Two Bill Parcells survivors square off in Saints at Vikings.

Steve Geller
January 13, 2018 - 11:29 am

You typically build some type of bond with a person you go through a difficult ordeal with. Sean Payton and Mike Zimmer made it through Bill Parcells’ boot camp from 2003 to 2005, when both were his assistants in Dallas.

“There’s that feeling, as you’re all getting hammered by Bill, there is that collective feeling that you all have to be close together just for any other reason to survive”, said Payton.

Both are now trying to lead a survival mission against one another for a spot in the NFC championship game. Payton’s Saints vs. Zimmer’s Vikings Sunday at 3:40pm in Minnesota.

Having a close bond just adds another fun wrinkle to this big game, since they “grew-up” together for 3 years in the Parcells coaching family.

“We lived I would say probably a mile and a half, two miles from each other and did a lot of things together. His daughters babysat my two children,” said Payton.

“We were good friends and still are. We talk all the time about football. There are certain things he might come in and draw up on the board or I might see him about, it’s pretty common. But our families were close and he’s still a good friend.” 

Payton even said the two were “professional driving range partners” and called himself and Zimmer “frustrated golfers.”

Mike Zimmer won a ring as an assistant under Parcells, when the Cowboys beat the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, and has been the head coach of the Vikings since 2014. His 4 year record in Minnesota is 39-25 with this year being the 2nd time he’s brought the Vikes to the postseason. 

Payton knows his old Cowboys buddy will have his team raring to go in Sunday’s showdown.

“It’s not surprising at all. The film we’ve been watching this week, he’s such a technician, such a teacher. I’ve seen him do that and he’s done such a great job with that team as well as the defense and the offense and the staff. He’s a football coach and they present a huge challenge in a lot of areas this week and we’re going to have to play extremely well.”

Can’t wait for the battle between colleagues, friends now opponents in this win or go home game.

Who Dat Nation - if you’re looking for a great way to start your playoff Sunday - join Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia at 9am - for the WHO DAT HUDDLE live from the Blind Pelican on St. Charles Avenue.

WWL is your home of the NFL and the Divisional playoffs! Today - wall to wall NFL football coverage starts 3 o’clock - Game #1 - Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles…pre-game 3pm - the action starts at 3:35.  After that - Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots - game approximately 7pm.  

Tomorrow - the 1st game is Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburg Steelers - pre-game 11:30/kickoff 12:05pm.   You’ll hear atht on our sister station 1350AM - or HOT 103.7FM.  That’s because game 2 is New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings…our wall to wall Saints football starts at 11am - game time 3:40 - and the Point After goes till 10pm.  

Photo Credit: USA TODAY 

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