Glazer: Hasta La Vista, Bubba. You Will Be Missed!

He was a mountain of a man…

All-Pro star of the Baltimore Colts, Bubba Smith is dead at age 66. They found him in his LA home. Officials say he died of natural causes. At one time he was a close friend of mine when I lived in LA. Bubba and I, along with Aaron Binder (who also passed) worked out together at 24-Hour Fitness near Barrington just inside Santa Monica. I used to live about two miles from the club. Next to the gym is the Santa Monica Airport.

I met Bubba through Sonny Landham shortly after my release from prison. Both were big guys. It was stranger still when I later met and worked with Bubba’s co-star in the Police Academy movies, Michael Winslow(the voice guy). Winslow has worked Stanford’s now for over 10 years. He and I, along with my wife at the time Connie, went on a long cruise a couple years back. Nice family the Winslows.

Bubba was such a nice person. Scary but kind. Respectful.

My big moment came about 18 years ago with him. I was living in both KC and LA at the time around ’92 or ’93 and my roommate in KC was Paul Fredrocks, a huge star of  on KY 102. Paul asked me to come on his show with Hollywood stories and interviews. I had just taken a job with Hard Copy as a producer and had the OJ Simpson Case to cover for nearly a year.

Bubba gave me a whopper.

He said that the Colts threw the 1969 Super Bowl to the New York Jets. That coach Don Shula of the Colts was in on the fix to save the league and the Superbowl. Wow. Bubba told me he was benched most of the game because he saw what was going on and complained to Shula.

The Colts were a much better team and big favorite to win the game the one Joe Namath "guaranteed" a victory.

Oddly Shula would end up in Miami a couple years later and have the one and only PERFECT SEASON with the Dolphins including a Super Bowl Win. Who knows? Sounded true at the time. Later Bubba gave the same story to Sports Illustrated. I taped it at the gym and gave it to Paul at Ky.

I saw Bubba less and less since KC has become my home again. In fact, I thought something might be wrong because every time I was in LA at the gym Bubba seemed to show up at some point. But not the last couple years. I never thought of him as getting older or sick. He was always in shape. Had a heart of gold.

By the way he loved the Chiefs and I believe his brother was a Chief’s running back in the 60’s. Police Academy gave him a second career along with tons of commercials like all the beer spots he did.

Bubba you will be badly missed. A giant man with an even bigger heart.

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21 Responses to Glazer: Hasta La Vista, Bubba. You Will Be Missed!

  1. chuck says:

    Say it ain’t so Joe Willy.
    Threw the SUPERBOWL?

    Glaze your on a roll.

    Cool story.

    Bubba went number 1 in the 1967 draft, so if he wasn’t hurt, and was actually benched during the Super Bowl in his prime, well…

    I saw Buck Buchanan a couple of years or so before he died at the Osco (I’m not sure it was Osco back then, it WAS at 75th and Wornall.) He was very tall, but had lost a hundred pounds. Maybe more. He wasn’t sick, he just wasn’t big any more.

    I think those guys doing the first phase of those anabolics (I have read the ones today are so much safer.) burned 20 years off of there lives with those pills.

    An inordinate amount of them pass in their 50s from health problems that are present far too early in life.

    Love the pic of Joe and Farrah. 🙂

    Where is Paul Fredrocks now?

    I think Dare is pretty funny, but for about 1 to 2 years, Dick and Jay (Everyone runs outta steam.) used to just kill on the radio on KY102. I would have to pull off of the road laughin at those guys.

  2. Cowboy says:

    Heard That Story The Fix
    Yeah maybe its true. The Colts only lost one game that year. The Jets were 9-5, they only played 14 back at the time. Today when you look back, maybe Bubba was right. The Super Bowl became Super after that game. Not before.

  3. bschloz says:

    RIP Bubba
    Still Love Namath–that game really made the AFL….
    Kerouac –recap it for us…pretty please…
    Also throw in your 22 all time players…just want to see if anyone in 2000’s makes it.

  4. Henry The Sports Czar says:

    Great Player
    He was outstanding, he died too young. Sorry to hear it.

  5. KU Forever says:

    Watched Him Play
    I was a little kid, saw him in the Super Bowl that the Colts did win later. He was a giant back then, today his size would have been more normal.

