Dante "Dan" Anthony Pastorini (born May 26, 1949 in Sonora, California) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League for the Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Pastorini was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the first round (third overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft out of Santa Clara University. The draft was dubbed "The Year of the Quarterback" with Pastorini taken third behind Jim Plunkett (first) and Archie Manning (second).
Pastorini was known as a tough quarterback throughout his career. From 1971 through 1979, Pastorini missed only five regular season games, playing through the pain of broken ribs and even a punctured lung at times. He was the first player to wear the now ubiquitous "flack jacket" under his uniform to protect broken ribs. He did not play behind what would be considered a quality offensive line until 1977 when the Oilers hired Joe Bugel as offensive line coach and brought in players like Greg Sampson and, later Leon Gray. By 1978, the Oilers had a running game with the drafting of future Hall-of-Famer Earl Campbell.
Pastorini was also named to the 1975 AFC Pro Bowl Team.
Pastorini's best season came in 1978 when he threw for a career high 2,473 yards and 16 touchdowns. In the 1978 playoffs, Pastorini fared very well, helping lead the Oilers to wins over the Miami Dolphins and AFC East division champion New England Patriots.
Pastorini's last game as a Houston Oiler was the 1979 AFC championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game which many Oilers fans contended was decided when, in their opinion, the officials blew a call on a Mike Renfro TD reception. Instant replay rules, in any form, were not in effect at the time, so the play could not be reviewed, as it would be in the present day. The best replay angles NBC could provide of the play show Renfro clearly catching the ball and getting both feet in the endzone with no juggling. It was not clear to the referees but was very clear to all viewers of the game that Renfro had complete control of the ball when he hit the ground. His feet according to the replays were both inbounds when he had possession of the ball. The play was a major turning point in the momentum of the game, which resulted in a Steeler triumph.
Later in 1980, Oilers owner, Bud Adams, traded Pastorini to the Oakland Raiders, in exchange for an aging Ken Stabler, who was 3 years Pastorini's senior.
Five weeks into the 1980 season with Oakland, after posting a 2-2 record, Pastorini broke his leg against the Kansas City Chiefs. The fans, who had been unhappy with his performance and wanted to see backup Jim Plunkett, cheered when they realized he was hurt. Plunkett, a Heisman Trophy winner out of Stanford, and former starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, had been with the Raiders as a backup quarterback since 1978. He took over and led the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in January 1981.
Outside of football
Pastorini raced hydroplanes, drag-raced cars, judged wet T-shirt contests, and starred in a 1974 B-movie called Weed: The Florida Connection and then co-starred in a 1979 Lee Majors movie called Killer Fish. He married glamour model June Wilkinson, who appeared in Playboy Magazine. She is British and 9 years older. They had one child, a daughter, and later divorced.
Dan Pastorini drove a Top Fuel Dragster as part of the NHRA Full Throttle (Winston) Drag Racing Series in the mid 1980s. He collected several national event victories. His first came in Atlanta at the NHRA Southern Nationals in 1986.
Pastorini currently lives and works in Houston. His highly anticipated autobiography -- Taking Flak: My life in the fast lane -- is scheduled for release in November of 2011. He currently is launching a new line of food products.
Date of birth: May 26, 1949 (age 62)
Place of birth: Sonora, California
High School: Bellarmine College Prep
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 208 lb (94 kg)
College: Santa Clara
NFL Draft: 1971 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Debuted in 1971 for the Houston Oilers
Last played in 1983 for the Philadelphia Eagles
Houston Oilers (1971-1979)
Oakland Raiders (1980)
Los Angeles Rams (1981)
Philadelphia Eagles (1982-1983)
Career highlights and awards
1× Pro Bowl selection (1975)
1× Super Bowl champion (XV)
Career NFL statistics as of 1981
Pass attempts: 3,055
Pass completions: 1,556
Passing Yards: 18,515
QB Rating: 59.1