Forgotten Player of the Moment – DJ DOZIER
(by Ed Agner)
Ahh, yesterday’s fads! How are we supposed to explain hair metal or mullets or grunge or…nipple rings? That’s not hypothetical. I really have no clue how that all is to be explained. I know at some point some kid will come up to me and go – “Hey, angry old man! How the hell did Courtney Love become a celebrity?”
Oh. Right. I’ll just shake my cane at him and start muttering about a Clinton conspiracy. That should chase him off. Whew! Well, tomorrow is all planned out then.
And speaking of an inexplicable fads of yesteryear, the two-sport player phenomena comes to mind. Boy, was THAT a bad idea. Oh sure, Bo Jackson sold a ton of shoes and T-shirts for Nike and he certainly fooled way too many people who should have known better into believing that two-sport athletes were the wave of the future. But Bo sure didn’t know how to hit a curve ball like he knew how to run around the end. Danny Ainge hardly even counts considering his baseball time was mercifully cut short by good sense – same with John Elway and all the Cowboy QB’s. And Deion Sanders…Phew! Well, Deion sure didn’t lack in self-confidence, that’s for sure. Unfortunately for Deion, he wasn’t too legit to commit pass interference on every play but he WAS apparently too legit to hit…ANYTHING…EVER…in baseball OR football – unless you count the mother of all sissy-fights Deion had with Andre Rison, I guess.
And then there was D.J. Dozier – the only man of the two-sport players movement to be
completely awful at both baseball and football. Completely awful. As a baseball player, Dozier sure made a good tailback. As a football player, Dozier sure…well…umm…well…he was probably able to fetch Gatorade for Herschel Walker well enough. And I assume Dozier probably would have made for a better playoff coach than Jerry Burns, too. But other than that – Eww.
Dozier was an over-hyped Penn State RB (Ahh, Penn State RB’s! When will NFL teams EVER LEARN?) who was undersized and fragile and too slow a-foot to make a good pro – which, of course, didn’t prevent the Vikings from wasting a 1987 first-round pick on him. (Vikings fans actually consider that a GOOD pick for that era since it wasn’t a pick sent to Dallas in the Herschel Walker deal.)
After showing a glimpse or two as a rookie (7 TD’s!), Dozier quickly went on to set pro standards for former Penn State RB’s that shames even Curtis Enis and Blair Thomas. Yeah. THAT STINKY.
So after three years if doing not much of anything for the Vikings, Dozier finally got cut. Facing unemployment, one often gets strange ideas, trust me. For Dozier, the idea was to call up cousin Dwight Gooden for a shot with the Mets. Why not? Dozier WAS drafted by the Tigers out of high school, after all – those skills couldn’t have gotten THAT rusty, right? And hey, if Bo and Deion can do the two-sport deal anyone can, right? Right? Right?
Umm…well…with all the ugliness of the early-90’s Mets, Dozier was…well…he wasn’t a lit fire cracker thrown into a crowd or bleach tossed on a reporter or masturbation in the bullpen. But, yeah, he was…fitting for his time and place. Even worse than Deion bad. So bad that after his initial year of minor league ball, Dozier somehow conned the Lions into giving him a shot as a kick-returner – with the expected results.
Back to baseball with that pesky football career out of the way, Dozier finally made it to the Mets and…stinks to high heaven. Stinks too badly for even the ’92 Mets. Stinks so badly that the Mets somehow peddle him away to San Diego in a package for Tony Fernandez. Stinks so badly that even Dozier got the hint that baseball wasn’t for him. Yeah.
And that was that for the worst of the two-sport guys. But there’s no need to weep for Dozier considering he got all those paychecks for doing next to nothing. He’s since moved on to a new level of multitasking – running his own ministry, working for an internet marketing company and doing some coaching for semi-pro football teams. Ahh, the beauty of versatility!
DJ’s Marketing Company
Penn State Celebrates DJ
(Both are now dead links so here are his reference pages)