Caste Football Time Machine

Discussion in 'Important Articles and Posts' started by Don Wassall, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Seeing all the interest in players from the 1990s and early 2000s as expressed in the 2017 College Football Conference Championship thread, I'm going to re-post early material from Caste Football that's still in word processing form on my old computer, circa 2002 when Caste Football was just starting out in a primitive format.

    I had surgery three days ago so am home recuperating this month with a lot of time for once, so even though I feel like crap I'm going to post this material over the next few days for anyone who's interested in it.

    I'll start off with Patrick Jeffers and the unforgettable way he totally dominated defensive backfields during the second half of the 1999 season.

    PATRICK JEFFERS
    (8/21/02) Few people, even those who follow the NFL closely, realize how brilliant Patrick Jeffers was in 1999. He had 63 receptions for 1,082 yards (his average of 17.2 yards per catch was third best in the league) and 12 TDs (tied for 2nd in the league), but what is most impressive is that he did it in little more than half a season, and especially toward the end of the season.

    Jeffers didn’t become a starter until the 7th game of the season in ’99. Before that he had only six receptions. Here’s what Jeffers did after becoming a starter:


    ▪ 11/7 vs. Philadelphia – 2 catches for 30 yards, including a 21-yard TD

    ▪ 11/14 vs. St. Louis – 3 catches for 43 yards

    ▪ 11/21 vs. Cleveland – 3 catches for 34 yards

    ▪ 11/28 vs. Atlanta – 3 catches for 31 yards and 1 TD

    ▪ 12/5 vs. St. Louis – 7 catches for 107 yards, and a 71-yard TD

    ▪ 12/12 vs. Green Bay – 8 catches for 147 yards and TDs of 35 and 38 yards

    ▪ 12/18 vs. San Francisco – 8 catches for 155 yards and a 55-yard TD

    ▪ 12/26 vs. Pittsburgh – 5 catches for 160 yards in the snow at Pittsburgh, including TDs of 88 and 43 yards

    ▪ 1/2 vs. New Orleans – 7 catches for 165 yards with TD catches of 40 and 32 yards


    Jeffers ended the ’99 season with five straight 100+ receiving games, only two shy of the record, and, most impressively, in those five games he had 8 touchdown catches, all over 30 yards. He continually beat defensive backs with his speed and graceful moves as he broke one big play after another. It is highly unlikely that any NFL receiver has ever had such an amazing stretch of productivity. If Jeffers had been a starter for the entire season instead of just the last nine games he might have broken the single season record for yardage and TDs.

    Were Jeffers black he would have been made into a household name, ala Randy Moss. Jeffers outproduced Moss and every other receiver in the NFL for the last 2/3 of 1999, yet received little notoriety.


    Jeffers is 6’3” 218 lbs. He went to college at Virginia, where he was, needless to say given his race, a walk-on. From that lowly start he ended up fourth on the school’s all-time receiving charts. He was drafted by Denver in 1996, but warmed the bench until being traded to Dallas at the beginning of the 1998 season. Given a chance at the end of ’98, Jeffers was very effective, catching 18 balls for 330 yards (18.3 yards per catch) with 2 TDs, including a dramatic 60-yarder from Troy Aikman during the nationally televised Thanksgiving game. He was also Dallas’ only effective offensive weapon in the team’s subsequent playoff loss to Arizona.

    However, following the ’98 season, there was a large hue and cry that the Cowboys were in desperate need of a number two receiver behind the rapidly declining Michael Irvin. Although Aikman spoke highly of Jeffers and wanted the team to re-sign him, Patrick signed with Carolina as a restricted free agent. The Cowboys could have retained by matching Carolina’s offer but declined to do so and Jeffers went on to his breakout ’99 season.

    It was four long years before this remarkable talent was finally given an opportunity, and he responded in an unforgettable way. Sadly, that brilliant ’99 season may be the last memory his fans have of him, as Jeffers suffered a torn ACL in his right knee after running a meaningless two-yard route in an exhibition game in August 2000 and missed the entire ’00 season. He has had two surgeries in one knee and one in the other since tearing his ACL. He was limited in ’01 to just 14 catches and 127 yards. Various reports indicate he may not be able to play again in ’02 and that he will retire or be released. It is a sad turn of events for a college walk-on and NFL benchwarmer who was unstoppable when given the chance to produce.

    (9/1/02) Jeffers was released by the Panthers, an acknowledgement that his rehab, now going into its third year, is not going along well and the team didn’t want to pay him anymore. What a sad, sad ending to what could have been if Jeffers’ career is over.

     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  2. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    ROB KONRAD
    (8/23/02) Remember how Ed McCaffrey became a superstar after getting a chance to start? How Patrick Jeffers put up better numbers than Randy Moss and any other receiver after starting midway through the 1999 season? Well, it may sound hard to believe for many (even some supporters of this site) but I truly believe Rob Konrad could (should) be one of the best running backs in the NFL.

    This kid is a true freak of nature. Six foot three and around 250 lbs., but with the ability to run like a gazelle, Konrad set state rushing records in Massachusetts while playing for St. John’s Prep. As one newspaper account put it, he was highly recruited and probably could have played for any college program in the country.

    Konrad eventually chose Syracuse, in part because head coach Paul Pasqualoni promised him the hallowed number 44 worn at Syracuse by Jimmy Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little and Larry Csonka. So Konrad goes to Syracuse with the ability to warrant being given the special number 44, and guess what? He’s not even allowed to be the featured runner, but rather the fullback. Why give him 44 then? What does it take for a talented white running back to get the ball at a major program?

    Konrad averaged about 75 rushes and 375 yards per year at Syracuse, with 20 total rushing TDs, along with 41 career receptions for 473 yards and 3 TDs. He was projected as a late first round or early second round NFL pick, but ended up going fairly late in the second round to the Dolphins, which was not good at all for Konrad. The Dolphins were then coached by Jimmy Johnson, the man responsible for pioneering the gangsta-type of ethos at the University of Miami and then going on to the Cowboys and winning the Super Bowl with only three white starters out of 22, the blackest NFL team by far ever to win at that time, a style --- and roster composition --- that was quickly mimicked by many teams.

