Dan Pastorini
refer to caption
Pastorini with the Oilers in 1978
No. 7, 10, 6
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1949-05-26) May 26, 1949 (age 74)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:208 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school:Bellarmine College Prep
(San Jose, California)
College:Santa Clara
NFL draft:1971 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts:3,055
Pass completions:1,556
Completion percentage:50.9%
TDINT:103–161
Passing yards:18,515
Passer rating:59.1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Dante Anthony Pastorini (born May 26, 1949) is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons, primarily with the Houston Oilers. He played college football for the Santa Clara Broncos and was selected third overall by the Oilers in the 1971 NFL Draft. A Pro Bowl selection during his Oilers tenure, he was also part of the Oakland Raiders team that won a Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XV alongside fellow 1971 pick Jim Plunkett. Pastorini spent his final three seasons in sparse appearances for the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. After retiring from the NFL, Pastorini pursued a career as Top Fuel dragster driver in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).

College career

He played college football at Santa Clara University and received second-team honors on the 1970 Little All-America college football team.[1]

Pastorini also played college baseball and was actually drafted straight out of high school by the New York Mets in the 32nd round of 1967 MLB draft (599 overall)[2] along with future Saints quarterback Archie Manning, but ultimately decided to play football.

Professional career

Pastorini was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the first round (third overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft out of Santa Clara University. The draft was dubbed "The Year of the Quarterback" with Pastorini taken third behind Jim Plunkett (first) and Archie Manning (second).

Pastorini was known as a tough quarterback throughout his career.[citation needed] From 1971 through 1979, Pastorini missed only five regular season games, playing through broken ribs and even a punctured lung at times. He was the first player to wear the now ubiquitous "flak jacket" under his uniform to protect broken ribs. He did not play behind what would be considered a quality offensive line until 1977, when the Oilers hired Joe Bugel as offensive line coach and brought in players like Greg Sampson and, later, Leon Gray. By 1978, the Oilers had a running game with the drafting of future Hall of Famer Earl Campbell.

Pastorini playing in the 1978 AFC wild card game for the Oilers

Pastorini was also named to the 1975 AFC Pro Bowl Team. Pastorini's best season came in 1978 when he threw for a career-high 2,473 yards and 16 touchdowns. In the 1978 playoffs, Pastorini fared very well, helping lead the Oilers to wins over the Miami Dolphins and AFC East division champion New England Patriots.

Pastorini's last game as a Houston Oiler was the 1979 AFC championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game which many Oilers fans contended was decided when the officials blew a call on a Mike Renfro touchdown reception. Instant replay rules were not in effect at the time, so the play could not be reviewed as it would be in the present day. The best replay angles NBC could provide of the play show Renfro clearly catching the ball and getting both feet in the endzone with no juggling. It was not clear to the referees but was clear to some viewers of the game that Renfro had complete control of the ball when he hit the ground. His feet according to the replays were both in bounds when he had possession of the ball. The play was a major turning point in the momentum of the game, which resulted in a Steeler victory.

Later in 1980, Oilers owner, Bud Adams, traded Pastorini to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for an aging Ken Stabler who was 3 years Pastorini's senior.

Five weeks into the 1980 season with Oakland, after posting a 2–2 record, Pastorini broke his leg against the Kansas City Chiefs. The fans, who had been unhappy with his performance and wanted to see backup Jim Plunkett, cheered when they realized he was hurt. Plunkett, a Heisman Trophy winner out of Stanford, and former starting quarterback for the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers, had been with the Raiders as a backup quarterback since 1978. He took over and led the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in January 1981.

