Ferragamo's business acumen serving him well
Vince Ferragamo is driven by business motives, but he still misses the competitive nature of football, writes Rudy Klancnik.
Their Shot At Glory
Of the first 41 Super Bowls, 51 different quarterbacks have started. Some, like Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady, are legends. But whatever happened to some of the lesser-known starters? Take a look:
And you thought the writers in Hollywood were on strike.
But it wasn't fantasy at all. Vince Ferragamo lived it ... and loved every moment of it.
Ferragamo, the strong-armed kid from the University of Nebraska, led the then-L.A. Rams to Super Bowl XIV against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a game many thought would be a blowout for the Steelers, the upstart Rams actually were leading at the end of the third quarter. Only Pittsburgh's steely resolve and some late heroics by Terry Bradshaw and John Stallworth averted one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, and the Steelers won their fourth title, 31-19.
"The Steelers had so many guys who knew what to do in that situation that it was going to be impossible to shake them up," Ferragamo said. "We played a great game, but we were unable to put them away. When the fourth quarter came and they needed to rally, I don't think anyone was surprised they came up big."
Despite the loss, Ferragamo, a native Californian, garnered rock-star status around L.A. He followed up his Super Bowl appearance with another productive year, throwing for a career-high 30 TDs and leading the Rams back to the playoffs.
Ferragamo In The Super Bowl
In ESPN.com's rankings of the 82 performances by starting quarterbacks in the first 41 Super Bowls, Vince Ferragamo's performance for the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV ranks 40th. Here are his stats:
Super Bowl XIV
However, after the 1980 season, Ferragamo shocked the Rams by signing with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League for $400,000.
"It was strictly business," he said of his one-season move before returning to the Rams. "I loved California, but I had to focus on my career and made a decision based on business first."
Today, big business decisions are at the forefront of Ferragamo's world. He runs a real estate company and recently launched his own private-label wine company. He's also chairman of the Vince Ferragamo Foundation, which raises money for children's causes, including the Special Olympics.
"Between my businesses, the charitable foundation and my family, my life is pretty full these days," Ferragamo said. "And I love every moment of it."
Still, the void left from his playing days remains.
"The thrills I had on the field in L.A. and even Montreal, you can't duplicate those in the corporate world," he acknowledged. "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."
Rudy Klancnik is a freelance writer based in Texas.
SUPER BOWL XLII
Game coverage• Belichick ready to move on from Super Bowl loss
• Nevada sports books lose record $2.6M
• View to a thrill: Record 97.5 million watch XLII
• Giants' win shatters viewership records
• Clayton: Can the Giants repeat?
• Simmons: Free fallin'
• Giants spoil Pats' perfect season
• Wojciechowski: Blame Pats for this debacle
• Wickersham: Brady dazed and confused
• Clayton: Eli lets instincts take over
• Clayton: N.Y. 'misfits' harass Brady
• Sando: Was Brady rattled?
• Mosley: Belichick left a second early
• Chadiha: Ten things we learned
• Garber: Tyree's catch one for the ages
• Zoom galleries 1 | 2 | Great SB upsets
• SportsNation: Best Super Bowl?
• SportsNation: Biggest SB upset?
• SportsNation: Your favorite commercials?
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• '72 Fins breathe sigh of relief after Giants win
• Chadiha: Giants enjoy underdog role
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• Super Bowl picks: Our experts weigh in
• Merrill: Nine previously perfect Patriots
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• Clayton: Giants' O-line worthy of accolades
• Pasquarelli: Tip Sheet
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• Wojciechowski: 15 reasons Patriots will win
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• Sunday Countdown
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• Garber: Injured war vet inspires Giants
• Pasquarelli: The Pats' crucial cameos
• Garber: In Brady's world, insecurity remains
• Merrill: Hixon's traumatizing season
• Football Outsiders: SB numbers crunching
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• Wojciechowski: Unflappable Eli
• Sando: Brady rising among all-time QBs
• Chadiha: Giants' rookies playing prominent role
• Fleming: Cardinals/Pottsville Curse
• Clayton: Youth serving Giants well
• Chadiha: Ranking the best QBs by decade
• Klancnik: Top QBs by jersey number
• Hashmarks: Media day coverage | Gallery
• Pasquarelli: Pats' old-school LBs
• Helyar: Marketing windfall for Eli Manning
• Garber: Seau's ring quest
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• Helyar: Recession? Not at Super Bowl!
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• Clayton: First and goal
• Chadiha: Giants' glory road
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• Woj: Preseason predictions revisited
• Merrill: David Woodley's dark spotlight
• Former SB QBs: Plunkett | Rypien | Ferragamo
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• Starting matchups of Super Bowl QBs
• Ranking the QB performances: 1-40 | 41-82
• Jaworski: Six Super Bowl surprises
• Joyner: Brady's bad decisions
• Clayton: Eli's managing fine
• Chadiha: Focused Giants
• AccuScore simulation: Pats to prevail
• Chadiha: First Look at the Super Bowl
• Playoff schedule
• Vermeil doubts spying made difference for Pats
• Fish: Ex-Ram Warner suspicious of Pats in SB XXXVI
• Report: Pats taped Rams' SB walk-through
• Specter to Goodell: Let's talk
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• Easterbrook: NFL can blame itself for scandal's timing
• Munson: Congressional interest serious
• Pasquarelli: Specter should stick with politics
• Clayton: Spy saga won't distract Patriots
• Hashmarks at Goodell's news conference
• Specter to Goodell (.pdf)
• Goodell to Specter (.pdf)
Page 2• Gallo: Five stages of heartbreak for Pats' fans
• Hill: Best Super Bowl parties
• Hill: Teflon Tom Brady
• Popculture roundtable on the Super Bowl
• Hill: Raiders quit on Moss
• Flem File at the Super Bowl
• Fleming: Defining greatness
• Best teams never to win a title
• TMQ: Title-game analysis
• Why Boston teams are so good
• Gallo: Countdown to kickoff
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• Carey named first black Super Bowl referee
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• Security high for Super Bowl
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• Burress: Giants' receivers are better
Scouts Inc.• Roundtable: Seven scouts weigh in
• Super Bowl XLII X Factors
• Coaching comparison: Styles vary, results same
• Defensive line breakdowns
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 5)
• Matchups to watch in Super Bowl XLII
• Running-game breakdown
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 4)
• QB tale of the the tape
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 3)
• Ranking NFL QBs 1-64
• Take II on Super Bowl XLII
• Giants' DBs overmatched or underrated?
• Horton: Notes from film room (Day 2)
• Horton: 10 things to watch in SB XLII
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 1)
• A tale of two underrated O-lines
• Take I on Super Bowl XLII
• Players ranked Nos. 1-106
SportsNation• Vote: Which team will win?
• Vote: Who wins the head-to-head matchups?
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• Conversation: Talk Super Bowl XLII
• Map: Which states are picking the Giants?
• Quiz: 42 Super Bowl history questions
• Chat: Buzzmaster: Hello from Arizona!
• Chat: Buzzmaster: Live from Media Day
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• Rank: Super Bowl's best individual performances
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• Rank: Greatest all-time quarterbacks
• Vote: Potential for QB greatness?
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• Pulse: What is SportsNation saying about XLII?