Sean Payton: I admit that I let my arrogance get the better of me. It’s not easy to go from an obscure functionary to a man who everyone hails as a canny riverboat gambler and borderline genius. I loved the adulation. Plain loved it. So much that I was willing to risk my reputation and my players’ reputations to ensure that that adulation kept coming.
You’ve tasted that very same success. Hell, before I got there myself, I only knew it was possible through your example. So I’m asking if you’ll fill in for me. I don’t know who else I could turn to or who else would be even be capable of the job.
Bill Parcells: Afraid your assistants will keep the team winning and that’ll make you look less impressive? Like the Saints are a well-oiled machine that is fine so long as it has Brees running the show? You always were a transparent little status seeker.
Sean Payton: Hey, I didn’t say that. You’re putting words in my mouth!
Bill Parcells: You didn’t have to. I knew that was the case the moment you got in touch with me. You could have handed over the keys to any one of your lackeys and have been fine. But you’re frightened. I heard the fear in the phone ring. You’ve always had a weak ring. I always told you that.
Sean Payton: All right, all right. You’re right. I am afraid that one of my guys will outshine me, okay?
Bill Parcells: I don’t need your concession. I know I’m right. F*ck you and your patronizing attitude. But I’ll do it. You got yourself a stopgap coach.
Sean Payton: You will?
Bill Parcell: [Picks up phone] Hey… King! Yeah, it’s me. You know the rumors about me and the Saints job? Complete horsesh*t. No way I’m taking that. I’d have to be out of my goddamn mind to inherit that mess.
Sean Payton: But you just said you’ll take the job.
Bill Parcells: Oh, I am. Gotta toy with little Tubbs McFaggybeer whenever I can. Never gets old. Been doing it since the Giants days in the ’80s. It’s the one thing I enjoy about this job. Everything else is utter f*cking torture.
Sean Payton: That’s fantastic.
Bill Parcells: Oh yeah, great. I’m over the moon about the idea of coaching into my 70s. Just what I wanna be doing instead of playing golf, eating pulled pork out of the microwave bucket and crapping my pants. If we’re gonna make this work, we have to set a few ground rules.
Sean Payton: Of course.
Bill Parcells: Good. First, I’m gonna coach the Saints and the Saints are gonna be thrilled to have me. Why wouldn’t they? So much that I’m gonna get my full salary up front. And then I’m gonna tank like a son of a bitch. I may not even let the team finish .500. The fans will be dying to have you back.
Meanwhile, you’re gonna take your cushy FOX studio job and you’re gonna worship the ground I walk on. Say every move I make is inspired and you wouldn’t do a single thing different.
Sean Payton: But I’ll look like an idiot!
Bill Parcells: Aw hell, no you won’t. Just shut up a minute, will ya? The media will take care of you. They’ll explain it away as a team in turmoil. I’ll spread a bunch of off-the-record lies that the players refuse to try without their guy coaching them. You’ll be taken care of. But if I hear so much as a critical peep out of you, the deal is off. I start talking and I don’t stop until I have you lifetime banned and picking the corn out of Gregg Williams’ sh*t for nickels.
Sean Payton: That’s fair.
Bill Parcells: Glad to hear it. Real glad. [Picks up phone] King! Yup, me again. Having a change of heart about the Saints job. No, haven’t taken it yet. Just hearing ’em out. Have a few conditions that I’d like to have met first. Favre? Of course! How’d you know. That’s a deal-breaker if I don’t get Favre. You better run with this, Peter. It’s an exclusive!