    Johnson favorably compared Konrad to “Moose” Johnston, although the only things the two had in common were they went to Syracuse and were white. Johnston was the prototype of the modern NFL fullback, a ferocious blocker with minimal running skills; Konrad is a mediocre blocker with great running skills.

    But just as Konrad probably couldn’t have been the featured runner at any major college program, there probably isn’t an NFL team that would have drafted him with the idea of using him properly. In his rookie season of 1999, all the Dolphins running backs were injured (or in jail, in the case of Cecil Collins). Johnson signed washed-up free agent running backs rather than give the 250 lb. horse with 4.4 speed and moves a chance to run the ball.

    Can you conceive of a 6’3” 250 lb. black running back with unimaginable speed for that size --- and swivel moves to boot --- being a blocking back with just 22 carries in a three-year span? It’s simply unimaginable, because it would never happen. Rob Konrad, if used as the tailback with a fullback blocking for him, could win NFL rushing titles. Repeat. Rob Konrad could win rushing titles. Yet almost no NFL fans would agree because they are so used to, and so conditioned to accept, the NFL’s racial caste system.

    Ed McCaffrey can catch over 100 passes in a season when given a chance. Patrick Jeffers can put together the best stretch of receiving games in NFL history. Jarome Iginla can win an NHL scoring title. Tiger Woods can dominate golf. Doug Williams can win a Super Bowl. Dirk Nowitzke can become a dominant NBA player. John Stockton can set marks that will probably never be broken. But not a single white guy anywhere in the United States has the ability to be a good running back? What is this lunacy that doth rule football?

    Deon Dyer should be the Dolphins fullback. He’s a better blocker than Konrad. Rob Konrad is a star, a star who is being wrongly utilized because of the rigid racial rules that currently govern the NFL.
     
  3. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    RICKY PROEHL
    (8/22/02) Although Ricky Proehl has had a very nice career, his most lasting contribution may be that his name has become a euphemism for white receivers, as in “he’s a Ricky Proehl type.” Endlessly repeated since Proehl began his NFL career in 1990 and hilarious to hear over and over again from media announcers and pundits, a “Ricky Proehl type” has entered the lexicon as a synonym for “white.” No black receiver has ever been compared to Proehl, but every white receiver or aspiring white receiver has been --- except for the very tall ones, who are compared to Ed McCaffrey. Think of the classic comedy movie “Kingpin” where the last name of the woebegone protagonist, Munson, became a national buzz word for “screwed” for a good comparison.

    Not that being a “Ricky Proehl type” is bad, it’s just so predictable and lame and illustrative of the herd mentality of the football “experts” who don’t dare rock the boat for fear of being criticized or losing their fat paychecks. It’s akin to every black quarterback being labeled over and over again a “Doug Williams type.” It’s so racist and obvious as to be laughable.

    A New Jersey native, Proehl, now 34, attended Wake Forest, where he set school records for receptions (188), yards (2,949) and touchdowns (25). All three marks were second best in ACC history at that time. He was drafted in the third round by Arizona, and promptly became a starter, a remarkable testimony to his skills as he was the only white starting receiver in the NFL until the emergence of Wayne Chrebet in 1995.

    Proehl never reached the 1,000 yard mark in receiving, but was a consistent 50 to 60 reception, 700 to 800 yard performer. After five seasons with the Cardinals he was disposed of by head coach Buddy Ryan, who didn’t have any use for lowly white players, and began the vagabond journey through the league that many white receivers go through. He played two seasons with the Seahawks and one with the Bears before ending up with the Rams in 1998, where he finally found a home and has earned a fair amount of respect around the league as the Rams’ reliable and clutch third and fourth receiver.

    Proehl has very impressive career totals of 537 receptions for 7,055 yards and 42 touchdowns. He made noises about retiring after the 2001 season, but the Rams coaxed him back for another campaign. He could probably play several more years if he wants to, and could easily end up with 650 or more career catches. He has a good chance of seeing much playing time in 2002, with the departure of Az-zahir Hakim to the Lions and his replacement with the oft-injured Terrence Wilkins. Although he has made many great plays, Proehl will always be remembered not only for the euphemistic use of his last name by goofy white announcers and pundits, but also for his superb TD catch against Tampa Bay in the NFC championship game that paved the way for the Rams to go to the 2000 Super Bowl, where they triumphed over Tennessee.
     
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  4. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    TRAVIS JERVEY
    (8/23/02) A running back with tremendous potential that was never developed. Jervey is one of the greatest combinations of size and speed ever seen at running back. Big at 6’0” and 225 lbs., he has world class speed, as evidenced by his placing fourth in the NFL’s “Fastest Man” Contest in 1997. So here we have a guy who weighs 225 pounds and is probably the fastest in the league at his position, and what does it add up to? In the caste system that characterizes the NFL, strictly a special teams player!

    Jervey attended The Citadel, where he averaged 7.7 yards per carry and 106 yards per game. He made the all-Southern Conference team and was drafted in the fifth round by the Packers in 1995. With his amazing physical ability, one would have thought the Packers would have tried to develop him into a top-notch runner. But that’s not how the script works in the NFL.

    Jervey has been a special teamer for almost all of his career --- and made All-Pro at the position --- except for a horrifying period of time (horrifying to Mike Holmgren that is) during the 1998 season when injuries knocked out all the Packer running backs, leaving them so depleted that they had to turn to a White man. It’s fair to say that Holmgren did his best to sap Jervey’s confidence, complaining that he was a “fumbler,” based on a couple of pre-season cough-ups, pre-season being the only time Jervey was allowed to run, and during which time he always excelled. Jervey ran tentatively as the Packers’ starter, holding the ball tightly with two hands, afraid to fumble even once with Holmgren the Terrible pacing the sidelines, instead of utilizing his natural abilities.

    Still, Jervey did respectably in his brief time as a starter, rushing 83 times for 325 yards and 1 TD in ’98 before being permanently banished to special teams for the rest of his career.

