Coming in at 544 pages in medium print, the Parcells “I better get this all down before I die” book, that looks at his life and career as a football coach, goes down many fascinating roads in his life. From his childhood, to college, to coaching in various places in college, to his NFL stints for the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, and Miami Dolphins….we journey through many relationships, triumphs and dilemas Parcells goes through.
What was most interesting about this book was the greatness he endoured as perhaps one of the greatest NFL coaches of all-time, while at the same time he failed in his personal life. He let down 4 women that loved him unconditionally – his ex-wife and their 3 daughters. He developed countless relationships and friendships with 100s of people in his life – but they all seemed to be men. From his fellow coaches, to the players he became a strong father figure to, to his relationships with media moguls and billionaires, all his amazing times and bonding sessions in his life were with other men. All the while he ignored his 3 girls and wife who he cheated on countless times until she had enough and eventually divorced him. Parcells regrets those relationships and you wonder what he would have changed again if he could.
That is what you usually see when you look into the life of a person who succeeded a great deal in their chosen path in their lives. Amazing accolades but at a cost to the people who loved them. You can’t do it alone as Parcells needed his wife to make him the man he became, but he only let her in when he needed that support. When he was at his strongest emotionally and intellectually, Parcells was working on football. He was there for countless players as a father-type as he helped them with their personal lives, but it really wasn’t done without his own agenda as the better players they were the more football games he could win.
Parcells has many great sayings on the tricks of the trade of being a successful person. My favorite one on the book is – Don’t confuse routine with commitment.
Now if I only read that saying a few years ago, perhaps my life would be so much better right now. In the past I have mistaken my routines for a committment on my career, but they really were just a way for me to keep working and convince myself that I was committed to the business at hand. But that wasn’t true.
I liked this book because it shows a man who loved something so much and was very organized and discplined on how to do a job well.