is not just a river in Egypt.)
"Well, you never know," Parcells said. "If you're involved in games like we've been involved in the first three weeks of the season, any one of those games could have gone the other way. I think if you're involved in too many of those, the law of averages does catch up with you. Unless you're able to and I had a team once that was able to do it have an extraordinary resilience to win three- and four- and seven-point games. That team just had the ability to do that. The lead was almost safe at seven. But that's very unusual nowadays. So you just hope you can improve your team as you go. I know I say that all the time.
"There are a couple of areas we are seemingly improving in, and then there are a couple of things that we're doing that, should we not get those at least partially corrected, then it's gonna cost us games. Obviously giving up the big play on defense is one of those things that are paramount."
And league-wide? What does your experience tell you?
"I think," he offered, "there's always the ability to rationalize reasons why things are the way they are. But I think at the end of the day, the teams that wind up playing for the championship will have departed from that, and they'll be something else. They may be involved in a few games, but it won't be the essence of what they are, I don't think."
For the record, and further bearing out the Old Man, look at Dallas' last three Super Bowl teams. The 1992 and '93 champs each had six of 16 games determined by no more than seven points one way or the other. In 1995 it was four of 16.
The question then becomes, how much stomach do you have for ugly wins like this team gave you in San Diego and San Francisco? The answer and the final word come from Pro Bowl defensive tackle La'Roi Glover:
"I'd rather have an ugly win than a pretty loss - if there is such a thing."
There isn't. Pass the antacids. Next stomach ache: Oakland.