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)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Newsstand, February 1973

I have an idea for a new HP feature, which I think might bring us all some mirth and insight. I'm considering it part of #freakinweekend family of posts, and, an ongoing basis, #newsstand might even be only the occasional focus of "The Freakin' Weekend"-labeled posts. But, for its debut today, "Newsstand" gets its own standalone header, and here we go.

No surprise that this month's Golf Digest reveals Jack Nicklaus as its player of 1972, but the sublime LeRoy Nieman cover mustn't be missed!


February 1973 me believes that Cesar Cedeno is headed to a Hall-of-Fame career, and Baseball Digest is steeling my conviction.



I really like it that World Soccer, "The International Magazine," expects February 1973 us to know who this dude is without any labeling or even identifiable jersey markings.



In Chess Life & Review, David Levy has a compelling report on “Church’s Fried Chicken Inc. First International Chess Tournament:”

Turning away from sports (mostly), the February Crawdaddy centerfold is the board for its “American Buy-Buy-Buy Centennial Game.” It’s a more-meandering Monopoly-style layout with corner squares for “Revolution” and “Disneyland” (instead of “Jail,” “Free Parking,” etc.) Here are some of the spaces, printed in all-caps, typewriter font:

-- “BURN SOCIAL SECURITY CARD AT DISNEYLAND. MAULED BY MECHANCIAL CROCODILE. GO TO V.A. HOSPITAL WHERE YOU’RE FORGOTTEN.”

-- “WORKERS STRIKE AT YOUR FACTORY FOR NATIONAL HOLIDAY ON BETSY ROSS’ BIRTHDAY. LOSE TEMPER AND ONE TURN.”

-- “STOCK IN RED, WHITE AND BLUE A.B.A. BASKETBALL SOARS. DRIBBLE AHEAD 1 SPACE.”

Here are some features from other titles this month in February 1973: