23 - 27 - 1 ---4th Ranked
203.18 Yds/Game ---4th Ranked
206.22 Yds/Game ---7th Ranked
Let's face it; there isn't much of a chance that Dan Pastorini will ever win another one of these things, so let's get all we know about him out of the way with one big writeup.
There's a reason we have taken to calling him "Asstorini" in the TLL, after all. His big game in Week 7 was the very rare exception to the well-established rule of his suckitude.
Dan Pastorini got arrested for driving while intoxicated back in 2010. According to the Houston Chronicle. his girlfriend told him, "There is only one thing that's going to come between you and me, and that's your drinking." Pastorini decided that he needed her in his life a lot more than he needed drinking, and he made her a promise then and there that he'd never have another drink. Shortly after his conversation with his girlfriend, he got a call from his former coach, the late Bum Phillips, and made the same promise to him. It's a promise he hasn't broken.
When Pastorini made the promise to Phillips, the old coach responded, "Well, I know how you are with your promises."
In 1978, Pastorini made Phillips a promise that he'd be in the lineup for an important game. That might not sound like a big deal, but there was a catch. In a game the previous week against the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers' Steel Curtain defense, Pastorini suffered three cracked ribs. As he lay in the hospital receiving treatment, two men entered the room: one carrying a paper bag, one with a baseball bat. As Pastorini rose sharply out of his bed, the man with the bat asked him to remain calm. The other man pulled a new invention out of the bag, strapped it around his midsection, and stood stock-still as the man with the bat proceeded to batter him in the chest. The man with the new device took blow after blow without injury. That invention became known as the flak jacket.
Seeing this, Pastorini gained the confidence he needed to play the next week against the Cincinnati Bengals, a game the Oilers won on their way to the AFC Championship game with Dan Pastorini at the helm. He was the first player ever to play a game in a flak jacket, an item that has become standard equipment for NFL passers since then.
What may not have become standard equipment in your kitchen is Dan Pastorini's BBQ Rub, which you can find more information about at dpqualityfoods.com. He's just another in a long line of TLL players associated with barbecue products, including former Oiler teammate Earl Campbell and Lions' running back Billy Sims.
These days, Dan can be found uttering such one-liners as "Fuck Drew Brees." After a 2011 settlement with the NFL led to a $620 million expansion of the NFLPA's "Legacy Fund" for players who retired before 1993, Pastorini expressed his displeasure: "I'm going to get an extra $1000 a month. Big fucking deal." Brees, in a radio interview the same day of the settlement, noted some disagreement with Pastorini's carefully-crafted critique. "There's some guys out there," Brees said, "that have made bad business decisions. They took their pensions early because they never went out and got a job. They've had a couple of divorces and they're making payments to this place and that place. And that's why they don't have money. And they're coming to us to basically say, 'Please make up for my bad judgment.' In that case, that's not our fault as players."
In a week where Dan Asstorini went 8/9 for 280 yards and four touchdowns in the Rams' 44-16 dismantling of their division-rival falcons, we at the TLL can all join him in saying, "Fuck Drew Brees."
Dwight Clark, wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, went off in Week 1 to the tune of 321 yards, scoring all three of his team's touchdowns in its 24-21 overtime win over the Saints. It's the second-highest receiving total in TLL history, and possibly the first of many big games for Clark this season, whose 49ers don't have a whole lot else to look to on offense.
The fNFL counterpart of Clark will, of course, always be remembered for "The Catch," one in a series of named plays that have peppered NFL lore. Others include "Ghost to the Post," "The Drive," "The Immaculate Reception," and "The Time Buddy Ryan Punched Kevin Gilbride in the Face for Running a Stupid Offense."
I'm sure you've seen the play itself, and there is no question that it's a thing of beauty. When I was a kid, I had a made-up football league; I made up stats for all the players, and I drew pictures of them in game action. These pictures always represented the most amazing things I'd seen watching football. My running back picture was a copy of Walter Payton leaping over the line for a touchdown. My wide receiver - that was Dwight Clark, leaping in the air to catch the ball by his fingertips. If you haven't seen the play, here's a good breakdown of it:
It's a great catch, but the context is what makes it remarkable. Thing is, Dallas was a better team than the 49ers in 1981. A lot better. They were supposed to be going to the Super Bowl to win the one they lost to the Steelers in 1978. Dallas quarterback Danny White had long been groomed as the successor to Roger Staubach and had had a fantastic season. This was supposed to be his time to ascend. And even after Clark's touchdown with just :58 remaining on the clock, White put his team in position to win in Staubach-like comeback fashion. He hit Drew Pearson on a post route that looked destined for the endzone. Eric Wright was the only defensive back in the vicinity, but he trailed Pearson by a few yards. I couldn't find video of the play, but the tackle Wright made was one of the greatest I've ever seen. He closed the gap, leaped with fingers outstretched, and got Pearson by the back of the jersey, bringing him down at the San Francisco 40. On the next play, Lawrence Pillers shed his block and got to White, forcing a fumble that sealed the victory for the Niners.
White would never lead Dallas to the Super Bowl. The Niners would beat the Bengals a couple of weeks later, the first of their four titles under Joe Montana. Clark would be present for two of those, leading the team in receiving yards for five consecutive seasons between 1979 and 1983. But it seems he'll always be remembered as the guy who came before Jerry Rice, just like Danny White will be remembered as the guy who came after Roger Staubach. The story of the 1981 NFC Championship game brought them both together.
|Scrimmage Yards||Forced Fumbles||Punt Returns|
23 - 27 - 1
11 - 18 - 1
12 - 9 - 0