by | Apr 23, 1989 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

Well, once again, it’s NFL draft day, and everyone knows which player should go where. The big names. The big picks.

As per tradition, however, I have combed the country looking for sleeper selections that might have escaped the NFL’s watchful eye. These guys may not get the same money as Troy Aikman or Tony Mandarich, but some team out there might take a chance on them. Depends on how desperate they are:

Goober (Joe) Theismann, RB, Florida Union Part of the famous “Run and Shoot-Off-Your-Mouth” offense, Goober, a skinny tailback, was known for his chatter across the line of scrimmage. “Hey, you, ugly, don’t come in here,” he would taunt the defense. “Don’t come in here. You’ll be dead if you come in here. Yo, ugly, don’t come in here. I’m warning ya, ugly. I’m telling ya, hear me talkin’ to ya?” Goober is in traction at the moment. Biff Richards III, QB, Yale Famous throughout the Ivy League for never soiling his uniform. A medical student, should be helpful on the bench. Completion percentage was rather low in college, as he tended to throw the football immediately to avoid injury. Once accidentally bounced ball off lineman’s pads into the arms of receiver for a touchdown. “Smashing,” he said. “Let’s wash up, shall we?” Larry Neon Sanders, RB, Oklahoma Correctional Institute Not to be confused with Barry or Deion Sanders, although, as Larry says, “I think one of those guys is my cousin. What’da they look like? You got their phone number?” Ran a 4.3 in college. Unfortunately, the police were chasing him at the time. He should be available for the 1992 season, pending parole. Hot Fudge Sanders, DL, Detroit A local product, not to be confused with Barry, Deion or Larry Neon. Never played organized football. Used to work in a chocolate factory. Considered a sleeper because, well, he sleeps a lot. Also because of his size, which is 7-feet-2, 560 pounds. “We could just roll him out and let him lie there,” says Mike Hickey, personnel director of the New York Jets. “It would give the quarterback at least a minute and a half to throw.” Elwood (Huh?) Judson, DT, Rice Considered a first-round pick when he came out of high school in rural Idaho. Great size. Exceptional strength. Scouts began to back off, however, when someone asked him why he chose Rice as his school. “Oh, cuz I like Rice, I reckon,” he said. “Especially with gravy. May I have some, ma’am?” Bless You Williams, TE, Arkansas Theological Seminary As a sophomore, Bless You led the nation in receiving. Unfortunately, his faith requires him to check the Bible before running his routes. His team had 3,700 yards in delay-of-game penalties. Adolpho Jenean Bubiza, K, Tahiti Already a legend in the South Seas. The good news is Adolpho regularly kicks from 75 yards; the bad news is he kicks only coconuts. When given a football, Adolpho smiled and cut it open, looking for milk. Jeremy (Pumpin’) Irons, LB, Nebraska State A superb athlete at 6-feet-6, 300 pounds. Only fear of steroid use kept Irons from No. 1 status. Scouts say nothing has been proven, but at age 14 Jeremy was bald and talked like the low guy in the Temptations. Jose (The Big) Enchilada, DT, New Mexico A legend in Albuquerque, Jose The Big once made 28 unassisted tackles, then lifted the opposing bench and shook the others to the ground. Once won a game by tackling the opposing team’s bus. Unfortunately, Jose just signed a five-year deal with the World Wrestling Federation. Harassment Jones, DB, Institute For Driver Training Once the most feared man in the Southeastern Conference. Fast. Strong. Brutal defense. Lost favor when he failed his drug test, then said, “I shoulda studied more.” Tony (Little Anthony) Mandarich, OT, Hogson College Like his more famous cousin, Little Anthony also weighs 315 pounds. Unfortunately, he stands 4-feet-10. Used primarily in the kicking game as the tee. “I don’t expect to get paid as much as Tony,” he says, “but I don’t eat as much, either.” Jimmy Joe (Bob) Morton, LB, Texas A&P Gritty linebacker known for taunting opponents with endless Texas talk. “Son,” he’d say to an oncoming running back, “you’re dumber than a barrel full of hair. UNH! You swapped your brain for a tree stump. UNH! You’re flatter than a snake. UNH!” When asked his dream for today’s draft, he said, “To get richer than two orthodontists.” Satch Sanders, WR, Boston College Not to be confused with Barry, Deion, Larry Neon, or Hot Fudge, Satch is a wide receiver with a degree in Celtic studies. Acts mature. Looks mature. Actually, he looks 50 years old. Hell of a

jump shot, though. Pharaoh Sanders, DB, Birdland State Not to be confused with Barry, Deion, Larry Neon, Hot Fudge or Satch. Only man in college football history to intercept two passes and play the national anthem on the saxophone in the same game. Colonel Sanders, Kentucky Comes with potatoes. David Lewis, TE, U Cal No speed. No hands. No apparent talent. “Hey,” he says, “the Lions were stupid enough to draft me once. Maybe someone else will do it again.”

Mitch Albom’s sports-talk show, “The Sunday Sports Albom,” airs tonight, 9-11, on WLLZ-FM (98.7). Features: special coverage of NFL draft, draft picks, Brendan Suhr.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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