    After the ’98 season Jervey signed with the 49ers in the hope that he would be utilized as a tailback, even in a back-up role. Wrong. After two seasons with San Fran, Jervey went to the Falcons in ’01, where Dan Reeves, a former tailback himself with only a fraction of the natural ability Jervey possesses, gave him three carries for six yards. This pre-season, Jervey is again running in the exhibition games, but when the real games start it’ll be back to strictly special teams work again for this wasted talent.
     
  5. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    TIM DWIGHT
    (8/21/02) Dwight is a speed burner, one of the fastest players in the NFL. He played for the University of Iowa, one of the very few big programs that seems to have no problem with developing white talent at wide receiver (Dwight’s successor at Iowa, Kevin Kaspar, may be even more talented than Dwight).

    After being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, Dwight was immediately used as a punt and kick returner, and has done well in that department.

    But he has been dramatically underused as a receiver. Dwight was simply outstanding in the last half of the 1999 season, when he had several long TD catches and piled up most of his 32 catches for 669 yards and 7 TDs, with a phenomenal yards per catch ratio of 20.9. In fact, Dwight, Keith Poole and Patrick Jeffers --- all white --- were the three leading yards per catch receivers in the NFL in ’99. (Poole was the official leader at 19.0 yards per catch as Dwight didn’t have enough catches to qualify.) Doesn’t quite mesh with the stereotype of the slow-footed, out-of-his-element white receiver, does it?

    Something had to be done about that and it was. Poole was screwed royally by Jim Haslet, while Jeffers had a season-ending torn ACL during the 2000 pre-season, along with other knee problems that may end his career after his unbelievable 1999 season. Despite the emergence of Dwight as one of the NFL’s most lethal big play threats, all one could hear emanating from Atlanta following the ’99 season was moaning that the team lacked a “big play threat” at wide receiver, so the team signed career journeyman Shawn Jefferson --- who had never even gained 1,000 yards in a season during his eight-year career --- as their “big play” receiver.

    Jefferson and Terrance Mathis (a fine possession receiver nearing the end of his career) were the two starters in 2000. Dwight was still the number three receiver, but played less than in ’99 and his receiving stats declined to 26/406/3 and a 15.6 ypr average.

    One of the knocks against using Dwight as a receiver is his lack of height --- 5’8” – but that never stopped Baltimore from touting the 5’7” Jermaine Lewis as a potential superstar several years ago, nor did it stop the “smurfs” of the Houston Oilers and many other short receivers from excelling. The fact is that Dwight has world-class speed and the ability to blow past many defenders and that is reason enough to exploit him as a wide receiver.

    The San Diego Chargers are apparently going to give Dwight a chance, as they signed him to a contract commensurate with starting receivers following last season and proclaimed him their number two man behind Curtis Conway for the 2002 season. They even brought in Tamarick Vanover to return kicks to allow Dwight to concentrate on developing at wide receiver. This is good news, as Dwight was much underused by the Chargers in ’01 (25/406/16.2/0 TDs, 1 rushing TD).

    For his own part, Dwight must end his “kamikaze” style of playing, which too many white receivers also display for fear of being benched, and play smarter to avoid the injuries that have plagued him.

    (9/26/02) Dwight hasn’t done much yet with the conservative San Diego offense. He has been the object of unremitting criticism ever since the Chargers signed him to starter’s money. He was fantastic in ’99, the only other time he was allowed to play on a regular basis so there’s no reason he can’t end up with nice stats by the end of the season and temporarily muzzle his army of critics.
     
  6. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    SEAN BENNETT
    (8/23/02) A surprise fourth round pick of the New York Giants in 1999, Bennett has been plagued by injuries during his NFL career.

    Bennett was an outstanding runner at Division I-AA Evansville, gaining almost 1,200 yards his sophomore year and a school record 1,667 yards his junior year on 235 carries. He also rushed for 16 touchdowns. When Evansville dropped its football program Bennett transferred to Northwestern. Despite his talent he was given typical white running back treatment, being shifted to fullback and carrying just 32 times for 160 yards while also having 17 receptions for 228 yards.

    Bennett, though, is an obvious specimen at 6’1” and 230 lbs. combined with 4.4 speed in the 40. Another white running back, the never-used Travis Jervey, is probably the only other tailback in the NFL with a similar combination of size and speed.

    The Giants must be given credit for recognizing Bennett’s talent and drafting him. Because of injuries to other running backs Bennett was actually the Giants starting tailback for the opening game of his rookie season. However, he quickly became injured and finished 1999 with just 128 rushing yards on 28 attempts.

    Bennett was seemingly perpetually injured, missing the entire 2000 season, before the Giants cut him before the 2001 season, which he sat out. The Giants re-signed him for 2002, insisting that he cut back substantially on his Herculean workout regimen, which they suspect may have backfired and been responsible for his constant injury problems.

    Bennett has looked very good during the Giants training camp and looks to open the season as Tiki Barber’s backup. He should get on the field for third downs and to relieve Barber. If Barber should get injured Bennett may again find himself the Giants featured back, as former Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne has been a bust thus far in the NFL, too slow to get through holes and rarely making people miss when he does.

    (9/26/02) Bennett is playing some, but mostly as a decoy. He has a couple of catches, but not a single carry, which is inexplicable given that the Giants running game is terrible. Tiki Barber is banged up, and Bubble Butt Dayne just plain old stinks. Barber is averaging 2.9 yards per carry, Dayne 2.7. Awful. Bennett should replace Dayne as Barber’s backup. Actually he could well be better than Barber. Certainly he couldn’t be much worse. Barber has speed but no size and not much power. Bennett has the whole package. But he needs to start getting some carries, to boost his confidence and give him experience in real games. The Giants pulled a surprise by drafting Bennett; now that he’s healthy and Barber isn’t, why aren’t they using him?
     
