We’ve already talked about Joel Buchsbaum here. But JoeBucsFan.com has a great tribute post to the man himself too. The draft is over, but it is still a must read if you missed it at the tail end of last week.
Joe got hooked on the NFL draft as a kid from an alien-like voice that floated through the Midwestern night and originated from a city Joe finally visited for the first time in September 2012.
Growing up as a kid, there were two people who turned Joe into the football freak he is today. One was Joe’s high school football coach, a guy who played for a virtual who’s who of football coaches: John Madden, Tom Landry, Gene Stallings and Lou Holtz. It kills Joe how much he has forgotten about football from a man unknown by 99.99999 percent of the populace. Joe remembers covering his first NFL training camp warmly. There, grizzled Stallings was the head coach who vividly remembered Joe’s high school coach playing for him. After learning Joe played for one of his protegés, Stallings treated Joe like one of his family members.
The second source fueling Joe’s unwavering football fetish came from an unlikely location: a Brooklyn apartment.
Joe first heard of Joel Buchsbaum on a blowtorch radio station out of St. Louis, KMOX. There, each Monday night (prior to Monday Night Football), and Sunday night (during the offseason), Buchsbaum, the original draftnik, would talk to strangers throughout the Midwest, giving listeners knowledge on college football players and the NFL that, to this day, Joe finds unmatched — not even by Mike Mayock, not even by Mel Kiper, not even by Pat Kirwan.
People would call the show and ask Buchsbaum about (pick a player), and often before the caller finished his question, Buchsbaum would interrupt and begin rattling off the talents and drawbacks of said player, periodically invoking his favorite saying of lesser players, “Looks like Tarzan; plays like Jane.”
Pleasantries were not a forte of Buchsbaum. He was not rude, not even close, but he was very short and impatient with rambling callers.
Joe remembers some guy asking Buchsbaum about (name of the player long ago forgotten), who the caller claimed was a starting cornerback at Utah. Buchsbaum, in his shrill, nasally, thick Brooklyn accent, corrected the caller almost immediately. No, the player is not from Utah, Buchsbaum said, but from Utah State. And in fact he was a backup cornerback.
This did not stop Buchsbaum from launching into why the player was not starting and why coaches didn’t start him despite the promise he showed. Mind you, this was long before the days of laptops, so Buchsbaum couldn’t have Googled the player’s name in five seconds to pull up his information (partially because neither Google nor the Internet existed).
It was unreal what this guy knew. And in Joe’s circle of fellow football friends, guys who rarely if ever listened to an AM station, Buchsbaum had their attention. He was like the Rain Man.
You have to click through and read the whole post. I couldn’t have summed it up better. It was a perfect remembrance for the original draftnik on the holiest of holidays in this year round football carnival we now live in. Like Joe says, we live in a football world now.
Hell, I’m listening to Sirius XM NFL wrap up show while I bang out this post. While all my other friends are out watching Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.