  6. Kerouac says:

    That long walk to school (uphill both ways)…
    “Bubba gave me a whopper”

    – ‘have it your way’ taken to ridiculous extremes there, (Burger) King of Sting… talk about char-broiled BS (with all due respect, to each their own beliefs, throwing games and the like.) If you believe Smith, then you’re a bigger Bubba than he was, my opine.

    And he was the biggest Bubba I’ve ever seen.

    [ Listed at 6’7 265 (maybe with one foot on the scale age 18 or after he slimmed down ‘a bit’ near the end his NFL career.) Smith ‘listed’ 268 at Michigan State as a Soph, 295 as a NFL rookie 1967 Colts (grain of salt: PR departments are infamous for playing with height/weight figures, players. He was built somewhat like Buck Buchanan: large from the waist up, more so almost spindly comparison waist down, height considered (unlike Ernie ‘The Big Cat’ Ladd who listed 6’9 325 early career – and that might have been conservative.) Conversely, Noland ‘Supergnat’ Smith listed 5’8 163 drafted was more so 5’6 (+1/4 – 1/2 inch) 154 lbs; Morris Stroud listed 6’10, more so 6’8 3/4 – 7/8. ]

    But I digress, as I so love to do.

    Onward & forward.

    “He said that the Colts threw the 1969 Super Bowl to the New York Jets. That coach Don Shula of the Colts was in on the fix to save the league and the Superbowl.”

    – that was his wounded pride talking… I’m as big an AFL fan as ever there was, and I would like to say the Jets dominated & would have won any game they would have played the Colts – but that would be wishful thinking. A 10 game set I’d take those Colts about 7 times. However, ‘on any given Sunday’ as they say…this one just happened to be Super.

    As for ‘saving’ the Superbowl, it had already rescued itself, ongoing. Superbowl 1 attendance was ‘only’ 63,038 and looked ‘sparse’ only because it was played in the Grand Canyon-like LA Coliseum where 100,000+ seats were available. For comparison, largest crowd they ever shoe-horned into old Municipal Stadium was 51,989 for a 1971 game vs WASH, so it’s a matter of perspective. Too, the 2nd saw a crowd of 75,546 and the third was 75,389 – or actually less, but still a money-maker, as was the first. Attendance was BOOMING in the AFL & NFL by 1968, and never looked back as the merger was already agreed upon & begat even bigger crowds.

    A fix? You can’t ‘choreograph’ those things which transpired in SB III. You keep doing silly things like the Colts and you’ll lose.

    More a matter of unforced Colt errors, opportunistic defense at every turn Jets & fate as it were. BALT dropped ints, NY didn’t. BALT fumbled, NY recovered. Morrall played like the career backup he had been until the ’68 season, Johnny U was kaput. Then again, I’m one of those who embraces the losers lament at another: I still think KC could have beaten GB in Superbowl 1 and OAK could have done the same Superbowl 2. Those games were NOT routs contrary to popular opinion, as an careful review of each affirms. Only the final scores suggest they were routs, but said does not consider how each game played out. As I said elsewhere, just as BALT won 30-7 over kcindy recent playoffs, it was a game until the second half, much as Superbowls 1 & 2.

    “Wow.”

    – close… sounds more like a case (or warehouse full) of Maui Wowie.

    “Bubba told me he was benched most of the game because he saw what was going on and complained to Shula.”

    – even a cursory look at the game highlights invalidates that claim; he didn’t play ‘every’ snap but he played most. Fact is, he was pretty much DOMINATED by the Jets offensive line & in his case specifically by a guy named Dave Herman, a good but not great player playing out of position at RT due to another teammates injury (Dave was a long-time OG before that.). Upshot: Bubba was employing revisionist history, bless his big, over-sized heart / body.

    “I believe his brother was a Chief’s running back in the 60’s.”

    – don’t believe so, no Smith in the 1960’s AFL who played RB for the Chiefs (unless his brother went by another name.) He did have a brother named Tody Smith, a DL who played in the NFL 1970’s with other teams; of note, he too died young (in his sleep age 50.)

    ________________

    “Kerouac”

    – yes, what is it now?

    ” –recap it for us…pretty please…”

    – I love it when bschnoz begs… consider it done / I just did (damn I’m good.)

    “Also throw in your 22 all time players…just want to see if anyone in 2000’s makes it.”

    – no one who played post January 1970 makes it, because aft that football went into the toilet everywhere the merger, not just in KC. Beyond said, would take too much time & I only give a tinker’s damn about the guys played the first 3 SB’s – only ones really matter, my opine.

