Best I Remember — Gamers

Best I Remember — Gamers

What is a gamer? A guy who plays hard, every single down. A guy who gets back up when others would stay down. They are players you respect even though they play for the team you hate. Some are superstars. Some simply play several levels above their combine scores once the game starts. Earlier we discussed the 10 Best Running Backs I remember, and I explained how this category is completely subjective. These posts are in good fun, and based solely on my fading memory – not statistics. Perhaps I’ll forget the most obvious candidate, like when Cris Carter forgot to name Calvin Johnson in his top 5 current receivers on the Mike and Mike Show. I’ll take that risk, however, and hopefully we’ll all enjoy a few good football memories together. 10. Steve Tasker: The man who made the Pro Bowl 7 times as a special teams player. I don’t remember any player having such an impact on the other team’s starting […]

An Appreciation: Austin “Goose” Gonsoulin

 Austin “Goose” Gonsoulin passed away early Monday morning, September 8, 2014. I had the good fortune of getting to know him. We spent several hours on the phone together over the past couple of years, Goose spinning yarns about the old days. He was tremendously friendly, open, jovial, and I’m very grateful that I had a chance to connect with him. Austin picked up the “Goose” moniker in college: “We had a coach named Hayden Fry, who went on after Baylor to other colleges. My senior year, I was running a punt back and he hollered, ‘Come on, Goose!’” he explained. Goose wasn’t particularly fond of the name at first, but over the years he came to appreciate it. The Dallas Texans scooped up Gonsoulin in the first ever AFL draft in 1960. The San Francisco 49ers selected him in the NFL draft. He signed with the Texans for $8,500. The Denver Broncos promptly traded for him, and he’s widely […]

The Making of “The Game before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL”

My earliest memory of football is as fuzzy as the rabbit-eared reception of my grandparents’ television. The Los Angeles Rams lined up for a field goal. The kick was blocked and a mad scramble for the ball ensued. Research tells me that this was the 1976 NFC Championship, and the Minnesota Vikings returned the kick for a touchdown.  I was 6 years old. My next football memory is of my dad explaining that those same Vikings were playing the Oakland Raiders in something called the Super Bowl. Succeeding years cemented my lifetime love of sports. I followed everything from pro football to college hockey. I studied sports history as much as my teachers wished I had studied for their classes. Eventually I became that guy spewing lifetime batting averages on cue. Warmly written baseball anthologies were plentiful, but football books focusing beyond the game’s violence proved scarce. Directors produced sentimental baseball films like When It Was a Game and Ken […]