Forgotten Player of the Moment – RICHARD TODD
(by PHIL RIPPA)
Let me explain how things some times work around here in VP land. One of us will mention a random thing, this will lead to an absurd conversation that usually involves naming dozens of guys we should do Forgotten Players of the Moment on and then we will go back to lamenting our lots in life. This is how it came to be that I realized the perfect confluence of events that is this Richard Todd FPOTM. (Which didn’t even include his fitting into the “other guy with a famous name” theme from the last FPOTM I did. I knew nothing about the Golden Globe winning, Oscar nominated actor Richard Todd. But neither did Ed and he is far older than me so I feel better.)
Ed mentioned to me that he found his list of potential FPOTMs – which is just as cute but way less pathetic than my list. On my list are a bunch of Jets from the 80s that I grew up watching including Wesley Walker and Al Toon. I started my rambling about how great a tandem they were and Ed questioned how long they had played together and after a trip to pro-football-reference… it all came crashing back. Richard Todd was the Kerry Collins of my youth.
In my list of games that I can’t talk rationally about – Super Bowl XXV is at the top of that list. (And FU Patriots fans who tell me that I can’t complain anymore because the Giants won last year.) Hidden amongst my list, is what is probably my first game I can’t talk rationally about and my only one involving the Jets… the 1982 AFC Conference Championship Game.
Since the strike that year knocked the season down to only nine games, the NFL put in a wacky tournament system for the playoffs. Sixteen teams made the playoffs, thus allowing the Jets in with their 6-3 record as the 6th seed in the AFC. In the first round, the Jets crushed the 3rd seeded Bengals, then in the second round; the Jets beat the top-seeded Raiders who celebrated their move to LA by being 8-1. I am guessing this game is on Ed’s can’t talk about rationally list, since the Jets won by three because in the closing minutes Jim Plunkett kept throwing picks.
You would think that Kerry Collins’ OH GOD! RAY LEWIS MIGHT STAB ME OR TONY SIRAGUSA IS GOING TO EAT MY FINGERS IF I WIN THIS GAME!!!! Performance in the Super Bowl was the worst QB performance in a big game. I say nay nay. Richard Todd so put me on an early course for the agony I have endured.
New York travelled to Miami to play the Dolphins with a shot at the Super Bowl. The Fins were not a bad team at all. They had seven wins and one of their two losses was the infamous Snow Plow Game (Y’all can use Google and Wikipedia just fine. This is already rambling enough.) The game was played in horrific conditions as it had rained and rained and rained as its want to do in Miami. Of course, Miami – learning from the Snow Plow Game – didn’t tarp the field so the playing conditions were a disaster. Walter Michaels, the *cough* brilliant *cough* mind that he was, decided, despite having Freeman McNeil (on my FPOTM list) RIGHT THERE, to try and throw the ball all over the field.
The game was scoreless at halftime but Todd then started forgetting that A.J. Duhe wasn’t on his team. First Dolphins TD in the third quarter was set up by a Duhe pick. And then Duhe returned a pick for a TD in the fourth. Grr….
Richard Todd ended the game with… FIVE! FIVE!!!!!!! interceptions.
For most sane people, Richard Todd is going to be remembered for one of two things. The first thing was that Todd was supposed to be the literal replacement for Joe Namath. Drafted as the sixth overall pick in the 1976 draft, Todd just so happened to have played for… the University of Alabama. BROADWAY JOE V.2.0!!!! BEAR BRYANT CAN NEVER BE WRONG!!!! In fact, thanks to Namath’s broken down shell of a body, both Todd and Namath started during the ’76 season… with both being terrible. Todd also had that dopey look and the long flowing locks that Namath also had. Didn’t help.
The other thing Todd gained some fame for was when he stuffed Steve Serby into a locker. Honestly, who wouldn’t like to stuff someone from the New York Post into a locker?
Anyhoo… yeah, five interceptions to break my little about to be 8 heart. That game was more than likely the tipping point that made the Giants my #1 love. Hmm… maybe I should love Richard Todd way more.
Okay Fine – the Snow Plow Game… presented by THE WEATHER CHANNEL
(Sadly the video is now gone)