A Look Back: 15 Years Ago, The Jets/Patriots Feud Begins

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As creative as it was, everyone saw through this deal. Heck, Stevie Wonder could see what the Jets were doing. They were naming Bill Parcells as the de facto coach while not making him the official coach. Everyone knew this was going to get ugly between the two teams.

Robert Kraft also saw through it, and rightfully so. The Jets were using creative language to get around the issue, so Kraft immediately went back to the league to have them rule that Parcells could not work for the Jets in any capacity in 1997.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue finally had enough and scheduled a meeting between the two teams. He basically told New England that they knew Parcells would be with the Jets in some capacity, and told the Jets they knew they wanted him to coach the team. Couldn’t the two teams get together on some kind of deal to end this fight already? Was it this worth it to Kraft to block Parcells from working for the Jets at all?

Finally, the two teams left the meeting with a deal in place sending draft picks to the Patriots, in return for his release from his contract and therefore permission to coach the Jets.

The rest, as all Jets fans know, is history. From Belichick, to Brady, to Mangini…etc. The rivalry lives on, and is one of sports fiercest rivalries. Fifteen years ago, it began.

This was: A look back.

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Tags: 1997 AFL Alan Schechter Bill Belichick Bill Parcells Eric Mangini Green Bay Packers Head Coach Jets Head Coach New England Patriots NFL NY Jets Paul Tagliabue Rivalry Robert Kraft Super Bowl Tom Brady

  • Alex Parziale

    I have been going to games since 1991.  In 1992 my father and I finally got season tickets of our own. From 1991 through 1994 season it rained during one game.  Kotite came in and litterally a black cloud came in.  The home opener in 1996 actually was delyed during the game due to a lightening and thunder storm.  It seemed like every home game it rained.  1997 season Jets playing vs Ravens. The game is raining on and off, sometime every heavy.  Last play of regulation Testerverde throws a TD to send the game into OT for Baltimore.  The Jets march donw filed and just as John Hall kicks the game winner, the sun came out – litterally! It was the first time since 1986 the Jets had sole possesion of first place.
    Another side not Bill Bellicheck was named Jets head coach twice, yet he never coached a game at that position for them.

  • AlanSchechter

     @Alex Parziale
     Had been a long time hadn’t it Alex?  Thanks for sharing those memories about those games.
    Also very true on Belichick.  That’s one thing we can hang our hats on, we are probably to only team ever to hire a coach 2x, and have them never coach a game. 
    I’m probably going to do more posts about the rivalry to discuss the Belichick hirings, and more.