Jim Johnson, (May 26, 1941 – July 28, 2009)
Miami Beach, FL
July of 2009 has probably been the worst month on record for famous people in sports and pop culture. A partial list of those who have left us this month include Farah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Walter Chronkite, Ed McMahon, Arturo Gatti, Steve McNair and Vernon Forrest.
But the one loss that Mr. Black is compelled to write about is Jim Johnson. There isn’t a single Eagles fan (or Philly native) that I know who hasn’t commented on his passing, and a ton of football figures agree.
“There was no fine man than Jim Johnson,” said owner Jeffrey Lurie. Ex-players agree, even eliciting a very honest and emotional blog post by Brian Dawkins, who extolled Johnson’s toughness and ability to develop schemes to make players their best.
If you can judge the character of a man by what people say when he’s gone, we’ve obviously lost a legend of the gridiron. If you need other proof, just ask any fan who has the best defense in the league over the last few years, and almost all of them would put Philly in the top three to five.
We’ll all miss the NFL Tonight highlights of the Iggles returning fumbles off the blitz for TDs, the big hits over the middle and sacks of whoever the Redskins put under center year after year.
Wishing his family the best in what’s an obviously tough time.