was the back-up at Georgia to Garrison Hearst, one of the supreme college backs of all time.

Mike Shanahan was a Walsh protegee who admired how the West Coast Offense made essentially a system for recievers.

James Lofton in college, tight end Dwight Clark for Montana when he was still learning it, Freddie Solomon, Brent Jones, Jerry Rice...

So Shanahan simply wondered if it could be applied to do the same thing for RUNNING BACKS.

And so he puts a system in Denver that allows for this former 6th string tailback to run 1,117 yards in 1995, and 1,538 in 1996.

After Davis there was Clinton Portis.

Almost the same results.

See what happened once Portis left? Dick. That's what happened.

-----------------------------------------

Denver went into the playoffs with the best record in the league.

They hosted two-year old, 9-7 Jacksonville in the divisional game.

Denver jumped out to a 12-0 lead.

Clyde Simmons, once of Philly and now Jacksonville, had blocked an extra point, and Elway overthrew Shannon Sharpe on a 2-point conversion. 12-0.

So that's the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Brunell leads a drive with his running backs Natrone Means from the 94 Chargers, and young James Stewart.

Natrone scores a touchdown. 12-7 Denver, and there's also two field goals. 13-12 Jacksonville.

The Broncos were pissed, particularly Troy James who had been accused of pass interference after intercepting Brunell. This HAD killed the momentum, now it reversed it back Jacksonville's way.

So it's halftime. 13-12 Jacksonville.

In the third quarter, Tom Coughlin the Jacksonville coach would try to overwhelm the Terrell-Davis machine by doing what the Bills did the Oilers -- MIX UP THAT COVERAGE.

There was so much audible calling at the line on defense that the Denver OFFENSE had to use all but one of its time outs...

Brunell meanwhile throws a 30-yard bomb to Keenan McCardell TOUCHDOWN 23-12!!!

And TEN MINUTES LEFT IN THE WHOLE GAME.

Terrell would however break through it finally, and even the gap with the two-point conversion.

23-20.

But then Brunell RUNS 30 YARDS!!!!

AND THROWS 20 yards down field to JIMMY SMITH TOUCHDOWN!!!!!

30-20 JACKSONVILLE!!!! And there's only three minutes left!!!!

Elway of course drives down that field and throws a touchdown to Ed McCaffrey in not even forty-five seconds.

There's still over two minutes left! The warning hasn't even sounded yet!

Quick.

Professional.

Elway.

But the Broncos would use their final timeout here!

Before an onside-kick that they would FAIL TO RECOVER!!! OH NO!!!!

And thus...the Denver Broncos are left on defense with no timeouts left, trailing with less then a minute left.

They lost.

Denver could not FREAKING BELIEVE IT.

John Elway had been through alot. This had to be the worst. This team that was in all regards the first 15-1 team since the Bears...had failed to a 9-7 expansion team.

Mark BRUNELL AND THE JAGUARS TAKE IT!!!!

The final four.

Look at Jacksonville, Florida.

They can't BELIEVE THIS!!!

---------------------------

The Jaguars' opponents would be a great story.

The New England Patriots with Bledsoe had been dominant under new coach Bill Parcells.

It took him two years to transform the people around Bledsoe into actual NFL all-stars.

The sheer variation of talent that Parcells brings out on this PAtriots team is mesmerizing.

Sam Gash the current Ravens fullback, when he was still a tiny, young puss.

Terry Glenn, the acrobatic Ohio State reciever who didn't know how to catch diving passes without wrecking his shoulder.

Keith Byers who had wasted half his life with Rich Kotite's Eagles and the Bad News Dolphins.

Ben Coates.

Troy Brown.

Curtis Martin.

Parcells brings in Dave Meggett as well to help Martin, Bledsoe and Gash.

Yet this wasn't even Parcells forte.

That would be the defense.

And look at this shit --

Willie McGinest, Shawn Jefferson, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, and a guy who was only 23 at the time yet who had started all season and had 10 tackles...Tedy Bruschi.

Parcells turned the 1-15 Patriots into THIS.

And so this is what comes of the West Coast Offense's most long-hated rival Bill PArcells.

Parcells if you remember had been the man who shut down both a pre and post-Jerry-Rice Joe Montana.

His SPECIFIC specialty in football was linebackers. He was a linebackers coach.

Hmmmm.

So the PAtriots learn fast and ON THE FLY in 1994-96.

They start out 0-2...but win the next two.

Then they go 3-2...just to drop to 3-3.

Shit.

But then they go on a three game win streak, a four game win streak, a five game win streak, and have that division title at 11-5.

