When the news first broke that Sean Payton was going to be suspended for the 2012-13 NFL season the Saints Faithful felt like they got a punch to the gut. Without their head coach the team's chances of becoming the first team to play in a Super Bowl it was hosting became awful long odds.
However, when rumors began to circulate that future Hall of Fame coach and a former Super Bowl winner, Bill Parcells, was thinking of taking the job you could hear a collective sigh of relief being let out in bars all over the Big Easy.
Glasses will be lifted in sorrow tonight though. According to recent reports, Parcells has decided to remain retired instead of rejoin the coaching ranks of the NFL.
The marriage of convenience could not have been better for both the Saints and Parcells. New Orleans just needed someone to stand in for one season while Payton served his suspension. Parcells made it pretty well-known during his stint with the Dolphins that he was getting burnt out.
Had Parcells decided to come back though, he would have stood a good chance to win another Super Bowl and make history in the process (as the first team to play in and win a Super Bowl they were hosting).
The exact reason Parcells opted not to take the job is not known at this time. It would not be surprising if he didn't want to deal with the drama involving the Bountygate scandal, including the possibility of fielding a team after a number of players get suspended for their part in the scandal (that's an assumption; no player punishment has been announced at this time).
Then again, he might be ready to take his place in Canton. Should he remain retired he will be eligible to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013. For any person associated with the game there is no greater honor. Since he has nothing left to prove on the field there is no reason for him to delay taking his inevitable spot in next year's class.
So who will coach the Saints next season? Joe Vitt would have been the obvious choice were it not for his six-game suspension. The team could look to hand the reigns over to new defensive coordinator and former head coach Steve Spagnuolo for all of the season or maybe just the first six games (and then have Vitt take over since he is more familiar with the franchise).
One thing is for sure—Bill Parcells will not be coaching the team (so no memorable press conferences and awesome soundbites like the one below).