January 30, 1988
I read with interest your recent account of Tom Fears' reaction to his NFL playoff record for pass reception yardage being broken by Anthony Carter of Minnesota Vikings. Quoting Tom: "I might still hold the record if the Viking hadn't been throwing all those long bombs in the second half with a 10-point lead. He didn't get my single-game receptions record, though." For we graybeards who saw Tom Fears set the record for the number of receptions against the Green Bay Packers, we must chuckle.
July 17, 1986
Six members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be honored July 27 at the Los Angeles Hyatt Regency. The 6 p.m. public banquet, featuring Dan Fortmann, Ollie Matson, Dick Butkus, Tom Fears, Mel Hein and Merlin Olsen, will benefit Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles. Players in attendance, including the six being honored, will be seated among the audience. Information is available through Big Brothers, 258-3333.
January 11, 2003
Sid Gillman was unquestionably an innovative football genius and contributed tons to the modern passing game. However, Sam Farmer's article credits Gillman -- in the mid-1950s -- with incorporating the deep pass into the pro football offense. One wonders, then, what it was the Rams were doing under coaches Joe Stydahar and Hampton Pool in the early '50s with Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield as quarterbacks and Tom Fears, Elroy Hirsch and Bob Boyd as deep receivers. Those Ram offenses were, this writer recalls, designed by Clark Shaughnessy, who introduced the T-formation at Stanford in the '40s.
December 3, 1999 |
Los Angeles arguably produced no finer athlete than Tom Fears, who attended Manual Arts High in the early 1940s. And 49 years ago today at the Coliseum, Fears had his greatest game in an NFL uniform. Playing for the Rams, he caught a record 18 passes in a 51-14 victory over Green Bay. The record still stands. It was the Rams' final regular-season game, and the victory clinched a playoff berth.
December 9, 1988 |
Tom Fears doesn't attend many games anymore, but he was watching from the stands Monday night as receiver Henry Ellard continued his assault on Fears' 38-year-old Ram record for single-season receptions. It was one great pair of hands, generations removed, admiring another's. "I think he's a hell of a receiver," Fears said. One of the game's greatest receivers, Fears has charted Ellard at a distance over the years.
April 30, 1989 |
Some advice for the Miami Heat, who finished 15-67 in their first season: Don't panic. Stay the course. Have faith in your people. This from men of experience, like Tom Fears, the original head coach of the New Orleans Saints, and Lou Gorman, the first general manager of the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners. As New York Islanders general manager Bill Torrey explained, all expansion teams start at the same point: "no pencils, no desks, no players, nothing." But why did the Islanders evolve into playoff contenders within a few years, while the Mariners, who began in 1977, still struggle for respectability?