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  7. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    WAYNE CHREBET
    (8/20/02) Followed the typical white receiver route by having to go to a small college football program (Hofstra), but is the notable exception in that he was given the opportunity to not only make an NFL roster but start right away, and has been a standout since. Rich Kotite never succeeded as an NFL head coach, but he deserves credit for giving Wayne Chrebet the chance to succeed.

    After seven seasons with the New York Jets, Chrebet has 455 receptions for 5,824 yards and 30 touchdowns. 500 career catches used to be a receiver’s ticket to the Hall of Fame, but not anymore. But if Chrebet ends his career with 700+ catches he has a chance.

    Chrebet is remarkably consistent and can be counted on for around 60 to 70 catches, 700 to 900+ yards, and 4-5 TDs per year. He excels at finding holes in defensive coverages and getting open. His role seems to be diminishing this season, as the Jets and the media proclaim the alleged wondrous talent of Santana Moss and Lavernius Coles.

    When Chrebet and Ed McCaffrey both passed the 1,000 mark in receiving yards in 1998, it marked the first time any white receivers had done so in the NFL since Steve Largent and Chris Collinsworth in 1986.

    Even though Chrebet was one of just two white starting receivers at the time Keyshawn Johnson wrote his infantile book (“Just Give Me the Damn Ball”), it didn’t stop Johnson from claiming that Chrebet was playing only because he is white, as if the NFL was biased in favor of white wide receivers instead of all but shutting off the position to them.

    The truth is that Wayne Chrebet, smallish at 5’ 10” and 185 lbs. and with excellent hands but not exceptional speed, is just one of many white wide receivers who should be playing and starting in the NFL, but who did not get the “break” Chrebet did. Rather than being the exception, Chrebet is the proof that there are plenty more white talents out there to be developed.
     
  8. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    Don,

    A very good thread. You have the facts and figures along with familiarity with the period and the careers of the players.
     
  9. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Mentor

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    Nowhere near as accomplished as the above players Dallas WR Doug Donley sure was fun the few minutes he gave us. I am going back a bit here and he has been mentioned on this site before. After a stellar career at Ohio State Donley briefly rose to "fame" with his lightening speed and caught 18 passes averaging over 20 yards in 83 and had a 34-473 stat line in 1984. Before you could say boo it was all over. Injuries, which were insidious, decimated him. Playing with arrogant Tony Dorsett who had made claims about blacks being better and faster athletes it was nice to see a cold splash of water thrown into his smug theory. It is a bloody shame Donley couldn't stick around for a few more years but anytime a speedy white WR makes an appearance in the NFL I stand up and take notice. See below a wiki article on Donley.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Donley
     
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  10. Thrashen

    Thrashen Hall of Famer

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    Speaking of the early 2000's...does anyone else remember WR Kevin Kasper? He was a former walk-on at Iowa turned all-time leading receiver. Despite his NCAA credentials, 6-1 height, muscular build, and his 4.42 40 time, he was only drafted in the 6th round and played for 9 different NFL teams, mostly as a kick/punt returner.

    Kasper was in his prime during the "dark years" (2001-2006). During those years, only Drew Bennett (2004), Brandon Stokley (2004), and Mike Furrey (2006) were 1,000-yard receivers and each player on accomplished the feat once. None were given much far-fare as a result.

    The 2007 season, Wes Welker's first year with the Patriots, seemed to be the year that everything changed. Since then we've had Kevin Curtis, Wes Welker, Jordy Nelson, Eric Decker, Brian Hartline, Julian Edelman, and Adam Thielen all have 1,000-yard seasons. As have numerous TE's (Clark, Witten, Gronkowski, Olsen, Barnidge, and Kelce).

    I wonder what Kasper might have accomplished had he entered the NFL "P.W." (Post Welker). Former Oregon State mega-star, Mike Hass, is frequently cited as one of the most screwed-over white WR's ever during the "dark year," but I think Kasper has a very good case...



     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 11:53 AM
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  11. Extra Point

    Extra Point Master

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    Mike Furrey gained 1000 yards in 2006.

     
  12. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Another super-fast receiver who was unwanted by the NFL

    VINNY SUTHERLAND
    (8/22/02) Sutherland was all-state in Florida in both high school football and track his junior and senior years, but none of the big three college programs in the state recruited him as they only recruit blacks for positions such as wide receiver. Sutherland went to Purdue, where he was a big-time playmaker and finished third all-time in touchdowns, third in yards receiving and fourth in receptions. He was also Purdue’s all-time leading punt returner and was the fastest sprinter on the track team.

    Was drafted by the Falcons late in the ’01 draft and was cut. Was picked up by the 49ers, who used him to return kicks. Had only one reception and one rush in ’01. Is short (5’8”) and stocky (190 lbs.) with great speed. The 49ers seem intent on using the underachieving J. J. Stokes and Tai Streets in perpetuity at receiver, so Sutherland seems a long shot at this point to be anything other than the fourth or fifth receiver.
     
  13. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    R. J. BOWERS
    (8/23/02) Rewrote the college record book for running backs while at Division III Grove City College in Western Pennsylvania, ending his career with 7,353 yards. Other all-time NCAA records set by Bowers include career points (562), career TDs (92), career rushing TDs (91), consecutive 100-yard games (32), career 200-yard games (16), career 100-yard games (35), and career points per game (14.1). Played in the Blue Gray Classic and Hula Bowl all-star games. Is 6’0”, 250 lbs.

    Played several years of minor league baseball before returning to college to play football and is now 28 years old. Yes, what he did was in small college football, but does he deserve a chance to see if he has the game for the NFL? It doesn’t seem likely he’ll get that chance. Bowers signed after his senior year with the Carolina Panthers, who made him, what else?, a fullback (meaning a blocker for the actual ball carrier). Bowers played fullback in college, but at a level where the fullback can be the featured runner, unlike the NFL where the fullback is usually just an additional offensive lineman.

    Carolina cut Bowers, who then signed with Pittsburgh, and actually saw some action in a couple of Steeler blowouts late in the ’01 season, finishing with 84 yards on 18 carries and 1 TD. This year, if Bowers makes the team, he will be either the fourth-string tailback or third-string fullback, so will see little if any action except possibly again in one-sided games. It will likely take a string of fortuitous circumstances to fall Bowers’ way for him to get a real chance to see if his running ability is up to NFL caliber.
     