NFL career statistics

Legend
Won the Super Bowl
Pro Bowl selection
Led the league
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing Punting
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Lng Rtg Pnt Yds Y/P Lng TB
1971 HOU 14 8 4–4 127 270 47.0 1,702 6.3 7 21 62 43.8 75 3,044 35.5 62 4
1972 HOU 14 12 1–11 144 299 48.2 1,711 5.7 7 12 82 57.1 82 3,381 41.2 63 4
1973 HOU 14 10 0–10 154 290 53.1 1,482 5.1 5 17 50 49.0 27 1,087 40.3 59 1
1974 HOU 11 10 6–4 140 247 56.7 1,571 6.4 10 10 65 72.4
1975 HOU 14 14 10–4 163 342 47.7 2,053 6.0 14 16 77 61.0 62 2,447 39.5 68 6
1976 HOU 13 10 4–6 167 309 54.0 1,795 5.8 10 10 67 68.6 70 2,571 36.7 74 3
1977 HOU 14 12 8–4 169 319 53.0 1,987 6.2 13 18 85 62.3
1978 HOU 16 16 10–6 199 368 54.1 2,473 6.7 16 17 80 70.4
1979 HOU 15 15 10–5 163 324 50.3 2,090 6.5 14 18 55 62.1
1980 OAK 5 5 2–3 66 130 50.8 932 7.2 5 8 56 61.4
1981 LA Rams 7 5 1–4 64 152 42.1 719 4.7 2 14 46 22.9
1982 PHI Did not play
1983 PHI 3 0 0 5 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 39.6
Career 140 117 56–61 1,556 3,055 50.9 18,515 6.1 103 161 85 59.1 316 12,530 39.7 74 18

Playoffs

Year Team Games Passing
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Lng Rtg
1978 HOU 3 3 2–1 44 70 62.9 602 8.6 4 6 71 73.6
1979 HOU 2 2 1–1 27 46 58.7 352 7.7 0 2 41 64.8
Career 5 5 3–2 71 116 61.2 954 8.2 4 8 71 70.1

Life outside football

Signing autographs at a 1987 NHRA event
Connie Kalitta vs Pastorini
Texas Motorplex, April 1987

Pastorini raced hydroplanes, drag-raced cars, judged wet T-shirt contests, starred in a 1975 movie called Weed: The Florida Connection (with then wife Wilkinson), and co-starred in a 1979 Lee Majors movie Killer Fish. He also played a role in the TV series Voyagers! as a gladiator, and posed nude in 1980 for Playgirl magazine.

Pastorini drove a Top Fuel dragster as part of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in the mid-1980s. He won many individual races at national events, but claimed only one event championship in 1986 at the NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta, finishing 7th in NHRA Championship Points that year. He was the third man to break the 270-mph barrier in a Top Fuel Dragster.[3] He also participated in the 2009 Lamborghini Race located at Sebring International Raceway.[4]

Personal life

Pastorini met glamor model June Wilkinson in 1972. She is British and nine years older, and appeared in Playboy magazine in the 1960s. They married in 1973, had one child, a daughter named Brahna, and divorced in 1982.

An April 2013 resolution by the Texas State Legislature declared Pastorini an Honorary Texan.[5] In January 2012, on The Jim Rome Radio Show, Pastorini recalled a story how then-Raider owner Al Davis completely blew him off in the locker room after a game. "He sneered at me" said Pastorini. Pastorini then went on to say that, "when he (Davis) passed away, I wasn't sad to see him go."[6][7] Pastorini currently lives and works in Houston. His autobiography, Taking Flak: My Life in the Fast Lane, was released in November 2011.[8]

Motorsports career results

Rolex Sports Car Series

Grand Touring

(key) Bold – Pole Position. (Overall Finish/Class Finish).

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Rank Points
2005 The Racer's Group DAY HOM CAL LGA
(41/19)
MON WGL DAY BAR WGL MOH PHO WGL VIR MEX 146th 12

References

  1. ^ "A.P.'s Little All-American". The Morning News. Associated Press. December 10, 1970. p. 42 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ "1967 Baseball Draft". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  3. ^ Glick, Shav (July 8, 1985). "DAN PASTORINI : RIDING THE BULLET : Now That He's No Longer a Pro Quarterback, He's Back With First Love-High-Speed Racing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  4. ^ "Dan Pastorini and DP7 Racing's Gallardo GTR Roars to Sebring International Raceway". theautochannel.com. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  5. ^ "Texas Legislature 83(R) HR 1266". capitol.texas.gov. April 16, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  6. ^ SI Staff (November 10, 2011). "Former NFL QB Dan Pastorini recalls battles with Al Davis". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  7. ^ Berkow, Ira (September 30, 1981). "Pastorini Is Itching To Get in the Game". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  8. ^ Barron, David (November 12, 2011). "Pastorini says his book Taking Flak was 'soul-cleansing'". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 30, 2023.