Bill Parcells Actually Has A Different First Name, And The Backstory Is Bizarre

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Former NFL coach Bill Parcells

Photo via Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports Images

For some reason, “30 for 30: Duane and Bill” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

But that’d technically be the correct title for ESPN’s upcoming documentary about Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. Why? Because Parcells’ first name isn’t actually “Bill.”

NFL cornerback Domonique Foxworth alerted the Twitter masses to this fact Thursday, revealing that the legendary NFL coach actually was born Duane Parcells.

Wait — Parcells went from “Duane” to “Bill” just by randomly choosing some other kid’s name in high school? That’s exactly what happened, according to Parcells’ biographer, the aptly named Bill Gutman.

“Ironically, when Charles and Ida Parcells had their first son they didn’t name him Bill,” Gutman wrote in “Parcells: A Biography.” “The future National Football League coach with the oh-so-familiar name was actually christened Duane Charles Parcells when he was born on August 22, 1941, in Englewood, New Jersey.

“The change to Bill came in his early teenage years when a number of people mistook him for another boy, a look-alike, who happened to be named Bill. Young Duane Parcells found he liked being called Bill. Somehow, it had a better ring to it than Duane. He took it as a nickname, and it stuck.”

That’s bizarre indeed, although we agree with Parcells in that he doesn’t look like a “Duane.”

Of course, Belichick has his own history of name manipulation. The New England Patriots head coach is of Croatian descent, and his father was born “Stephen Bilicic” before the family name was Americanized to Belichick.

“The Two Bills” will air Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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