  14. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    TRAVIS McGRIFF
    (8/22/02) Went to Florida, a walk-on of course, and didn’t start until he was a fifth year senior. But what a senior year he had --- 70 receptions for 1,357 yards (19.4 avg.) and 10 touchdowns. Was named to the Southeastern Conference’s first team after that season and was then drafted in the third round by Denver in 1999.

    But despite investing a high draft choice on him, McGriff was never given a chance by the Broncos. He had 3 receptions in 1999 and 2 in ’00 before being released by the Broncos in ’01. Is now trying to catch on with the Falcons, a team similar to the Broncos in that it likes to stock up on white receivers but only allows one a prominent role, which makes it unlikely McGriff will make the team, or if he does he’ll probably be buried on the depth chart.

    The knock on McGriff is his lack of height (5’8”), but he has excellent speed and plenty of smaller receivers have had success in the NFL. But they didn’t warm the bench for year after year, they were actually given a chance and then sank or swam. McGriff seems to destined to sink into obscurity because he never had the opportunity to learn to swim.
     
  15. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    TREVOR INSLEY
    (8/21/02) Insley set several national records while at small Division I school Nevada, including career receptions (298), most career receiving yards (5,005), most games with 100+ yards (26), and most 1,000 seasons (3, tied record). In 1999 alone he gained 2,060 yards.

    Went undrafted and was signed as a free agent by Cincinnati in 2000, but was cut. Played in NFL Europe in 2000 and made the all-league team as a wide receiver, and was also a standout kick returner. Played the 2001 season with Indianapolis, ending with a modest 14 receptions for 165 yards and 1 touchdown.

    Cut by the Colts, Insley signed with the expansion Houston Texans, but broke his ankle during their inaugural preseason game and went on IR for the ’02 season. He is 6’0”, 190 lbs., doesn’t have great speed, but has all the skills to be a more than adequate possession receiver who will make the tough catch down the middle and occasionally break a long one. We’ll have to wait until next year to see if Insley gets a chance with the Texans or another team.
     
  16. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    R. J. ENGLISH
    Great combination of size (6’2”, 211 lbs.) and speed (has been clocked at 4.43 but at the combine ran a 4.63). Was on most lists as one of the wide receivers who would be drafted in 2002, but wasn’t, signing with the Falcons as a free agent.

    Despite his ability, was of course a walk-on, at the University of Pittsburgh, where by his senior year was the leading receiver in the Big East. His reward for that? Not only was he left off the all-Big East team by the media, but the second and third teams as well! English was just a solid a receiver as Pitt’s other starter, big-mouth Antonio Bryant, but Bryant was talked about only in terms of being the best in the country and was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the ’02 draft.

    Read the following description of English from football-gaming.com, particularly the words in italics, and then what’s underlined at the end: “Has rare speed for a player his size, showing a sudden burst off the line…Uses his hands well to release and escape press coverage…Very aggressive gunner on the punt coverage team… Extends for the ball and gets his head turned properly to keep track of the deep pass…Shows quickness getting over the top of a defenderHas the long arms to keep his hands away from the body when running under passes…Emerged as the team’s clutch possession receiver in his final year eleven scores.” [emphasis added]

    What’s wrong with this picture? Doesn’t sound like a description of a “possession receiver” to me. If English was black it would be naturally assumed by everyone that he was a player with big-play potential, not a possession receiver.

    An article by Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (3/26/02) raises the issue of English and race. Writes Anderson of English: “One thing he hopes won’t work against him is prejudice. Just as there might still be some lingering thought that black athletes don’t make good quarterbacks, English could face bias that white athletes don’t do as well at skill positions such as receiver. ‘I don’t think about it --- if you’re a player, you’re a player,’ said [English]. ‘I pray that they don’t look at that --- like, Oh, he’s a white guy. I just go out and show I’m an athlete. That’s it. I can’t do anything about it if guys don’t like me because I’m a white boy.’”

    English went on IR during mini-camp after injuring his knee, so this white “boy” may never get a chance in the NFL.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 3:17 PM
  17. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    That's all I still have as far as players. Here's a few 2002 team reports:

    2002 Tampa Bay Bucs
    (8/26/02) A lot of personnel changes for the Bucs as Jon Gruden, the offensive whiz, brings his intensity and energy to a team that had great defense and poor offense throughout the Tony Dungy regime.

    Things looked interesting initially, as the Bucs signed free agent receiver Joe Jurevicius from the Giants. A very tall (6’5”) and athletic target, Jurevicius looked to be set as a starter alongside fellow tall (6’4”) receiver Keyshawn Johnson to give the team the tallest pair of receiving targets in league history. However, the Bucs signed Keenan McCardell after he was released by Jacksonville, and McCardell, now on the downside of his career, became an instant starter with Jurevicius demoted to number three. Still, Jurevicius should see a lot of action in the team’s new offense.

    Keith Poole, who led the NFL in yards per catch in 1999 while with New Orleans but has been all but run out of the league since, was released before training camp by Gruden.

    Gruden also signed Michael Pittman from the Arizona Cardinals to be, apparently, the featured running back. Previously Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn shared that role, until Dunn signed with Atlanta after last season. The consensus among the pundits is that Pittman is set to have a “monster” season, even though he was far from that status with the Cardinals. One would think Alstott would be a perfect fit for Gruden, what with his hammering running style and good hands and that he would finally get to be the featured back before his career runs down, but that’s not how it works in the NFL. It looks like it will take an injury to Pittman (a not unlikely occurrence) for Alstott to get his chance, and even then Gruden may instead give Aaron Stecker an increased workload.

    Brad Johnson is set to start the season at quarterback. His smarts and accuracy look to be a plus, though he has little mobility. Rob Johnson remains a work in progress as the backup, along with little Shaun King the former starter.

