Friday, December 11, 2009

December 1980 Playgirl's Michael O'Neal, Dan Pastorini

The holiday centerfold in 1980 was Michael O'Neal, who also was known as Terry Michael O'Neal.  Personally, I think this photo shoot is just too much: too much makeup, too much satin, too much posing with props that seem forced, and way too much beige and brown everywhere.  That's a shame, because the model is handsome enough and has a great body.

The December 1980 issue was packed with important info and features, like a story about What Men Fantasize About Sex.  However, the big news wasn't the centerfold (which is maybe why the photo shoot seemed a little lackluster)....the main event was a nude photo spread of NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini.  "Football's Superstar Shows Why He's Sought After Off The Field, Too" showed skin and pushed copies off the magazine racks across the country.  Interestingly enough, many straight male footaball fans bought the magazine to add to their collections. 

Born into a family that owned an Italian restaurant, Dan excelled in high school in both football and baseball and was drafted in 1968 by the New York Mets who saw him as a potential shortstop. Pastorini, however, chose to go to college, moving to the University of Santa Clara, south of San Francisco Bay. He was the Houston Oilers #1 choice in the 1971 draft. After quarterbacking for the Oilers, the 6'3" Pastorini then moved on to the Oakland Raiders, the L.A. Rams, and the Philadelphia Eagles. During these years he developed a reputation for high living; sports cars, parties, cigars,and of course beautiful women. In 1972 he married British pin-up actress, June Wilkinson. Pastorini was known as a tough quarterback throughout his career. From 1971 through 1979, Pastorini missed only five regular season games, playing through the pain of broken ribs and even a punctured lung at times. He was the first player to wear the now ubiquitous "flack jacket" under his uniform to protect broken ribs.

On May 22, 1977, Pastorini was involved in a fatal boating accident during a race on Lake Mizell in Liberty, Texas. Reports said that the boat veered onto the shore and hit a crowd of spectators after its engine failed, causing its automatic steering mechanism to fail. Two people were killed and three people were injured. Pastorini was found innocent of criminal responsibility. Subsequently however, parents of one of the survivors filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Pastorini. To help pay for an out of court settlement, rumors at the time suggested that the 31 year old football star decided to do the nude photospread in Playgirl magazine's December 1980 issue for the quick cash it offered. True or not, the photos showed a sweaty, post-game Pastorini stripping down to his jockstrap inside a locker room and then removing the jockstrap for a shower. Although no frontal-nudity was actually shown (except for a hint of pubic hair) newsstand sales of Playgirl rose that month. Reports say that Pastorini now lives in the Houston area where he still does some TV work and still indulges in his fondness for Italian food and fast cars.


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