John Mackey Dies

July 7, 2011 by staff 

John Mackey DiesJohn Mackey Dies, Hall of Fame TE John Mackey, who spent nine of his 10 NFL seasons with the Baltimore Colts, has died. “John Mackey was one of the great leaders in the history of the NFL, on and off the field,” said Commissioner Roger Goodell of the NFL.

“He was a Hall of Fame, which redefined the tight end position. It was a courageous defender of his fellow players in the NFL as head of the Players Association in the NFL. He worked closely with our office on many issues through the years, including the first president of NFL football Fund for Youth. He never stopped fighting the good fight. ”

Mackey helped spark the evolution of the tight end down the field a weapon in the passing game. He caught 331 passes for 5.236 yards and 38 touchdowns in his career. He was powerful, sure hands and known as the open, where he is smaller defenders bounced off him. Six of his nine TD grabs in 1966 covered at least 50 meters. Mackey was named the world’s best at his position in a survey of NFL Network.

It was a good athlete that the Colts still deployed as kickoff returner in 1963 (he averaged 30.1 yards per return).

The executive director of the NFLPA, Smith DeMaurice broke a silence of more than two months on his Twitter account to pay tribute to Mackey, writing: “John Mackey is still a leader as President of the NFLPA led the fight for equality with brilliance and fierce drive. John Mackey has inspired me and continues to inspire our players and define our institution. He will be missed but never forgotten. ”

Like Smith, Mackey also fought for the players at the negotiating table while serving as president of the NFLPA in 1969 to 73.

His most famous catch was a controversial 75-yard touchdown quarterback John Unitas in Super Bowl V – Mackey caught the ball from a deflection before rumbling down the field – the Colts won 16-13 over the Cowboys. It was the franchise only Super Bowl victory, while based in Baltimore.

Mackey well-documented battle with dementia later in life led to the creation of the NFL’s “Plan 88″ (Mackey wore number 88 in Baltimore) to provide relief to the players fight the disease or Alzheimer’s disease. The plan allocates up to 88,000 a year for nursing care.

John Mackey Award was created in 2000 and is awarded annually to the best tight ends in college football. Previous winners include Dallas Clark, Kellen Winslow II, Heath Miller and Marcedes Lewis. Mackey was 69.

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