    Besides Johnson and Alstott, starters on the offensive line look to include left guard Kerry Jenkins and center Jeff Christy, a former All-Pro. The new tight end is Ken Dilger, formerly of the Colts, who will be backed up by former Bengal Marco Battaglia.

    The only defensive starter remains SS John Lynch. John Howell is a backup at free safety, and Joe Todd is trying to stick at outside linebacker.

    LIKELY NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 6

    GRADE: D

    2002 Pittsburgh Steelers
    (8/27/02) Head coach Bill Cowher was a marginal NFL player, a linebacker buried on the depth chart who mostly played special teams, which may account in part for his attitude that whites are fit only to block and kick.

    Cowher coddles black players, giving them years to develop before giving up on them if they don’t. The most famous example is QB Kordell Stewart, who after a decent if over-rated 1997 season was showered with endorsement offers and otherwise was hyped as the coming NFL equivalent of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.

    But Stewart was mostly awful in ’98, ’99 and ’00. In ’01, his seventh season, he finally achieved some success, thanks to a very simplified offense that relied on a strong running game, a tremendous offensive line, and a passing game that consisted of many very short passes (and Stewart has games where he butchers even them) and Stewart’s running ability.

    By contrast, Cowher yanked Jim Miller from the starting QB position after a single half of play; Kent Graham lasted only slightly longer. Cowher seems to take sadistic pleasure in humiliating his kickers on national television, ranting and screaming after a bad punt or a missed field goal. Similarly, he is often seen yelling at white players on the sideline after they make a mistake, but very rarely at a black player. High draft choices on white players have been a waste, as the likes of safety Scott Shields, wide receiver Danny Farmer and others were quickly cast aside without ever having a chance to develop. The last couple years the organization has wised up and has taken only black players with high draft picks.

    On offense this year the Steelers have Dan Kreider, a great blocking fullback who also has good running skills but will never get a chance to show them as he will get maybe 12 carries all season. Tight end Mark Bruener was a great receiving tight end in college, but the Steelers rarely throw to the tight end, so Bruener has merely become one of the best, if not the best, blocking tight ends, a key cog in providing Jerome Bettis with holes to run his wide body through.

    The two white starters on the line are also top-notch --- left guard Alan Faneca was a starter for the AFC in last year’s Pro Bowl game, quite a feat given that the (mostly black) players tend to elect the same (mostly black) players over and over again, many long after whatever All-Pro skills they might have had are diminished. Center Jeff Hartings was signed as a free agent after the ’00 season from Detroit, where he was a guard, and made a quick and seamless transition to his new position.

    On defense, end Aaron Smith is an unknown nationally but is very close to superstardom. John Fiala is battling James Farrior for one of the starting inside linebacker positions, but seems destined to lose, especially given that the Steelers gave Farrior a large signing bonus to lure him away from the Jets.

    LIKELY NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 5

    GRADE: F+

    Update: (9/25/02) Before the 2001 season, no one --- including their fans --- expected much of the Steelers, who were coming off three straight seasons out of the playoffs. But now, after an unexpected 13-3 season, Steeler fans expected nothing less than a Super Bowl victory this year and are already in advanced panic mode after Pittsburgh lost to New England and Oakland to start off 0-2.

    This team definitely was over-infatuated with themselves and needed to be knocked down a few pegs. The Steelers refused to give New England any credit for beating them in the AFC championship game last year. But even in resounding defeat the Steelers, reflecting their head coach, showed no class, driving down the field, calling their timeouts, to score a last-second touchdown when the game had long been decided. They should have accepted their punishment and gotten out of town.

    QB Kordell Stewart once again looks like the Kordell most Steelers fans have long come to know and detest. Every few years or so he has a nice streak like he did in the middle of the ’01 season, but mostly Kordell is way out of his element as a QB. But here he is, in Year Eight of the Grand Black Quarterback Experiment, still starting, still with no quality quarterbacks backing him up so that his ever-fragile psyche isn’t bruised.


    2002 Seattle Seahawks
    (8/25/02) If you’ve read through some of the information on this site about individual players, you may get the idea I don’t like Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren very much. You’d be right. Holmgren developed one white player into a superstar, Brett Favre. For every Favre, there is a Bill Schroeder, Travis Jervey, Matt Hasselbeck, Heath Evans, and others. Holmgren seems to have no patience with white players other than as blockers, and as a result is great at sapping their confidence.

    Holmgren does deserve credit for bringing in Trent Dilfer, who, incredibly even for the caste-oriented NFL, was cast adrift after merely leading the Baltimore Ravens to the world championship. Can anyone imagine the black starting quarterback of the best team in the league being cut and then not being picked up by anyone? Jesse Jackson and a braying media would be in on that one real quick.

    Dilfer has been through the ringer and hopefully will continue to shine as he did in 2000 with Baltimore and ’01 when the Seahawks signed him when he recuperates from the injured right knee he suffered in the Seahawks’ first preseason game.

    Protecting Dilfer and Hasselbeck are left guard Steve Hutchinson, center Robbie Tobeck and right guard Chris Gray. Starting fullback Mack Strong is currently injured, but Heath Evans, a third round draft pick in ’01, should be the starter as he has very good running and receiving skills in addition to being a good blocker. Evans is being wasted on the bench, but one fears Holmgren will only use him as a blocker when/if he does get a chance to start.

    On defense, Chad Eaton is a very good tackle, and Harvard grad Isaiah Kacyvenski is currently ahead of Orlando Huff for the starting job at middle linebacker.

    Two white starters out of eleven on defense (sadly, more than most NFL teams) and the signing of Dilfer save Holmgren’s Seahawks from an F.

    LIKELY NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 7

    GRADE: D
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 3:32 PM
  18. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    2002 Tennessee Titans
    (8/27/02) After several years of the same ratio of black to white starters --- 3 whites on the offensive line, Frank Wycheck at tight end and Jason Fisk at nose tackle --- the Titans are finally bringing in some white players at positions that Jeff Fisher had heretofore kept strictly black.

