Forgotten Player of the Moment – ZEKE MOWATT
(by PHIL RIPPA)
I am a Tight End mark (Yeah, that doesn’t look that good taken out of context). I really have an unhealthy love of that position, especially those who played for the New York Giants. One of my all-time faves is, of course, Mark Bavaro. My current fave is Jeremy Shockey. I need to build my collection of Giants TE jerseys. I would proudly wear a Howard Cross or a Dan Campbell one…. not so much the Derek Brown one.
Of course, the first TE that I really grew attached too was the man that was replaced by Bavaro – Zeke Mowatt. New York grabbed Mowatt as an undrafted free agent out of Florida State. A solid if unspectacular player, he did garner interest from the various leagues… his USFL rights were owned by the Tampa Bay Bandits.
If you want to remember a Zeke Mowatt season, remember 1984. That was his career year where he racked up his highs in receptions (48), yards (698), yards per reception (14.5) and Touchdowns (6). There was the game against Kansas City where Mowatt almostly singlehandly saved the Giants season. And he was their leading receiver in both playoff games that year. A big reason for this was 1984 was the year that Phil Simms became the starting QB and Simms loves the short, quick passes to the TE. Ah, Tight Ends and amazing defense. God, I loved NFC East football. Okay, back on track now.
Mowatt got unlucky in that he missed the entire 1985 season due to injury, but honestly, it’s not like good old #84 was going to keep the #1 job from #89 that long anyway. Zeke was the perfect number 2 TE made for two TE sets. There is a reason Parcells loved him.
His last shining moment was giving NY their first lead of Super Bowl XXI but that 7-3 lead didn’t last and 39-20 is a whole lotta points in a game and Bavaro scored the TD that gave the Giants the lead for good and Phil McConkey got lucky and Phil Simms was in the zone, so Mowatt just took his ring and partied like a rock star at LT’s. (Poor little shuttered up Route 17 joint).
Zeke went to New England for a season and like other Giants who moved on to the Patriots (think Dave Meggett, who really deserves his own write up), went insane and was one of the three players who were accused of sexually harassing Lisa Olson – well I should really write ring-leader as Mowatt was fined $12,500 while Michael Timpson and Robert Perryman were fined considerably less (and they some how managed to not have to pay the fines. GOD BLESS AMERICA!).
He returned to for one more season with the G-men, laying the ground work for NY to employ Christian Peter later on because they figured “HEY! The sexual harassing guy behaved in his second chance. Let’s push the envelope. We can rehabilitate the girlfriend beater”. At least, he didn’t stab anyone.