One National Football League personnel expert called it a trade that should have been announced in a Playboy Magazine cover story.
Most recently, the name of Dante Anthony Pastorini, traded from Houston to Oakland for Ken Stabler on Saturday, has been linked in the Hollywood gossip columns with that of Farrah Fawcett.
Tan, tall and darkly handsome, he is the ideal fan magnet for the Oakland Raiders if they set up shot in Los Angeles and contest in the glamor department against Vince Ferragamo of the Rams in Anaheim.
Stabler was very big in downtown Gulf Shores, Ala., in the offseason. He became distracted by the bright lights of the Bay Area in 1978, according to Al Davis, general managing partner of the Raiders, who blamed the quarterback for a disappointing 9-7 season. A feud erupted that has landed Stabler in Houston after another 9-7 season.
The Oilers despaired of controlling Pastorini's skylarking. The Raiders sent packing a rebel who once sat out a year on them, began to show his age and became unsound in the knee joints after several operations.
"Both are going home," Oiler coach O. A. (Bum) Phillips said of the straight-up deal. "We always knew that Dan wanted to go back to California (he was a No. 1 draft choice from Santa Clara University). Ken wanted to leave the West Coast. Dan is getting a fresh start. Ken doesn't need one, but he's getting out of a situation he didn't like into one he likes. Everybody is tickled to death here in Houston.
"The Raiders think they got the best of the deal; we think we did.
"Stabler is a heck of a quarterback. He's consistent . . . a little more consistent than Dan. Ken is a great intermediate range passer that goes with an offense like ours. He can move the ball better.
"He's going to have something to work with in Earl Campbell. The Raiders' running game was real poor. They depended on the pass because they had to. Everybody knew he was going to throw, the Raiders were always third-and-nine.
"Dan always had to reprove himself here despite taking us to two championship games. This is a trade that will benefit both teams, the players involved) and the fans. It's the biggest trade I remember," player for player, at the same position.
Al LoCasale of the Raiders, executive assistant to Davis, said, "Some players were pleased. We talked to Stabler's agent and he said Ken needed a change of scenery and was very pleased.
"Dan is 3 1/2 years younger (31 to 34) and has the stronger arm.He has been nicked (injured), but he has never been cut on like Stabler, who missed his first year with us after surgery for a knee injury at Alabama. He also sat out the 1969 season because of personal problems."
Stabler's salary with the Raiders was $342,000 and LoCasale said Pastorini's was in the same range. He said Stabler had one season and an option year to go on his Raiders' contract, Pastorini longer than that with the Oilers.
LoCasale said both players knew before hand that the trade was coming and another source suggested Stabler was looking ahead to playing with Campbell.
"Stabler may act the playboy," he said, "but he's not stupid; he's very calculating."