I Tutored The NFL’s Single-Game Receiving Record Holder

It’s 1985 and I’m a UCLA graduate student making big bucks working for the athletic department as a tutor for “Intro to Western Civilization”.

I was helping a potpourri of athletes including an Olympic gymnast from Mexico, a female swimmer (too attractive, hard to concentrate), a future NBA all-star, and a handful of football players. One of whom was the star wide receiver. The others, including Flipper Anderson from New Jersey, were having moderate success in his shadow.

In an effort to build rapport, I asked them what they planned to do after graduating. I almost lost Flipper right out of the gate. He chuckled at my stupidity. “Play in the league man.”

Inside, I marveled at his swagger. He was so slight, Chris Rock-like, maybe 165 pounds soaking wet. No way in the world I thought, just another out-of-touch athlete. But there was one thing I couldn’t see that first night in the athletic office. He was a serious burner.

Not only did he play ten years in the NFL, he still holds the record for the most receiving yards in a single game. 336 yards. The story is detailed here.

Never judge a book by its cover.

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