    Give me yesterday, or give me no tomorrow’s!

  7. Kerouac says:

    Speaking of another rumor / claim
    (PS) Does Joe Namath look intimidated by Farrah in that photo?

    Looks it.

    What a babe (I still have her 1976 poster.)

    _________

    And this: there was a ‘rumor’ way back then (about 1969) that one of the NFL’s best QB’s was homosexual (the term as used then.) Further, twas an UNBELIEVABLY big name player, reportedly. Never heard any more about it, but the first guy who came to my mind was #12.

    Just sayin…

  8. bschloz says:

    Kerouac
    Awesome post….
    Also think its really cool that you know how to work the Internet.

    Full Disclosure: Long 8-Track Tapes — Dixon’s Chili Parlor– The Great Depression –IBM Typewriters–Curly Culp–Curly from the 3 stooges and Dingo Boots

  9. Kerouac says:

    TAKE #3
    “Awesome post.”

    – yes, I know… stop preaching to the choir.

    “Also think its really cool that you know how to work the Internet.”

    – yeah, but I make up for it by still using a rotary phone/not owning a cell…

    “Full Disclosure: Long 8-Track Tapes — Dixon’s Chili Parlor– The Great Depression –IBM Typewriters–Curly Culp–Curly from the 3 stooges and Dingo Boots.”

    – wonderful… tears in my eyes (damn allergies)…

  10. bschloz says:

    #3
    “And this: there was a ‘rumor’ way back then (about 1969) that one of the NFL’s best QB’s was homosexual (the term as used then.) Further, twas an UNBELIEVABLY big name player, reportedly. Never heard any more about it, but the first guy who came to my mind was #12.”
    How you know it wasn’t Lamonica ? Notre Dame To San Francisco

    JUST KIDDING

  11. Kerouac says:

    TAKE #4
    No, Daryle is a homo ‘sapien’ (and perhaps a bit of narcisist thrown in for good measure) – with good reason, speaking of which: his 78.4 winning % career is 2nd best in NFL history behind only the great Otto Graham, 81%; so much for the modern day OVERhypes, variously.

    May be the losers lament, but Daryle’s 1967, 1968 & 1969 Oakland Raiders remain the greatest uncrowned Champions in pro football history.

  12. Tracy says:

    Thanks, Kerouac! Or should I call you Rainman?
    I actually understood all of this, except I had no idea who #12 was. I never knew anybody’s jersey numbers for years except 16 and 19.

    I’m curious what your career is, because KMan, you have an astonishing command of minutia.

    Has anyone ever suggested you might be a high functioning Asperger Syndrome person? Hey, it’s no insult. So are Bill Gates, plus the inventors of Twitter and Facebook.

    Thanks for the long form analysis. You’re a fabulous resource and clever contributor. Do you ever sleep?? And when you watch games, do you isolate yourself in a room to keep out the riffraff talkers? I’d guess you are concentrating. No buffalo wings for the KMan.

  13. mermaid says:

    Hot..
    Thanks for the pic of Joe- what a hottie he was!

  14. T says:

    I hate Joe Namath
    xoxo

  15. Kerouac says:

    TAKE #5
    “Thanks, Kerouac! Or should I call you Rainman?”

    – if you wish me keyboard like a raging alcoholic, the former… if you wish pay me same compliments Hoffmann made for ‘Rain Man’ ($5,800,000+% of gross), will present idiot savant – which is to say, same difference. Or, can just do as you would when considering purchase new pumps two different colors & can’t make up your mind which to choose… cry, then chose both – plus a third (or a hat!)

    “I actually understood all of this”

    – by leaps & bounds I tells ya, leaps & bounds…

    “except”

    – [ drumroll ] yes?

    “I had no idea who #12 was. I never knew anybody’s jersey numbers for years except 16 and 19.”

    – Joe ‘The Jet’ Namath, this case. He might have chosen 15 if drafted by the Chiefs, because (according to comedian Jackie Mason) back in 1965 when Namath entered pro football, that number as every fifteenth thereaft reflected the birth of an Indian; the things one can learn when they embrace the recumbentibus narratives Kerouac. [ rimshot ]

    “I’m curious”

    – of course you are… it’s in your DNA. [ CYMBAL CRASH ! ]

    “what your career is”

    – will let you know once I figure it out… media & government, retirement now. But I’m thinking of making a comeback as an NFL QB, seeing as ca$$el is getting all that scratch for ‘not’ being one, beyond roster listing…

    “because KMan, you have an astonishing command of minutia.”