    Tennessee drafted two Rockys at linebacker this year --- Rocky Boiman of Notre Dame and Rocky Calmus of Oklahoma, one of the nation’s best the past two years. Calmus looks to back up another white linebacker this year, Peter Sirmon.

    On offense there are two white wide receivers. Eddie Berlin was drafted in the fifth round last year and has lots of ability though he gets almost no notice compared to the black receiver who was drafted one round ahead of him in the same draft, Justin McCareins. McCareins was injured all of last year. Drew Bennett, the 6’5” former UCLA quarterback who converted to wide receiver as a senior, came out of nowhere last year to be the Titans’ third receiver by the end of the season. Berlin has looked good in training camp this year, but Bennett seems to have dropped out of sight of late, not a good sign. There’s not a rule against an NFL team having two white receivers, is there? Not a written one anyway.

    Wycheck remains one of the best tight ends in the league, the player quarterback Steve McNair loves to look for, especially when a play breaks down. Former Giants fullback Greg Comella will be blocking for Eddie George this year, and will get an occasional reception.

    On the line, Zach Piller is the starting left guard, Gennaro DiNapoli is the center, and Benji Olson holds down the right guard position.

    Will the Titans reverse their unexpected decline in 2001 this year? Much depends on McNair, who, like Kordell Stewart, took until his seventh year to seemingly “develop.” Whether he can continue at a fairly high level again will be an important factor in how well Tennessee does.

    LIKELY NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 6

    GRADE: D


    2002 Washington Redskins
    (8/26/02) The Redskins with new head coach Steve Spurrier have been one of the main topics of football conversation. The team has been lighting up the scoreboard in the preseason, but whether that will continue into the regular season only time will tell. Certainly, the Redskins don’t have any stars on offense yet, other than running back Stephen Davis.

    The quarterback duel is between former University of Florida stars Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews. The Redskins chose Patrick Ramsey in the first round of the draft this year but he is unlikely to be in the mix so quickly.

    The fullback is Bryan Johnson from Boise State, but he is mainly a blocker who will get an occasional catch but few if any rushes. Ross Tucker is the projected starter at right guard and Jon Jansen holds down the right tackle position. That’s it for white starters on offense. The defense is all-black as are almost all the backups.

    Chris Doering appears set to make the team at wide receiver. Another Florida Gator, Doering set SEC records but no NFL team has given him a chance (see the profile of Doering under Wide Receivers for more details on his sad saga). Will he finally get a chance this year at age 29? Tall, fast enough, smart and with tremendous hands, Doering has been the team’s best receiver in the preseason. Wuerffel and Matthews both appear to look for him. Surely no receiver in the league is more deserving of success than Chris Doering.

    LIKELY NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 4

    GRADE: F+

    Update: (9/25/02) The Redskins slow start --- including an inefficient offense --- are just further proof that preseason games are meaningless when it comes to predicting how teams will produce when the real games begin. Steve Spurrier may eventually make the Redskins an offensive machine, but right now the bottom line is he has pretty mediocre quarterbacks and receivers to work with, and the defense is nowhere near as good as predicted thus far.

    Whatever happened to Chris Doering? Both Shane Matthews and Danny Wuerffel look to him and trust him, but after being the team’s best possession receiver by far in the preseason he has disappeared in the regular season. Makes no sense, especially with a struggling passing game.


    2002 St. Louis Rams
    (8/25/02) Whites contribute at every position except linebacker, cornerback and tailback (and Eric Crouch may contribute there at some point).

    The quarterback is the great Kurt Warner, who again is battling the troublesome right thumb injury that impeded him in some games last season. Starting fullback James Hodgins is out for about 6 weeks, so converted Ivy League quarterback Chris Hetherington will replace him. The tight end is Ernie Conwell, a solid combination of size and speed for the position.

    Protecting Warner are left guard Tom Nutten, center Andy McCollum, and right guard Adam Timmerman. That’s five white starters (six while Hetherington is in there) on offense.

    In addition, two and hopefully three white wide receivers should make the team. Ricky Proehl, the receiver who every single aspiring white receiver of the past decade has (ridiculously) found himself compared to at one time or another, will undoubtedly again see lots of action in what might be his final year, especially with injury-prone Terrence Wilkins signed to replace last year’s fumbling number three Az Hazir Akim, who signed with the Lions in the off-season.

    The Rams also have third round draft choice and 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch, and Dane Looker, who was the best receiver in NFL Europe in 2002. Crouch has great athletic ability, and the Rams are probably one of the few teams who would dare to try and develop it, though in a fairer world, Crouch, a brilliant runner, would be groomed to replace Marshall Faulk, now in his ninth season. Looker is also a real talent, a hands-of-glue receiver who runs nice routes and is unafraid to go over the middle. It would be a shame if he isn’t brought along to replace Proehl, while Crouch is groomed to take the place of Isaac Bruce.

    On defense the Rams have three white starters on the line, a real rarity in the league these days: end Grant Wistrom, one of the best in the league; and tackles Jeff Zgonina and Brian Young. They also have four white safeties (turn back the clock!) --- first round ’01 draft pick Adam Archuleta, who starts at strong safety; SS Rich Coady, and free safeties Nick Sorensen and Steve Bellasari, the Ohio State quarterback who was a late round draft pick this year.

    There is little doubt that the Rams have been the overall best team in the NFL the past three seasons, and little reason to foresee much of a dropoff this year. Head coach Mike Martz is an original thinker who has kept the machine Dick Vermeil so unexpectedly put together firing on all cylinders while retooling and greatly improving the defense. The Rams also deserve credit for drafting Eric Crouch, who otherwise might have languished until near the end of the draft, ala Luke Staley, the Doak Walker Award winner from BYU, as well as grabbing Bellisari as a project.

    LIKELY NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 9-10

    GRADE: B-

    Update: (9/25/02) The Rams received CasteFootball’s highest grade, but it appears we were a bit generous. Mike Martz has since made two huge mistakes. The first was cutting WR Dane Looker, who has great potential and would still make a great third or fourth receiver on this team. Instead, Martz cut Looker and traded for cocky former first round bust Troy Edwards, who was so disappointing in Pittsburgh that even Bill Cowher ran out of patience with him.

