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  • Contributors


    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
    Russell S Baxter
    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • 1979-My (Non) Draft Story

    The spring of '79 was suppose to be a season of great anticipation for me. It was, but for reasons different than I had anticipated.

    For most of my life, I had dreamed of becoming an NFL player and winning a Super Bowl. April '79 should have been an exciting time if those dreams were to be realized. Just after turning 22, I thought I would be focused on trying to play football at the next level.

    It was a thought process that for so long was dominated with dreams and fantasies that a lot of boys have regarding sports. We are always the one who scores the touchdown, hit the home run, knock down a desparation 3, or score the goal, that wins a big game.

    The reality was, there was plenty of excitment and anticipation for me in the spring of 1979, but for different career path. Graduation from the Naval Academy was about a month away and I was preparing to head to Pensacola for flight training. The freedom that awaited me in a few short days, after four years of constant pressure, was enough to dampen the dream of playing in the NFL. It was almost euphoric.

    In fact, I was resolved to the realization that my playing days were over after the Holiday Bowl. I was looking at at least 5 years in the Navy and becoming a pilot was the next challenge. An adventurous life awaited me, and my football lust had been extinguished. Or so I thought.

    The draft was always something I paid close attention to, especially that year. Although I was content in my life's direction at the time, it was still normal to wonder where I would have been drafted, if at all. I 'll never forget the beautiful spring morning in Annapolis, Baltimore Sun sports page in hand, as I headed to class. This class was a little different, it was aboard a Yard Patrol Craft, a mini destroyer where we learned how to 'drive' and navigate on the Severn river. In the Navy, even aviators have to be proficient in seamanship.

    On board, I had a few moments to study the twelve round draft (there was no ESPN, so we got the results the old fashion way, in print). I paid particular attention to where guys I played against landed. Also, I played in the Japan Bowl and was interested in where some of those guys went:

    Tom Cousineu, first player picked-Bills
    Joe Montana, 3rd round-49'ers
    Matt Bahr, 6th round-Steelers
    Drew Hill, 12th round-Falcs

    I didn't realize it at the time, but there were a few guys in that draft that would become future team mates of mine, including Phil Simms #7 overall, and Ottis Anderson #8 overall.

    Looking back, I had no idea what the future would hold for me and never dreamed I would end up playing in a Super Bowl with both of those guys.

    Comments 16 Comments
    1. FrzzerBwler's Avatar
      So Phil how did you end up w/ the G-men?
      Free agent after Navy commitment was up?

      Note about P Simms. I've always remembered when the Football Giants played in Riverfront in '86 I think it was.
      Bengals were killing the Giants QB who'll I'll admit I'd never heard of. Thing that struck me: just about every pass play the guy got knocked on his butt; hard. Did not seem to faze him at all. Just got up, walked back to huddle and did it again. By the end of the game we were talking about that tough son of a gun QB.
      Get hit, get back up. Get hit, get back up.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Steve Belichick, Bill's father, had been an assistant at Navy for 4 decades. He asked Bill, who was just named giants DC, to give me a tryout.

      The game you mentioned was Giants at Bengals, early in the '85 season. You're right, Simms took a beating and still threw for over 400 yds in a loss.
    1. Ripperlicious's Avatar
      I think all those hits made him (PSimms) a grumpy-butt today. That guy gets into it with everyone it seems. I think he got his temper from Parcells.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Ripperlicious View Post
      I think all those hits made him (PSimms) a grumpy-butt today. That guy gets into it with everyone it seems. I think he got his temper from Parcells.
      He's actually a very good man and you would like him if you met him. It's just when someone attacks his kids do you see Simms, the fierce competitor, come out.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Phil, I am curious to know what other options you had besides Navy after high school? I admire you and others who make the commitment to one of the academies. I visited both Army and Navy out of high school. Had my letter from Ted Kennedy for admission purposes, but did not feel I could handle the academy lifestyle. Not necessarily the discipline, but having almost every minute of my life accounted for made me a little apprehensive. Did you ever have any second thoughts? What did it come down to, Navy or?
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      I also agree with you about Phil Simms. Have had the pleasure of meeting him many times in various media responsibilities. He is a great guy, a man's man. I did many of his son Chris' games when he quarterbacked at Texas. Great kid, raised right. Every Dad will defend his kids to the bitter end. Can't fault him for that.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lapham View Post
      Phil, I am curious to know what other options you had besides Navy after high school? I admire you and others who make the commitment to one of the academies. I visited both Army and Navy out of high school. Had my letter from Ted Kennedy for admission purposes, but did not feel I could handle the academy lifestyle. Not necessarily the discipline, but having almost every minute of my life accounted for made me a little apprehensive. Did you ever have any second thoughts? What did it come down to, Navy or?
      Dave, coming out of high school, my choices were limited. My HS team never lost a game in my 3 years on varsity. We were ranked in the top 5 each year in NY State. I played both ways and all special teams and was all-state, as a DB.

      Unfortunately, 1975 was the first year they put limit on scholarships, I think they called it the '30/95' rule. I was contacted by many schools, but they were all reluctant to give a valuable scholarship to a guy that weighed 145 lbs. They all wanted me as a walk on. My father worked 3 jobs to put me through that private school and was tapped out. I receved interest in a few Ivy league schools, but they could only offer a small grant and we couldn't afford the difference.

      That's why the only choice I had came down to the Military Academy or the Naval Academy. And believe me, it wasn't like it is today with all the respect the military gets(and deserves). The Vietnam War had just ended and there was a prominent anti-military sentiment in the country.

      But looking back, I wouldn't change a thing.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lapham View Post
      I also agree with you about Phil Simms. Have had the pleasure of meeting him many times in various media responsibilities. He is a great guy, a man's man. I did many of his son Chris' games when he quarterbacked at Texas. Great kid, raised right. Every Dad will defend his kids to the bitter end. Can't fault him for that.

      Great way to describe him Dave, "man's man". He was tough as nails and would get destroyed time and time again and never once blame his lineman. Totally loyal and accountable team mate, you can't ask for anything more.
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      I've come to really appreciate Phil Simms, mostly through his work on INFL. His humor and scrappiness come out much more than when calling a game with Nantz.

      @Phil: Great stories as always. Omnes viri.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by brauneyz View Post
      I've come to really appreciate Phil Simms, mostly through his work on INFL. His humor and scrappiness come out much more than when calling a game with Nantz.

      @Phil: Great stories as always. Omnes viri.
      Thanks classmate. I see Simms and Nantz when they're out here doing Chargers games. Always a fun time.
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil McConkey View Post
      Great way to describe him Dave, "man's man".
      Don't make me post that workout video again...
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by msclemons View Post
      Don't make me post that workout video again...
      I was thinking the same thing.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Really struggling to maintain my self-control...
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by msclemons View Post
      Don't make me post that workout video again...
      I need to think before I type!
    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by msclemons View Post
      Don't make me post that workout video again...
      The thing with Parcells. Highlight of FPs so far. Dig it up.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      I Love the fact that you were doing your part to serve our Country, Phil. Glad you accomplished your goal of winning the Super Bowl. Nice 25th Anniversary coming up this year of the '86 Giants.