It's good enough for second place in the AFC, and with Denver now gone, that means NEW ENGLAND HAS HOME FIELD THROUGHOUT!!!!

In these two games, the Patriots dominate on BOTH ENDS OF THE BALL.

The piano recital in front of all the Foxboro Stadium parents had turned out well for the old expensive teacher Bill Parcells.

Mr. Parcells Opus.

Their opponents in the first game where the Steelers who had beaten the Colts in a game where the Colts had rallied to tie in the second quarter WITH an Aaron Bailey touchdown catch from Harbaugh.

Okay, he learned. Just far too early, as the Steelers won like 38-13.

So the Steelers get their ASSES handed them in New England.

Then come the Jaguars of course...who TOO lose.

Bledsoe at long last avenges Washington State like Larry Bird avenged Indiana State in the 84 NBA Finals by beating Magic.

The Patriots are in the Superbowl do you freaking BELIEVE THIS?!!!!!!

----------------------------------------------------

In the NFC, things were getting interesting.

Many of the Cowboys players had been in fact caught doing shady stuff.

There would be suspensions, fights, arguments, and all kinds of crappy play as a result.

Bernie Kosar had come to back up Troy Aikman because Aikman had about 9 concussions by now.

His focus, both figuratively and literally, was OFF.

In the wildcard game things had looked good.

Jerry Jones had not only has only watched football twice in his life -- the 85 and 92 Championshp games -- but the Alabama team that won 1992 had beaten Jimmy Johnson's program.

It was a wonderful reminder to Shaq that Kobe's genius wasn't contagious.

Out of this Alabama game there were two stars -- the first one he drafted of course, Derrick Vlasic the running back.

The second one -- was the one guy in that Alabama game more famous then Vlasic -- George Teague.

George Teague in the 92 game had run down Miami reciever and big shit talker Lamar Thomas (he played a bit in Tampa when they were orange). Teague ran him down, took the ball out of his grasp, and then ran it the other way.

It was a baller play.

And so Jones would draft him too.

Teague in the wildcard game against Minnesota does to Vikings running back Amp Lee what he did to Thomas, but not running back with the ball this time, just knocking it out to prevent a touchdown after a long run.

But now the Cowboys had to go to Carolina.

Carolina wouldn't panic, they wouldn't dance, they wouldn't crump.

They simply...got in front of Troy Aikman's passes.

They mixed up the coverage in almost the same identical way that the Bills did against the Oilers -- rather then do the Coughlin approach of audibles, they would pretend they weren't going to cover Michael Irvin.

This gives Aikman, looking for gimmies whenever he can get them to save his energy for later moments...reason to air the ball out rather then gun it in there.

This particular over-arching rainbow pass allows for anyone the proper time to get out there and pick it off.

Then as Aikman looks over the middle -- Michael Irvin's fast and awesome...but no reciever can take the constant bullshit on grass of stopping at full speed and running back to retrieve a duck.

So that was part of it.

The other part of it was that Irvin himself would be injured for most of the game!

The Panthers were dirty, and Mr. Miami Irvin had indeed acted like Lamar Thomas in anticipation of playing a no-name expansion team.

--------------------------------

Packers beat the Panthers in Green Bay in the NFC Championship in one of the coldest days ever.

Packers vs. Patriots for the Superbowl.

It looks promising for New England because Bill Parcells is about to go at the very last remnants of the West Coast Offense before Shanahan and Gruden came transcend it.

He's essentially going against a VERY FAMILIAR GAME PLAN.

The problem is that his own linebackers are the weakspot because they're still young, and McGinest is the only one they have.

Law and Milloy are in the rear, everyone else is upfront like Jefferson and such.

So Brett Favre has all day to do ANYTHING HE WANTS.

Without those four Giants linebackers, this would have probably been New York Giants's fate as well.

Favre literally plays just like Montana against the Broncos...he starts out with a long hail mary when everyone else on Earth would still be setting up shop with the runner...

The ball lands in...yup...Desmond Howard's hands baby.

Touchdown.

And yes...the pose.

And from that point on, Milloy and Law are continuously running 20 yards away from the play just so there are no more long bombs.

Packers win the Superbowl with Jim McMahon the back-up, and Beebe, and Desmond Howard...your one and only Superbowl MVP. He remains the only man as far as I know who has ever been awarded best college football player in the nation (with the Heisman trophy of course) as well as the Superbowl MVP. That's like Magic Johnson type stuff.

But the next year, you would see the difference between a carbon copy of the West Coast...and the first attempt to make it even better...

to be continued.

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