    – women have their own like gift (ladies refer to it as ‘retaining water’…)

    “Has anyone ever suggested you might be a high functioning Asperger Syndrome person? Hey, it’s no insult. So are Bill Gates, plus the inventors of Twitter and Facebook.”

    – just might be… or it could just be the remnants my days radio DJ. You’ve probably noticed how shy & repressed I am (especially in my takes) – really need to open up more, say what’s on my mind, write with more self-confidence. In truth it / I have always been this way. Did you know that when I was younger and went to football games, I was so self-conscious that when the players went into an huddle… I thought they were talking about me.

    “Thanks for the long form analysis. You’re a fabulous resource and clever contributor.”

    – my wit is so rapier (like dry shave) that I often leave myself in stitches…

    “Do you ever sleep??”

    – often, when the chiefs are playing (but I prefer daydreaming at night more so – just can’t seem to relax.) The forefather mine own thoughts EM Cioran was an insomniac since childhood; finally, aft a long laborious labor in pursuit relief, he found r & r… he died.

    “And when you watch games, do you isolate yourself in a room to keep out the riffraff talkers?”

    – stop monitoring my thoughts (where did I leave my tin foil hat…)

    “I’d guess you are concentrating.”

    – no, rather am sending mind daggers egoli & hailme, those alien beings David Vincent warned us about back in ’66… now, Kerouac knows the ‘Invaders’ are here… that they have taken human form…somehow, he must convince an disbelieving football world that the nightmare has already begun!

    “No buffalo wings for the KMan.”

    – no, merely disabuse…

  16. chuck says:

    Brutal
    Just fuckin brutal…

  17. bschloz says:

    GO CHIEEEEEFFFSSSS!!!!! YOUR 2011 WESTERN DIVISON CHAMPS—-
    Fun Fact: Pro Bowl QB Matt Cassel 24*-21 as NFL starter….Jason Cambell 27-37

    * 1 win was attributed to Rain.

  18. Tracy says:

    @Kerouac, priceless.
    Pure awesomeness.

    Don’t sell yourself short and attribute any of this to training as a radio DJ. I live down the street from Max Floyd, and trust me, he has no such gift for instant recall or looking up Dustin Hoffman’s take on Rainman.

    Hey, Craig–
    if you ever have a last minute cancellation at the comedy club, just get two stools, so Kerowhack and Chuck can do Dueling Dialogues,–Orphan of the Road can bring his guitar and a drummer from his Wed. night band in Westport to do the rim shots. Then Smartman can pace around the stage, (needs no stool, can’t sit still, wants to model at least 11 pair of new shoes anyway) while reciting from obscure books found only in the private libraries of defrocked priests in Austria.

  19. Kerouac says:

    TAKE #6 and the hits just keep on comin
    [chuck] “Just fuckin brutal”

    – ease up on the Max Cady charm… a little tenderness in lieu Viagra.

    “[bschnoz] “Fun Fact: Pro Bowl QB Matt Cassel”

    – “if the other QBs get hurt & can’t work” – [ Aflac Duck / ca$$el touting the benefits ]

    “24*-21 as NFL starter….

    – 10-5 @NE . . . 14-16 @kcindy . . . oy*

    “* 1 win was attributed to Rain.”

    – other 13* ‘little sisters’ scheduling NFL…

    [ Tracy ] “Don’t sell yourself short and attribute any of this to training as a radio DJ.”

    – never; that’d make me abWHOREnt…

    “I live down the street from Max Floyd, and trust me, he has no such gift for instant recall or looking up Dustin Hoffman’s take on Rainman.”

    – uninspired result company kept & street he lives on? Does he shutter his windows when he hears violin music?

    Back at ten, see you then… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LZQVehJb4A&feature=related

  20. Yippie Yippie says:

    I’m In Town From LA
    Heard about his site, wrote on it once, loved the Bubba, good-bye to a great one.

  21. Fred Goodwin says:

    Facts are strangers to this conversation . . .
    @Cowboy: the Jets were 11-3 in 1968; if you guys don’t know basic facts like that, I have to wonder how much of this “fixin the game” talk is just idle B.S.

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