Bill Parcells still thinks Bill Walsh cheated during 1980s playoffs

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This week’s hot topic of fake injuries gave Bill Parcells an opportunity to return to one of his hobbyhorses today: That when he was coach of the Giants, 49ers coach Bill Walsh cheated by disabling the coaches’ booth-to-sideline communication system.

Asked on ESPN to offer his thoughts on the fake injury controversy, Parcells pivoted to a different form of cheating.

“This kind of stuff has been going on in the NFL for quite some time, but it takes different forms,” Parcells said. “This is not just restricted to the defense. I know from past history in two playoff games, one of these teams that was famous for using a script, which they rehearsed with their team prior to the game — they knew exactly what they wanted to do — mysteriously, two years in a row, when the game started, their phones went down, which mandates that the other side put their phones down. Now, let me get this straight. You’ve got your script rehearsed, you know what you’re going to do, the defense doesn’t know what’s coming, but they have to take their phones off?”

Parcells didn’t name Walsh or the 49ers, but that’s obviously who he was referring to. Parcells made the same claim in 2007, referring to two Giants-49ers playoff games (after the 1985 and 1986 seasons) when Parcells coached against Walsh.

The Giants won both those games, so Parcells isn’t suggesting that cheating cost his team a game. But it’s obviously something that bothers him: A quarter century later, he still hasn’t let it go.