    Second, and while I have no inside information, I’ll be willing to bet that Eric Crouch quit because he was way out of his element at wide receiver and the Rams refused to let him play at either of the two positions this great athlete knows how to play --- quarterback and running back.

    Other than possibly lacking the “cannon arm” that all black quarterbacks are alleged to have, Crouch was the ultimate “new quarterback” (i.e., like black quarterbacks are hyped to be): incredibly athletic, fast, great runner, accurate thrower. He dominated games in college like few QBs ever have. Why wasn’t he given a chance at quarterback?

    And if, for whatever reasons, you’re not going to let the Heisman Trophy winner have a shot at quarterback, why in the name of God would you take the greatest running QB of all time and not let him be a tailback?????? Is the league that afraid of having a successful white running back? Nothing better demonstrates the insanity of the NFL and college football’s anti-white racism than the fact this magnificent runner was summarily rejected as a runner and instead had to play a position he had never played in his life.

    Crouch was reported to be unhappy. But no one in the media delved into it below the surface level. This kid loved football with a passion. To be that unhappy, to the point of quitting and returning a nice signing bonus to become. . . what, an assistant manager of a Burger King?, he had to have been extremely miserable that he couldn’t be a quarterback or running back.

    Crouch made a statement by quitting, but if my theory is right, he might as well have had the courage of his convictions and given the real reasons. What did he have to lose at that point?

    It was also amazing how little coverage the media gave this shocking story. It was a pretty big story for a day or two, and then Eric Crouch went down the memory hole. No media outlets went to his home to interview him. Could you imagine the media furor that would result if Michael Vick or Rickey Williams suddenly quit? But the Rams were generally ripped for taking Crouch in the third round. Apparently he should have gone undrafted, or at least waited to the seventh round
    to be picked, ala Luke Staley, the nation’s best college running back last year who wasn’t picked until the last round.

    As for the rest of the team, they have looked much like they did before their incredible transformation in 1999 from perennial doormat to league juggernaut. Isaac Bruce looks disinterested, Torry Holt is being double covered, the offensive line is weak, especially John St. Clair, and Kurt Warner must still have that thumb injury that bothered him last year. He obviously can’t throw the ball the way he wants, and some of his passes look downright awful. Warner’s injury combined with Bruce and maybe even Faulk being on the downhill side of their careers has equaled, at least to this point, a team that doesn’t look like it will make the playoffs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 11:23 PM
    Freethinker and celticdb15 like this.
  19. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Awesome thread. I remember a lot of these guys names, as early 2000s was when I started watching NFL and college football avidly as a youngster!
     
  20. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Mentor

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    If you were to scan the ENTIRE world of sports I am not certain we are better off today in caste terms. In fact bearer of bad news that I am I believe things are just as bad if not worse than ever. There have been some improvements especially on telecasts but things are just as bad if not worse today than ever in my opinion. Which is not to say there are not positives out there and things to build on but again taken as a whole encompassing the NFL, NBA, NHL , MLB, Soccer, Tennis, College Football and College Basketball if you were to take a snap shot each year in great detail you would be surprised at how many terrific white athletes pop up as illustrated in part by the posts above in this special section. I think years of degradation of the white athlete including early slotting and social boundaries has hindered the progress of the white athlete which has been discussed at length here at CF over the years.

    The College Hall Of Fame just named their new inductees which include Peyton Manning. I will give you two names that I have not seen an equivalency of in today's game. One ended up in the NFL and the other in MLB. They are two of the greatest athletes I have ever seen: Brian Urlacher and Kirk Gibson.

    Urlacher as everyone knows was the staple MLB of the Bears from 2000-2011. He played in an era where there were less white WR's of import and the winning Super Bowl teams were often mainly black. But Urlacher couldn't be dismissed. A hulking 6'4"260 LB panther who had the speed of a running back Urlacher like a 16 wheeler going down hill chased down every speedy black QB's and RB's that had routinely made fools of other LB's. With Urlacher the shoe was on the other foot. As someone who loves defense I thrilled to the sight of him smashing and catching everyone in his path. His cat quickness and agility for such a big man was awe inspiring. I was rooting for the Bears in the Super Bowl against Peyton and his Colts solely because of Urlacher. The Bears were a solid team over his playing career and he was 80% of the reason why. And he was the only reason I rooted for them back then. See below his SI cover.

    https://www.sicovers.com/content/images/thumbs/0003607_brian-urlacher-of-the-bears_415.jpeg

    I saw Kirk Gibson play one time in his college career. Can't remember if it was an all star game or what but he caught a long pass for a touchdown. He played at Michigan State from 1975-1978. He was the proverbial deep threat as borne out by his stats 1976-39748-7, 1977-22-531-6, 1978- 42-806-7. There was less passing back then in the Big Ten so those were big numbers and he was an All American his senior year. He opted for baseball though and ended up with the Tigers. I recall the SI cover story about him where it mentioned he ran a 4.28 40 yard dash for the scouts. He was a lanky powerful 6-3 and 215 lbs. And he was the GREATEST RAW ATHLETE I have ever seen. I am too young to have seen Mickey Mantle but that is who his manager the legend Sparky Anderson compared him too. A raw colt he turned himself into a very good baseball player and even won an MVP award with the Dodgers. He is mostly known today as limping around the bases hitting a game winning home run off the A's. A hard nosed guy he played on two World Series winners and I have been looking for the next Kirk Gibson and I swear I haven't found him yet. Mike Trout is a better player than Kirk and a great athlete in his own right but even he can't compare with the explosive raw animalistic athletic prowess of Gibson. Like I said I am still waiting for the next Kirk Gibson and it has been nearly 40 long years. See below the infamous SI cover and you can just see the athletic ability oozing right off the picture. On a side note he suffers from Parkinson disease now but is hanging in there.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b5/f1/6e/b5f16ed30ba6948acccd4b96a5c7bdb1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 6:24 PM

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