Saturday, July 11, 2009

Great Sports Name Hall of Fame Nominee - Fair Hooker

Fair Hooker, like Earthwind Moreland before him, is a guy I hadn't ever thought about as a great name nominee before some reader recommended him to me. In fact, I hadn't even ever heard of Mr. Hooker, despite the fact that he spent his entire (moderately successful) six year career with my beloved Cleveland Browns. So I'd like to say thanks for the reader feedback as I tell you a little something something about the latest GSNHOF nominee.

Well there isn't a whole lot to say about Fair Hooker actually beyond the fact that he actually played a pretty good game of football. He lettered in track and football in college at ASU, and his senior year impressively included team records in pass receptions (42) and yards (665) as well as an All-WAC selection for his track performance.

His performance at WR, while certainly impressive, came in the prescence of several other future NFLers, including John Pitts, J.D. Hill, and Larry Walton. Whether their fellow success made Hooker less appealing (heh heh) or not, he was not drafted until Round 5 of the 1969 Draft, by the aforementioned Cleveland Browns. While initially playing time was hard to come by (2 catches in year one), Fair eventually ended up a crucial WR for the Browns, with career totals of 129 receptions for 1,845 yards and 8 touchdowns over his 6 years in the league. I mean hey, he was even the 30th rated fantasy wide reciever in 1971 with 0 starts, so that's pretty good right?

Fair even made his mark in the playoffs. In 1972, the Browns squeaked into the playoffs as a wild card. Their opponent? The undefeated Miami Dolphins. Of course most of you probably know that the Dolphins won and went on to complete the only undefeated season in history. But did you know that late in the game Fair Hooker scored a touchdown to put the Browns up 14-13? It's true. Of course the Dolphins scored the final touchdown to win 20-14, but scoring a touchdown on the 1972 Dolphins defense wasn't easy, and Fair Hooker can boast that he did, so that's cool. Besides, nobody likes an easy hooker (okay that's my last joke).

Anyways, that's about it. Decent career, and I couldn't find much else on the guy other than a blog that uses his name alongside World B. Free's. But I did find one last fun story from a Jets-Colts broadcast a long time ago. Apparently after Hooker caught a pass, commentator Don Meredith was heard to exclaim "Isn't Fair Hooker a great name?" Keith Jackson said "I'll pass" and Howard Cosell remained silent, so Meredith continued on: "Fair Hooker...I haven't met one yet."

All I have to say is if the name is great enough for Don Meredith, then it's great enough for me. Congratulations on your nomination to the GSNHOF Fair, and best of luck in joining the Truly Great Names!

To see the best sports names of all time, visit the Truly Great Names page.
To see some good sports names that were voted out, visit the Good Names page.
To see the current voting ballot, visit the Ballot page.

5 comments:

  1. Apparently this has been up for over a year, but I just found it because I looked at my Google Analytics account and noticed people have been coming to my site from yours (I'm the author of Of Fair Hooker, Elmer Flick and World B. Free). Thanks for the mention!

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  2. Hooker was solid receiver . . . after recieving passes from Mike Phipps constantly OVER the Middle . . . anyone would hear footsteps . . . NO he wasnt Paul Warfield but he was just as good at Frank Pitts. Had Bill Nelson's Knee's not given out, Clevelander's would have heard alot more of Hooker . . . he was very good for how the Browns were able to Ultilize his talent . . . dont get me Started on Bo SCOTT :)

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  3. yes I agree Hooker was a good receiver even filling the shoe's of Paul Warfield. Hooker's speed was very unrrated. I believe his nickname at Arizona State was "SMOKE". He missed the Kardiac Kids Seasons by a few years (released by 1974), by then the Browns had a real quarterback in Brian Sipe by 1976. Did someone mention Bo Scott ~ I bet Leroy Kelly hasnt forgotten Bo Scott ~ GO BROWNS !!!

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  4. I thought I was the only person who remembered this guy, hooker caught a td pass from mike phiipps late in that 72' playoff game that should have been enough win, but cleveland's defense fell apart late going dolphins final drive with key receptions from warfield of dolphins. I dont recall if either ben davis or clarence scott were getting beat deep, but warfield was the best receiver in the league at that time and the rest is history :( Leroy Kelly was not a factor in this game. Kelly did not have a good game at all.

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  5. yup, it was the orange bowl, christmas eve and ben davis & clarence scott had to cover warfield. ben davis was coming off major knee surgery and didnt seem to match-up well with warfield's quickness and clarence scott was in his rookie season, so there was no way warfield & the dolphins were not going to complete passes when it counted most

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