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Former Baltimore Colt Hall of Famer Dies/The Great John Mackey Is No Longer With Us (merged)


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Hall of Famer Mackey dies at 69

NFL.com

Published: July 7, 2011 at 08:47 a.m.

Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey, who was a force on the football field and has been one of the symbols of difficulties for football players after football, has died. He was 69.

Mackey’s combination of size, speed and soft hands made him the NFL’s prototypical tight end in the 1960s, as he formed an explosive combination with Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas on the Baltimore Colts. Mackey, who was a one-time leader of the NFL Players Association, suffered from dementia in recent years.

“John Mackey has inspired me and will continue to inspire our players and define our institution,” current NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith tweeted Thursday morning. “He will be missed but never forgotten.”

Mackey caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns in a 10-season career that was cut short by knee injuries. . In a career full of dazzling highlight-reel plays, perhaps the most recognizable came in Super Bowl V, when he grabbed a deflected pass from Johnny Unitas that produced a 75-yard touchdown, a Super Bowl record at the time.

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Hall of Famer Mackey dies at 69

NFL.com

Published: July 7, 2011 at 08:47 a.m.

Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey, who was a force on the football field and has been one of the symbols of difficulties for football players after football, has died. He was 69.

Mackey’s combination of size, speed and soft hands made him the NFL’s prototypical tight end in the 1960s, as he formed an explosive combination with Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas on the Baltimore Colts. Mackey, who was a one-time leader of the NFL Players Association, suffered from dementia in recent years.

“John Mackey has inspired me and will continue to inspire our players and define our institution,” current NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith tweeted Thursday morning. “He will be missed but never forgotten.”

Mackey caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns in a 10-season career that was cut short by knee injuries. . In a career full of dazzling highlight-reel plays, perhaps the most recognizable came in Super Bowl V, when he grabbed a deflected pass from Johnny Unitas that produced a 75-yard touchdown, a Super Bowl record at the time.

The best TE in NFL history and a even better man. Colts fans will miss you, John and our thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends.

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Today, the news broke that the great John Mackey has passed away at the age of 69.

Many will write of Mackey's stellar, Hall of Fame career. He is arguably the greatest tight end ever to suit up. He averaged more than 20 yards-per-catch his rookie year, and for the next ten years he carved out a career that many since (including Dallas Clark, Shannon Sharpe, and Brent Jones) have tried to duplicate

Mackey was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.

But, instead of focusing on his great playing legacy and the leadership he provided for the NFLPA, I think a better tribute to the man is to focus on the work he and his wife, Sylvia, did to to form 'Plan 88,' which the owners and the NFLPA created to provide home care and adult day care expenses for those retired players in need. No. 88 was Mackey's number in Baltimore.

Unfortunately Mackey himself required specialized services till the end as the story talks about and u have to wonder if all the hits he took were part of the cause

Growing up a Balt Colt Fan in the 50's he was and still is dear to me, Thanks for the memories,

as the article says, somewhere up there Unitas is now throwing him passes

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There are perhaps ten great tight ends to date and John Mackey was the all in one TE. He did it all by having great hands, a sense of exactly where to be, he could roll over tacklers and his speed got him in the end zone on long plays.

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RIP Mackey! I wish I wasn't so young so that I could have seen him play. I also did not like the report they did on ESPN about Mackey. They spent, I would saw, 25% of the program talking about his work on the field, and then they talked about his involvement in the league after his retirement. I would say half or more was talking about dementia. Personally I would want people to remember me for the hard work I put into my religion, family, career etc and not the later stages of my life. I felt very sad for Mackey because the reporter asked him what he would think if he had dementia and Mackey had no clue what was going on. Very sad, but regardless we have lost a legend.

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