Montreal Alouettes

Vince Ferragamo- Quarterback-1981- Nebraska

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 Catching up with... - Jeff Pearlman - CNNSI -21-07-97

Ask Vince Ferragamo why he thinks one of his former teams, the Los Angeles Rams, bolted to St. Louis in 1995 and he offers a not-so-surprising answer. "Money," he says. "Plus, maybe there wasn't such a great sense of loyalty. It's a business, you know."

Ferragamo has long known that. In April 1981, a little more than a year after quarterbacking the Rams to a near upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV, Ferragamo also left L.A., signing two one-year, $400,000 contracts with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. "It was strictly business on my part," says Ferragamo, who turned down a one-year, $300,000 offer from the Rams. "The emotional stuff was taken out of the equation. I love California, but I was thinking about my career."

Ferragamo, who had been a college star at Nebraska, thought wrong. In his one CFL season, he played less like Vince Ferragamo and more like Vince Neil, throwing 25 interceptions in 13 games. "It was more like a minor league," he says of the CFL. "We had a team on the downside with a lot of players who weren't going to be around much longer."

 

Ferragamo left Canada and re-signed with the Rams for three more seasons, but he failed to rediscover the Super Bowl magic. He ended his career in 1986 after less-than-memorable stints with the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers. Ferragamo was, to a considerable degree, an athlete who could've been but never really was.

 

There were sparks of greatness—30 touchdown passes in '80 (he first

appeared on SI's cover in December of that year, next to the words RAM POWER)—but also injuries and inconsistency as he battled for the Rams' starting job.

 

Ferragamo still goes through the what-ifs. "My whole career was spurts," he says. "When I got the chance, I'd always play well. But I was given only short periods to do it. It could've been different. I really think so."

 

Nowadays Ferragamo, 43, divides his time among his family (his wife, Jodi, and daughters Venessa, 15, Cara, 13, and Jenna, 12), his Touchdown Real Estate company in Anaheim Hills, Calif., and the Vince Ferragamo Foundation, which raises money for the Special Olympics. As busy as he is, he nonetheless feels something is missing. "The thrills I had on the field in L.A. and even Montreal—you can't duplicate those in the corporate world," he says. "Sometimes I'll do a motivational speech, and that's the closest I come in terms of getting fired up. I'll be honest. I miss playing the game." —by Jeff Pearlman

 

WHAT HAPPENED: The Rams held Vince Ferragamo's rights through the 1985 offseason, when he was traded to the Buffalo Bills. But Ferragamo actually left once before, in 1981, when he departed for the Montréal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. The Rams finished 6-10 in 1981 after Ferragamo left; it was their first non-playoff season since 1972. Ferragamo returned in 1982 and directed the Rams to the postseason one year later, but injuries ended his campaign in 1984. Jeff Kemp took over and led the Rams to the playoffs. Ironically, the man who replaced Ferragamo as the full-time starter in 1985 was a long-time CFL quarterback — Dieter Brock.
 

    

-- statistics --

 

 

Vince Ferragamo       Nebraska
    Passing          
Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1981 Mtl 342 175 2,182 51.2 7 25 67
Total 1 342 175 2,182 51.2 7 25 67

 

    Rushing      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1981 Mtl 17 54 3.2 25 0
Total 1 17 54 3.2 25 0

 

-- NFL --

 

 

    Passing        
Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1977 LAR 15 9 83 60.0 2 0 17
1978 LAR 20 7 114 35.0 0 2 28
1979 LAR 110 53 778 48.2 5 10 71
1980 LAR 404 240 3,199 59.4 30 19 74
1982 LAR 209 118 1,609 56.5 9 9 85
1983 LAR 464 274 3,276 59.1 22 23 61
1984 LAR 66 29 317 43.9 2 8 68
1985 Buff 287 149 1,677 51.9 5 17 48
1986 GB 40 23 283 57.5 1 3 50
Total 5 1615 902 11,336 471 76 91 85

 

    Rushing      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1977 LAR 1 0 0.0 0 0
1978 LAR 2 10 5.0 12 0
1979 LAR 3 -2 -0.7 2 0
1980 LAR 15 34 2.3 15 1
1982 LAR 4 3 0.8 2 1
1983 LAR 22 17 0.8 8 0
1984 LAR 4 0 0.0 2 0
1985 Buff 8 15 1.9 5 1
1986 GB 1 0 0.0 0 0
Total 5 60 77 1.3 15 3