Many Angeleno football fans, pre-gen Xers anyway, will remember Los Angeles Ram receiver Jack Snow. He died the other day, at the age of 62. Others may know Snow as the father of San Francisco Giants Golden Glove first basemen, J. T. Snow.
When I was a little kid, I had the misfortune to be a Rams fan. Snow was my favorite football player, which was no misfortune. He was the football player I wanted to be when I grew up. When I played with other kids at the park and caught a football, I was Jack Snow.
He was the Rams best receiver for several years, and had 340 receptions over a 10 year career. By todays standards, where offensive linemen are allowed greater latitude on their blocks, and defensive backs are more restricted in the kind of contact allowed, where the West Coast offense flourishes, these are very modest marks, but in his era, these were very good numbers. Just 28 catches landed him in the Pro Bowl in 1967; in 1970, his 51 catches was the fifth best mark in the league. In 2005, the fifth leading receiver had 97 catches. The NFL, and the Rams, became even more run-oriented in the 70s, in 1973 averaging less than 20 passes a game. Only 5 qbs threw more than 300 passes. Last season 17 players threw 400 or more times, though there are 2 games per season now. Teams used to run the ball a lot.