The news about football Giant star Plaxico Burress’ jail sentence today reminds me of another former New York “pass receiver.” That is to say, Bob Hyland.
Hyland, who owns and operates the Sports Page restaurant in White Plains and is running as a Republican for the District 5 seat on the Westchester County Board of Legislators, once played center for the Giants. Offensive linemen, as any football fan knows, rarely get any glory.
They rarely score touchdowns. Rarely do they even get to touch the ball– and when they do it’s usually to cover a fumble.
But Hyland told me not long ago how he actually caught a pass and came oh so close to scoring a touchdown.
The year was 1973.
“We were playing against the St. Louis Cardinals,” he recalled. “I had played guard a couple of years before hand but now I was doing a number of different things. They put me at tight end.”
Hyland’s assignment was to block. The quarterback at the time was Randy Johnson.
“He looked at his primary receiver and he was covered,” Hyland said. The secondary receivers were also covered.
“They didn’t bother covering me,” Hyland said. “So he threw me a pass and I missed scoring a touchdown by about two feet. That would’ve put the icing on the cake.”
The pass went for 16 yards– and you can look it up here. The memory of it made Hyland chuckle.
“I could always catch the ball, but I think center was a good position for me.”