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PRO FOOTBALL WEEK 11 | IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Parcells Investigated for Tampering

November 16, 1998

The NFL is investigating a possible tampering charge against New York Jet Coach Bill Parcells involving a phone conversation he had with New England Patriot quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

"We have made an inquiry into the reported telephone conversation to determine if there has been a violation of the league's anti-tampering policy," Greg Aiello, the NFL's vice president of public relations, said Sunday.

CBS reported that Bledsoe sought out Parcells, his ex-coach at New England, for a handshake after the Jets defeated the Patriots, 24-14, on Oct. 19.

Parcells was so touched by the gesture that he called Bledsoe the following week to thank him, CBS said. In that conversation, Bledsoe reportedly mentioned that wide receiver Terry Glenn would be unable to play the following weekend against Miami.

The network said the Patriots alleged Parcells then called Dolphin Coach Jimmy Johnson to advise him that Glenn would be out of the lineup. The Dolphins defeated New England, 12-9, the following Sunday. CBS reported that the Patriots filed a tampering charge, although the NFL did not confirm that.

"I called him [Bledsoe] to say thank you for coming up to me after the game," Parcells said after the Jets' 24-23 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. "It was about a three-minute conversation. He told me that [about Glenn]. I didn't tell anybody anything."

And that, Parcells insisted, included Johnson.

"I haven't talked to Jimmy Johnson since warmups of our game," he said. "Let's just take the deposition and we'll see who did what."

NFL policy says any contact between members of one organization with players of another organization could potentially interfere with employer-employee relationship. Clubs whose personnel engage in such contact do so at their own risk and expose themselves to disciplinary action, including forfeiture of draft choices.

Last season, the league investigated a phone conversation between Bill Belichick, the Jets' assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, with Baltimore Raven players Orlando Brown and Wally Williams, which occurred the week the two teams played.

No violation was found, although the inquiry lasted into the off-season.

FAVRE REACHES LOFTY STATUS

Brett Favre became the second fastest to throw 200 touchdown passes and reach the 25,000-yard plateau in passing yards in the Green Bay Packers' 37-3 victory over the New York Giants.

The milestones came in the 107th game of Favre's career. Warren Moon of Seattle also reached 25,000 yards in 107 games.

Dan Marino of Miami was the quickest to each milestone. He needed 89 games for 200 touchdown passes and 92 to reach 25,000 passing yards.

Favre got the 200th on a two-yard toss to backup tight end Tyrone Davis with 1:28 left in the first quarter. Davis also caught No. 201 on a 60-yard pass play in the second quarter.

Favre passed the 25,000-yard mark with a six-yard pass to Antonio Freeman in the first quarter.

HE RAN A LONG WAY TO MAKE A RETURN

The New York Jets' Aaron Glenn returned a missed field goal an NFL-record 104 yards for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts.

With one second left in the first half, the Colts' Mike Vanderjagt attempted a 63-yard field goal, which was short. Glenn took the ball four yards deep in the end zone and ran it back for the touchdown.

The longest return of a missed field goal was 101 yards by Philadelphia's Al Nelson against Dallas in 1971.

SHOULD LIONS, COWBOYS GIVE THANKS FOR THIS?

Thanksgiving Day means football, and in the NFL that will continue to mean Detroit and Dallas.

Kansas City Chief owner Lamar Hunt has been trying to talk other NFL owners into rotating the two Thanksgiving games, but Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the games will remain where they are.

"The discussion about possibly rotating the Thanksgiving games is over," Tagliabue said. "There's a renewed commitment to keep the games in Detroit and Dallas."

Tagliabue also said the league will keep its promise and award a Super Bowl to Detroit once a new stadium is built downtown.

Tagliabue made his comments while attending Sunday night's game between the Lions and Chicago Bears at the Pontiac Silverdome.

"We've made a commitment to Detroit when the stadium is up and running," Tagliabue said. "I'd expect it to be in the middle of the next decade."

Construction on a new stadium has not begun yet. However, land at the proposed stadium site has been cleared and the Lions are hoping to begin playing in the new stadium by 2003 or 2004.

TIME TO CHECK IN WITH 'THE MIND'

Minnesota Gov.-elect Jesse Ventura quit professional wrestling long ago, but he showed a national audience Sunday he's still a champion at talking trash.

In a lighthearted interview on CBS's pregame show, he suggested jokingly that pro football might be fake and told analyst Marcus Allen what he'd have done with him if he had ever gotten him into the ring.

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