“he looks like tarzan, plays like jane”

i got my 2003 pro football weekly draft preview just in time for the big nfl draft this weekend. in leafing through the book, i was saddened to learn that its author, joel buchsbaum, passed away in january at 48. one of the many football-talent-related phrases he coined is above. joel was the original draftnik and college football superscout. hair-boy mel kiper has him to thank for his popularity (btw, i hate how that bitch and espn charge for practically everything on their “insider” site). i have the very first scout’s notebook that buchsbaum published with pfw back in 1979. the guy had an encyclopedic knowledge of football talent. he could tell you the 40 time of any college senior, his height, weight, how he did at the combine…but he also gave astute opinions on players and nfl personnel managers took notice. i was excited when, as a teenager, my local sports station (st louis’ KMOX radio) started having him on ‘sports open line’. you could tell he was a little peculiar. he had a squeaky, brooklyn accent and you got the impression that he watched football tapes 24-7 and he lived in a tiny nyc apartment filled with notes on players. that impression was correct, but the man knew his shit and i bought his scout’s notebook almost every year for over twenty years.

rip, joel. you were drafted by the best team. many of us will be thinking of you on draft days of the future.

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