So-called draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. called Illinois defensive end Scott Davis, drafted by the Raiders, "one of the most overrated players in the draft." He also rated the overall Raider draft among the worst in the league.
The Plain Dealer of Cleveland did some research and resurrected these evaluations by Kiper in 1985:
--Darryl Sims, defensive end, Wisconsin: "Lacks the national recognition, but he is one hell of a football player who could go on to be an all-pro performer in the NFL."
--Steve Calabria, quarterback, Colgate: "Will follow in the footsteps of Marv Hubbard, Mark van Eeghen and Rich Erenberg as former Red Raiders who have gone on to make a name for themselves in the NFL."
--Ethan Horton, running back, North Carolina: "This young man shows terrific potential and will only get better with sound pro coaching."
Sims has been injury-plagued with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Calabria, drafted by Tampa Bay, never made it. Horton was a bust at Kansas City, then couldn't make it with the Raiders.
From Pittsburgh Coach Chuck Noll, on why the Steelers drafted four offensive lineman, three defensive linemen and two linebackers: "If you go for the skill guys and you have a will-of-the-wisp football team, you may not make it too far. You might lose the Super Bowl by 38 points. It's still blocking and tackling that win games for you."
Is that a jab at the Denver Broncos, who have gone down in flames in two Super Bowls with John Elway and The Three Amigos?
Trivia Time: This doesn't really come under the heading of trivia, but it's a stumper. Who is the head football coach at Arizona State? (Answer below.)
Ken Norton Jr., drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, was asked by Texas writers how he handles himself with his fists.
"I've stayed out of fights because of who I was," said the linebacker from UCLA. "Nobody knew if I could fight like my father or not, and they didn't want to find out the hard way."
Said Cincinnati Reds Manager Pete Rose after pitcher Danny Jackson got thrown out of game by Eric Gregg: "I couldn't understand why Gregg was so irritable. He couldn't have been hungry. It was only the third inning."
Gregg weighs 309.
Would-you-believe-it dept.: Among the selections on the 10th round of the 1981 National Basketball Assn. draft were Tony Gwynn of San Diego State by the San Diego Clippers and Kenny Easley of UCLA by the Chicago Bulls.
Now-it-can-be-told dept.: Don Drysdale, asked what he remembered about the first major league game played in California 30 years ago, told Art Spander of the Sporting News: "I remember looking up at the big Hamms beer glass on the brewery next to Seals Stadium and watching it fill up again and again. After the game I had, I could really have used a beer.
Drysdale and the Dodgers were hammered by the San Francisco Giants, 8-0.
29 Years Ago Today: On May 1, 1959, Early Wynn was the whole show as the Chicago White Sox beat the Boston Red Sox, 1-0. He pitched a one-hitter and struck out 14. He homered for the only run of the game and also doubled. He was 39.
Trivia Answer: Larry Marmie.
Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda, asked by Chicago writers how fast Don Sutton was throwing in his win over the Cubs: "We had him clocked at 92--45 going to Rick Dempsey and 47 coming back."