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!