By O.A. “Bum” Phillips
Dan Pastorini lived his life the way everybody ought to. He was true to his own feelings. He was just an ordinary kid with an extraordinary talent put into a difficult situation. He had money. He was good-looking. People fawned over him. Most of the time, when someone is put into that kind of situation, it's hard for them to really be themselves. But Dan always was. His true emotions showed, for better and worse. He was temperamental. When he thought something, he said it. Sometimes it got him into trouble, but I never had a problem with him.
He could throw the ball a mile and was the perfect match for Kenny Burrough. Kenny could outrun the wind, but he couldn't outrun Dan. His ability to throw the football where he wanted to throw it, and call 80- to 85-percent of the plays at the line of scrimmage, was pretty darned remarkable. There aren't many quarterbacks in the league right now that can do what Dan did. I know there won't ever be many like him. He always kept his word and took the consequences. If he went out to a bar at training camp and had a good time, if I asked him about it the next day, he'd say, "Yeah, I did it."
That's just his way. If he did it, he'd pay it. If you couldn't count on anyone else, you could count on Dan. And you couldn't keep him on the bench unless you tied him to it.
Trading Dan after the 1979 season, when we lost to Pittsburgh for the second time in the AFC Championship game, was a big mistake on my part. I should not have listened to him when he took responsibility and asked to be traded. I should not have kept my word that if a player ever asked to be traded, I would accommodate him. I should have told Dan, "You ain't going to get traded, so go on home."
But when Dan makes up his mind to do something, he does it. He commits to it and does it right. He always played that way and always lived his life that way. He stopped drinking because he just made up his mind to stop drinking. What does that tell you about the will and the heart he has? I wouldn't guess anything's going to change with this book. If he commits to telling you his story, then he's going to tell you the entire story and be honest about it all.