The ’83 Draft re-imagined
How to completely destroy NFL History really quickly.
The 1983 NFL draft is arguably one of the most important moments in the last 35 years of NFL History. Its a draft that had a record seven QB’s taken in the first round alone. Has a total of 6 hall of famers, 23 Pro-bowlers a Superbowl MVP, 6 starters from the 85 Bears. And Five from the 80’s and 90’s 49’ers superbowl teams. Looking at it from round one to round ten you will find players who in one way of another, have shaped the history of the league.
It occurred to me that the way the picks landed was so strange and so full of drama that it almost seemed surreal at the time. Many of the picks in the first round may have been very different if Dan Marino, at one point a joint number one prospect with John Elway hadn’t slid to the 27th pick in the first round. The slide came as a result of some rumours about Marino having a drug problem (a rumour Marino sought to disprove by submitting to voluntary drug tests throughout 1982), that coinciding with Marino’s mother suffering a serious illness in his senior year, may have caused a slight drop off that year. It occurred to me, what if those rumours never happened? What if Marino had had a slightly better senior year? What if the narrative that year had been how courageous he had been in the face of such a bad situation? What if Marino was still the concensus number two QB in the draft?
So based on that scenario, I have changed the destiny of two of the of the first 4 picks in that draft, and what it has done is it has completely destroyed the current NFL space-time continuum. And I am not entirely sure I can put it back together. What on earth have I done? How do I fix it? How do I make this 35th re-write make any sense? Keep reading and you will see.
Forget everything you know, hold on to your hats this s**t gets weird.
Pick one. Baltimore Colts:
Original Pick: QB John Elway.
Re-do Pick: Same.
In this plane of reality the Colts still pick Elway, and Elway still threatens to play baseball if he isn’t traded. In this plane of reality he gets traded, but he ends up somewhere a little different.
Pick Two. Los Angeles Rams.
Original pick: RB Eric Dickerson
Re-do pick: Same.
Pick Three:. Seattle Seahawks
Original Pick: RB Curt Warner.
Pick 4 Denver Broncos
Original Pick: Guard Chris Hinton. (originally traded to Colts in exchange for Elway 2 days after the draft)
Re-do Pick: QB Dan Marino.
The Broncos are losing faith in an ageing Craig Morton and need to draft the QB of the future so they take take the most impressive remaining prospect at QB and get a tough confident signal caller with one of the fastest releases in NFL History.
(If you want to see the full draft then simply follow this link to view one of the deepest classes ever http://www.nfl.com/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1983
But for us the first 4 picks are the relevant ones. So how much damage can one pick do?….
Marino a Bronco?
As a result of Denver picking Marino in the first round they get the future signal caller they wanted with out needing to trade. Marino goes to a distinctly underwhelming Denver Team that is immediately inproved by his very presence. He takes the Broncos to the playoffs multiple times but never reaches a Superbowl. Not even the arrival of Mike Shanahan in Denver brings Marino a Superbowl, not because of the QB they do pick, but because of the QB they Didn’t pick.
So, no trophies in Denver….ever???
Originally Gary Kubiak was drafted 197th in the 1983 NFL Draft. Kubiak was taken as a developmental prospect, to sit on the bench and back up Craig Morton because at that point Denver couldn’t draft a QB prospect they felt was good enough (Elway) in round 1. But in this reality they get Marino, so Kubiak is never drafted to Denver. He never studies offensive scheme under Mike Shanahan, never becomes offensive coordinator and therefore never installs the offense that propels Denver to Superbowl 32 or 33. He never persuades Shanahan to take a chance on Terrell Davis in round six. This means Marino never gets the supporting cast to win a championship, no one ever hears of Terrell Davis. But also, the Ravens never win Superbowl 47 and last years Superbowl win never happens either.
Elway is never a Bronco???
No Superbowl in Denver EVER, Elway is never Broncos GM and as a result Peyton Manning never becomes a Bronco either. (More on Manning in a bit!) you also Probably get another year of Tebow….
The completely insane things that happen because Marino is never a Dolphin????
Don Shula suffers ten years as a 9-7 coach before retiring in 1993. He never becomes the winningest head coach in NFL History, and in 1985 he has to watch the 1985 Bears go completely undefeated (Originally Marino’s Dolphins are the only team to beat them in 85!) and Shula never opens the February Champagne again.
Even Crazier still? In 1992 the New England Patriots beat a putrid Marino-less Dolphins team in Foxboro winning one more game that year meaning that they do not end up with the Number one pick in the 1993 Draft.
That means the Pats Don’t draft Drew Bledsoe! Instead they take number two pick Rick “the pick” Mirer. The result being that New England never watch Bledsoe get injured in 2001, meaning Tom Brady never gets a start and never becomes the Tom Brady we know. Also Bledsoe never becomes a Cowboy, never gets hurt and never Makes way for Tony Romo. As a result we never see these two QBs play in the league, as low end draft picks they are out of the league in a few years and never heard of again! As a result we never heard of Wes Welker or Julian Edelman, Randy Moss never has his renaissance with Brady in 2007 and Peyton Manning wins 4 Superbowls as a Colt, because he never loses any playoff games to Brady
Manning beats The Carolina Panthers(04), ST Louis Rams(01) and NY Giants in Manning Bowl 07 and becomes a member of the 3 ring club.
What about Elway?
Well, of all the Suitors that originally proposed pre-draft trades for Elway or the Elway pick Al Davis is the only one with the clout to get the deal done. Davis’ was captivated by Elway’s charisma and incredible talent, especially throwing the deep ball long before the draft and only some Alleged tampering by the NFL managed to scupper a deal on draft day.
Nonetheless l He approaches Jim Irsay in the days after the draft offering newly drafted Tackle Don Mosebar, Tight end Todd Christensen and a first round pick in 1984. As a result the Raiders dont end up winning the Superbowl that year, but Elway does replace Jim Plunkett as starter late in the year. By 1985 the combination of Elway, Marcus Allen and that Raiders defense takes Los Angeles to Superbowl XXI Versus the Washington Redskins, (A game Elway originally loses as a Bronco).
In this contest however, he has the supporting cast to help him overcome the team, Elway gets his first ring in a big shootout decided in the last two mminutes . The addition of Bo Jackson and Tim Brown only serves to fuel Elways Raiders as they storm their way to Superbowl 23 (crushing the Bengal’s in the AFC championship game) they lose to Montana and the 49ers, however the Very next year he gets those same Raiders back to play the Niners, again losing in hearbreaking fashion
. But redemption is Elway’s as he beats Parcells Giants in a game that originally was lost by the Bills in crushing fashion (“Wide right” never happens!) Elway goes 2-2 in Superbowls. And remains a Raider until he leaves the game in 1999. So basically Elway retires as the greatest Raider of all time and the winningest QB in NFL history.
The final dent in the Space-time continuum is that in 1986 a nine year old boy from South London doesnt see Elway’s “drive” and instead becomes a massive Raiders fan….
Anyway I hope you now sit and enjoy this upcoming draft knowing full well that in a parralel universe Aaron Rodgers is a 49er with 3 Superbowl rings and Bill Belichick is coaching high school. Anyway I am off back to my cellar as my brain now hurts and I have no idea what is real anymore…