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Horse owner Parcells enters NFL Hall of Fame

The first weekend in February had a lot of events. Groundhog Day was Saturday, and Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, so it should be an early spring.

In New Orleans, it was also Super Bowl Weekend. On Super Bowl eve, the NFL announced the new Pro Football Hall of Fame class for 2013. Two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Parcells was one of seven named to the Hall distinction.

Parcells also is involved in the sport of kings - horse racing - as an owner, racing under the name August Dawn Farm.

The name of his farm connects to what he has done during the years in the NFL and in horse racing. When he was coaching in the NFL, training camp would be going on in August. In horse racing, it comes during the Saratoga meet, but he found time for his hobby.

The "dawn" in August Dawn can mean several things. In horse racing, "dawn" is the early morning peacefulness when the horses train.

Also, it can be related to the accomplishments he made in the NFL. Over the years, Parcells has owned close to 20 horses, and he has a couple running currently at NYRA tracks, Saratoga Snacks and The Big Deluxe, under trainer Gary Sciacca. "(Parcells) is a great guy, he understands the business," Sciacca said. "I get along with him and he looks out for me."

Parcells has had a very successful coaching career, with stops at Florida State, Army and Air Force before he led the New York Giants to Super Bowl XXI and XXV wins. He also coached the New York Jets, New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys.

In many sports, an assistant coach will learn under the head coach and then go on to become a head coach when the opportunity knocks. Parcells has a large coaching tree under him, most notably New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, a future Hall of Famer himself.

"Bill Parcells has been thought of as one of the all-time greats for a long time, so it is with great pride that we can officially refer to him as Hall of Famer," Belichick said. "He deserves all the recognition he is getting and for his career to be celebrated in Canton forever."

It was fitting the Super Bowl-winning coach was named to the Hall of Fame on Super Bowl eve. August 2013 will be a great month for Parcells. He will be up at Saratoga to enjoy the thoroughbred racing scene.

There will be one weekend, though, that he won't be spending time at Saratoga, and there will be a very good reason. He will be in Canton, Ohio, to be enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame.