Daryl Lamonica, the quarterback known as the Mad Bomber for his mighty arm, who drove the Oakland Raiders to berth in Super Bowl II, died Thursday at his home in Fresno, California, at the age of 80.
His son, Brandon, said he died in his sleep. He said he did not know why, but his father was not in poor health.
La Monica became one of the most prominent professional soccer players in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But at first, after playing for three seasons with the humble Notre Dame teams, it seemed he was hardly heading towards a great professional career.
Selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 24th round of the nascent 1963 NFL draft, and chosen by the Green Bay Packers in the 12th round of the NFL draft.
Playing for the Bills from 1963 to 1966, he could never displace Kemp, who led Buffalo to a pair of NFL championships. But he embarked on a series of great seasons after the Bills traded him with the Raiders.
He led the 1967 Raiders to a regular season record 13-1 and the AFL Championship, throwing 30 touchdowns and 3,228 yards. He passed twice in the Super Bowl, which the Conquerors lost to the Packers, 33-14.
Lamonica was part of an offense that emphasized the exact timing between the midfielder and receiver going his way. It was designed to create an open space in the secondary stage for defense, making it particularly vulnerable to deep scrolling.
“He convinced me that the vertical game would work,” Lamonica said in SportsRaid in 2021. “He wanted me to throw the ball out onto the field. I think about the end zone all the time.”
Davis, in turn, adapted a scheme he runs Mr. Gilmancoach of the San Diego Chargers when Davis was one of his assistant coaches in the early 1960s.
Howard Kozelwho provided a commentary on ABC’s “Monday Night Football,” gave Lamonica the nickname Mad Bomber.
“The crazy bomber. They called him right,” said Lynne Dawson, who was the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback when Lamonica was with the Raiders, in 2021. He wanted a break in every game.
Lamonica has been selected to the Pro Bowl once with the Bills and four times with the Raiders.
His favorite targets included Raiders wide receivers Fred Biletnikoff and Warren Wells As well as the narrow end Billy Cannon. He was protected by a powerful attack line gene upshaw On guard and Jim Otto in the center.
Strong at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Lamonica threw 25 touchdowns and averaged nearly 250 yards per game in 1968. Perhaps his best moment of the season was seen by few: he threw the winning touchdown pass 42 seconds left . The Raiders-Jets match in mid-November at the Auckland Coliseum made famous by the nickname “Heidi’s Game”.
The Jets were up front, 32-29, with 1:05 remaining when NBC cut the game to start the scheduled television broadcast of the children’s movie “Heidi.”
Lamonica teamed with linebacker Charlie Smith for 43 yards playing with 43 seconds left, his fourth pass of the game, giving Oakland a 36-32 lead. The Raiders scored again after the Jets fumbled a kickoff, and Oakland came out with a 43-32 victory.
Viewers flooded NBC’s keyboard to vent anger over the loss of the thrilling endgame, prompting the network to issue an apology.
The Raiders met the Jets again in the 1968 AFL Championship game. Lamonica threw 401 yards and landed, but the Jets, led by the reckless and brilliant Joe Namath, won 27-23, a surprising 16-7 victory over the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl.
The Raiders were 12-1-1 in 1969 by throwing Lamonica for 34 touchdowns, including six in the first half of an October game against the Bills. He threw six more times as the Raiders beat the Houston Oilers, 56-7, in a playoff, while Namath struggled in the Jets’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in another first-round game.
When Lamonica was asked to compare himself to Namath after those matches, he told Sports Illustrated, “I don’t dress in fashion. I’m not saying I don’t like having fun, but I’m conservative. My idea of a relaxing way is to set out in the woods on Monday after a game or Go hunting or fishing.”
But he added, “I respect him. He works hard to be a good midfielder.”
After the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, the Raiders reached the NFL Championship game, facing the Colts, now in the AFC, in the last division before the Super Bowl. But Lamonica was knocked out in the second quarter when he was hit by a defensive end Baltimore Bubba SmithLost Raiders, 27-12.
Lamonica’s last appearance in a playoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers came in December 1972, when Franco Harris, in the final game of the game, saved a pass from quarterback Terry Bradshaw who bounced off his intended target, Frenchy Fuqua, and scored to give the Steelers 13 goals. 7- Victory in what will be remembered as the “immaculate reception”.
Lamonica lost his first job Kenny Stabler In 1973 he joined the California Sun in the newly formed World Football League in 1975. He saw limited activity before retiring during that season.
Daryle Pasquale Lamonica was born on July 17, 1941, in Fresno, California, and grew up in the nearby city of Clovis. His father owned a fruit farm, and his mother was a dietitian.
Lamonica was the all-state quarterback for Clovis High School. Play under the coach Joe Koharesh At Notre Dame from 1960 to 1962, he only threw eight touchdowns to teams that went 12-18 overall.
In his four seasons with the Bills and eight with the Raiders, Lamonica threw 164 touchdowns and 19,154 yards. But he was not inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, perhaps because he never played for the Super Bowl team and because he compiled his most impressive stats in a relatively short period, from 1967 to 1972.
After quitting football, Lamonica owned a trucking company and pursued hunting and hunting. He was the host of the fishing program on Fox Sports Network “Outdoors with the Pros”.
In addition to his son Brandon, he is survived by his wife, Marie Diesel Lamonica; another son, Brian; his sister, Judy Nash; and three grandchildren.
Lamonica, who was not given the attack, was surprised when Kossel first called him “The Crazy Thrower”.
“I heard him and said, ‘What a stupid name,’ he told The Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2020. But on his next game, where he narrated it: ‘I got out of the center and looked to the left corner. We made eye contact, and he made a two-step backup. I thought, ‘Oh, I love it.’ Perhaps this is not such a bad nickname. It’s stuck. “
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