Glick Mania and the NFL Draft

I find it interesting to observe the national mania that surrounds the annual NFL draft. What used to be a one-day curiosity of apparent interest to only hardcore pro football fans has become a marathon of speculation and publicity that runs literally for months and culminates in a frenzy anf flurry of names and faces being paraded before the nation like debutantes, witnessed ‘live’ by surely the most absurd and idiotic fans this sports-crazy nation has yet produced.

The yahoos (pronounced “yay-hoos” in polite society) who paint their faces in their team’s colors and assemble at Draft Headquarters to cheer and boo the draft-day procession of choice announcements have to surely be the dumbest doofi (plural of “doofus”) to yet spring from America’s seemingly endless well of fan fools.

Give me the good old days when it comes to football drafting. (That’s the way it always goes in these kind of opinion statements; somebody’s always pining for the alleged better days of yore. This one follows suit.) Say, the 1955 draft, now that was a dandy. That was the year that the lowly Pittsburgh Steelers — and yes Virginia, back then the Steelers were the stumblebums of the league and our Lions were among the nobility; the opposite of today — were given the precious first choice in the draft … the opportunity to grab an All-American quarterback or some flashing Heisman halfback who would put fans in the deservedly empty seats at Forbes Field. (And the hot choices in those two categories that year were Earl Morrall of Michigan State, and Howard “Hopalong” Cassady of Ohio State.) With no one holding their breath across the entire nation, the Steelers instead announced the choice of one Gary Glick, an unknown halfback of some alleged defensive talent from Colorado State as the famed First Pick.

Gary Glick? No wonder the Steelers were doormats throughout the years of the Original 12 of the NFL. Draft experts back then — there were only about two in the whole country — pointed out that Glick should have been a second or third round choice, at best, and young Glick went out and proved all the naysayers right and the Steelers wrong by turning in three-and-a-half mediocre seasons in PIttsburgh before being traded to the equally woeful Washington Redskins. After two- and-a-half forgettable seasons there, and another washout year in Baltimore with the Colts, the Glickster retired from football. However, history records that — answering no one’s call — he came roaring back in 1963 when he spent one useless year in the new AFL with the San Diego entry before finally coming to his senses and quitting the game altogether.

Thus ended the Glick Era in professional football.

Needless to say, there was no press conference announcing his retirement. As Rodney Dangerfield used to say about his early days of comedy, when he couldn’t get arrested and finally decided to quit stand-up work, “It was so bad that when I quit performing, I was the only guy who noticed.” Same with poor Gary.

Now, I can think of only one draft performance back in those days that was more sad-sack in its planning and execution than the Glick Affair, and that disgrace falls — naturally, it would seem to modern day NFL adherents — to our own beloved Lions of Detroit. And that story, as the saying goes, will have to wait for another bloody, as the English say, blog.