Bill Parcells unofficially spoke for everyone in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and all the people gathered to see him and six others inducted Saturday night.
"There's a kinship created that lasts for the rest of your life," he said about his experience as one of the NFL's most successful coaches.
Parcells became the first coach in seven years to make the hall, with several of his proteges in the crowd at Fawcett Stadium. The only coach to take four franchises to the playoffs, Parcells won Super Bowls with the New York Giants in the 1986 and 1990 seasons. The master of the team turnaround with the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys, Parcells was called "the definitive winner" by former player George Martin, who presented him for induction.
"Every organization I worked for supported me to the fullest," Parcells said. "Without that, you've got no shot."
Parcells' career record was 183-138-1 and he won Coach of the Year honors in 1986 and 1994. He asked to have his bust placed somewhere near Lawrence Taylor in the hall "so I can keep an eye on that sucker."
And he mentioned a quote by former Giants defensive back Emlen Tunnell, the first black man inducted into the Canton shrine, in 1967: "Losers assemble in little groups and complain about the coaches and players in other little groups. But winners assemble as a team."
Parcells was preceded by offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, and linebacker Dave Robinson in the induction ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the Hall of Fame. Defensive tackles Warren Sapp and Curley Culp followed Parcells into the hall. Cris Carter was the seventh and final inductee from the Class of 2013 to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Allen, who sniffled his way through his speech, was just as dominating a blocker as Ogden. He also was, he said, NFL's strongest man, once bench-pressing 700 pounds, and saying "I did it naturally."
One of the key blockers for Dallas as Emmitt Smith became the NFL's career rushing leader, Allen made six All-Pro squads and 11 Pro Bowls in his 14 seasons, the final two with San Francisco. He won the Super Bowl in the 1995 season and was voted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility,
"I just knew I had to win every play," he said. "That's the reason I am here I knew if I lost a play, I had 45 seconds to get even."
Presented by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who drafted Allen out of small-college Sonoma State in 1994, Allen punctuated his discourse with the requisite "How about them Cowboys?" as he joined the likes of Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders in the hall.