Wit & Wisdom Of 'Bumper-Sticker Bill'

IRVING, Texas -- When it comes to burped-up platitudes, cracker-barrel philosophies, Jersey jibber-jabber and frame-it-and-mount-it-on-the-locker-room-wall mottos, Bill Parcells has, in the last few days, experienced an orgiastic renaissance.

Call him "Bumper-Sticker Bill.''

Suddenly, everything that pops out of the old guy's mouth is a slogan, like he's Dan Rather and Mark Twain and Shakespeare all rolled into one XXXL-sized rainproof-jacketed Twisted Cornball Wisdom Machine. It's a sign, I think, of the Cowboys coach "feeling his oats'' (to use yet another chestnut he's certainly due to de-mothball and re-make this week), and good for him. I mean, if he wants to spend six days a week quoting from Bartlett's Unfamiliar Quotations, it's cool with me - as long as he spends that seventh day beating Panthers and Redskins and Cardinals.

A sampling of the last few days of "Bumper-Sticker Bill's'' fortune-cookie utterings:

ON ENDING A CAREER: "What's that Frank Sinatra song? It Was a Very Good Year, this and that.''

ON PASSING INACCURACY: "His girlfriend wasn't winning many teddy bears at the arcade."

ON CHANGING HABITS: "Let's not try to talk a cat down off a fish truck."

ON ERRATIC PLAY: "Ian Baker Finch! Ian Baker Finch won the British Open. Two years later he couldn't hit a golf ball with a golf club."

ON SUPERVISION: "Even when he doesn't think I'm watching him, I'm watching him."

ON FAMILIARITY: "It's one of those they know that I know that they know, you know?"

ON BAD TACKLING: "You better order a coffin for Watkins.''

ON FRIENDSHIP: "My whole life I've always had some guys. You gotta have some guys. That's probably one of the fears I have when I get older: that I won't have any guys."

ON CRITICISM: "They can get the hearses out if they want, but I'm not riding in them yet."

ON FLUKES: "You know, anybody can land a lucky punch.''

ON MOTIVATION: "I got that (baseball bat) because I got a couple of St. Bernards on this team. You know why they're called St. Bernards? Because I got to hit them with a stick to get 'em to do anything."

ON GUTLESSNESS: "This is the story of our last game. We were Cyclone Hart."

ON BLAME: "Blame nobody, expect nothing, do something."

ON LOSERS: "Losers assemble in little groups and bitch about the coaches and the system and other players in other little groups. Winners assemble as a team."

ON SELF-PITY: "I'm not crying the blues. I'm a big boy!"

ON QUITTING: "Losing may take a little from your credibility, but quitting will destroy it."

ON HIS ANGER: "I can built concern into Mount St. Helen's.''

ON QUITTING AGAIN: "There are many exit doors in pro football. Don't take them."

ON COMMITMENT: "Don't confuse routine with commitment."

ON FOCUS: "I don't know what's going on in the world. And I don't have time to find out.''

ON LUCK: "Once in a while you're standing at the plate and they hit your bat. You know, you're swinging, but they hit your bat.''

ON LUCK AGAIN: "That's the way the cards went.''

ON PREPARATION: "This is not a game of perfect.''

ON PLAYERS' AGING: "Some guys lose that tread on the tire and they're over there with the other parked cars.''

ON PREPARATION AGAIN: "You gotta be able to take it to the dance.''

ON FRANCHISE MANAGEMENT: "We're in the business of collecting information. We're not in the business of exchanging information."

ON MOTIVATION AGAIN: "Don't let your players bite the cheese."

ON EFFORT: "He spilled a lot of blood.''

ON THE NEED TO COMPETE: "As you get older, your needs diminish. They don't increase. They diminish. I need less money. I need less sex. But this — this doesn't change."

Now, I guess I could do without the Parcells-having-sex visual. That makes me feel -- like Rather once said -- as "uncomfortable as too-small bathing suits on a too-long car ride back from the beach.''

But otherwise, this is a man sing-songing through the week. Spinning old cliches. Making up new ones. Wisdom gathered from generations of tough dudes and smart monkeys (and probably dopes, too), Texas-folksy and East Coast wise-guy-ish, all exploding this week, like champagne from a bottle, because Bill Parcells is a happy man.

He is "Bumper-Sticker Bill.''

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