He was an NFL superstar and Drag Racing icon. He had Hollywood starlets on his arm and a legion of fans in the palms of his hands. Dan Pastorini lived on the edge and played on the brink. No one — least of all Pastorini — knew what the next turn would bring. His life was indulgent, brilliant, cursed and humbling. He was known as the toughest man in football, a cover-boy heart-throb and a soft-hearted friend. He changed the way NFL quarterbacks played the game, donning the first Flak Jacket to protect three shattered ribs. He threw perhaps the most fateful pass in playoff history, a controversial championship moment that led to use of NFL replay.

He was involved in a tragic speed boating accident. He beat “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and all of drag racing’s best. He was the hero in the most triumphant return an NFL team ever received. He never backed down from anything or anyone, falling into notorious scrapes and life-altering lows. He married a Playboy model and posed for Playgirl. He dated Farrah Fawcett and was the most iconic figure in a Wild West era when Texas oil boomed and gluttony prevailed. Dan Pastorini never has told the whole story. Until now. This is the story of a gifted, hard-driving kid from California who never stopped going fast or chasing dreams.

No matter how much flak he took.


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This was the golden age of hard-knock football and full-throttle living; and Dan Pastorini was at the center of it all! Pastorini gives us an unflinching view of his world as a larger-than-life figure in a decade of fast cars and faster women.

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Dan Pastorini with John P. Lopez Original Jacket Design by KC Morse

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