Monday, February 18, 2019

Saturday, February 16, 2019

NFL73 Draft (Real/Pretend)

I love to pretend, and today I'm pretending that I'm at the 1973 NFL draft, which took place for real at the Hotel Americana in New York. We're just a couple of picks in, and everything just went crazy:

The Baltimore Colts desperately wanted LSU Quarterback Bert Jones, and they mentioned Bubba Smith to the Oilers in exchange for the right to draft first. But when the Oilers held out for more, the Colts traded Defensive Lineman Billy Newsome, a durable player but no Bubba, to New Orleans for the second pick on the first round.

That left the Oilers in a quandary. If they took Jones, they would have three young and possibly unhappy quarterbacks—Jones, Dan Pastorini and Lynn Dickey—with 25 clubs waiting for one to be discarded sometime next August or September. Houston's indecision was obvious when the actual drafting began. Instead of announcing the No. 1 pick immediately, as is customary, Coach Bill Peterson fidgeted for more than half of the allotted 15 minutes before naming Defensive Tackle John Matuszak of Tampa. Scouts strongly doubt that Matuszak is any Bubba Smith. The Colts, drafting next, got the man they wanted, Bert Jones.

That's all real, from the Feb. 12, 1973, Sports Illustrated "Scorecard" section. But it's obviously going to have terrific bearing on my pretend, because we're only 13 selections away from the first choice of the (formerly real) Evansville Crimson Giants (now pretend), right after (pretend) Idaho at No. 14 and before (then real) Oilers (now defunct) again at No. 16.

Comments flow!

Previous and future NFL73 reports:

-- NFL72 wrap (as posted Feb. 2, 2019)
-- (Pretend) expansion (as posted Nov. 19, 2018)
-- Blockers for O.J. (as posted Oct. 29, 2018)
-- Divisional playoffs (as posted April 4, 2015)