Dave Boling checks in today with the type of column I've tried to get him to do more often: a first-person account that lets people know a little bit about himself. Dave's internal I-am-not-the-story meter is a good thing in our business. It's just that sometimes he takes it to hilarious lengths. He is the type of guy who would listen to some guy ramble about how cool it was to meet Jack Lambert without mentioning that, once upon a time, he actually spent four quarters lined up against the future Hall of Famer. Dave is just so weary of writers injecting themselves into stories that he won't do it almost no matter what. Which brings us back to Dave's column for today. It's a look at ESPN's Tom Jackson, the former longtime Denver Bronco who played with Dave at Louisville a couple years ago. For a look at Tom Jackson the NFL player, I'll pass along an anecdote from Steve Raible's Seahawks book.
This was written from Raible's perspective:
The Adkins mustache diet
Fans today know Tom Jackson as the affable analyst on ESPN's NFL Primetime. Well, there was nothing affable about Tom Jackson the NFL linebacker. Just ask my good friend Sam Adkins. Sam's last stand as our No. 2 quarterback came after Jackson's Denver Broncos knocked Jim Zorn out of the 1980 season finale.
A little history: A couple weeks earlier, Sam had actually run over an unsuspecting Jackson. Our offensive coordinator, Jerry Rhome, told Sam in no uncertain terms that he'd never see the field again if he tried to run over another linebacker. We were short on quarterbacks as it was, so Jerry didn't want to lose another one.
Well, Sam goes into the rematch and right away, he has to make a choice. It was a play-action pass and Sam got flushed out of the pocket. Who should be waiting but Tom Jackson.
Sam is a big guy, so he didn't really know how to slide. What he did on this play, unfortunately, was to lead with his face, and indecisively at that. And Tom Jackson just drilled him.
By the time I got there to lend a hand, Sam was in a world of hurt. Tommy Jackson had jacked Sam's helmet around so far that Sam was looking out of the earhole. Sam straightened his helmet up and tried to talk. "Pffft, pfft, pfft," was all that came out. He eventually muttered about having something in his mouth.
Well, what he had in his mouth was his mustache. His tooth went right through his upper lip and pulled his mustache back inside with it. So Sam was trying to spit out his mustache after it had been yanked in through his split lip. He was bleeding and dizzy, but he managed to get to his feet. He didn't want to go out of the game.
So, Sam turned to the receivers and said, "Guys, you're going to have to run your routes to my right side because I can't see out of my left eye."
They literally told Zorn to tape an aspirin to whatever it was that knocked him out of the game. Dave Krieg was only a rookie third-stringer, and Sam was seeing in triplicate and he had his mustache inside his mouth. Jackson just killed him. Just drilled him right in the chops. But that was my roomie, Sam … very tough but not very lucky!