Blog Entry

Why John Mackey mattered

Posted on: July 7, 2011 11:21 am
John Mackey was always ahead of his time. As the passing game in the NFL evolved in the 1960s, Mackey was the perfect symbol of that expansion. Football hadn't yet seen a player with Mackey's size and speed that could also block. He was one of the first players at his position in NFL history to receive double coverage. He ran through people. Past them. Around them. At times he was simply uncoverable.

What Mackey did off the field, if it's possible, was even more impressive. Again, he was ahead of his time, leading the player's union, fighting for health benefits and free agency. But those are just words. What Mackey did was sacrifice himself for the greater good. Mackey took on owners at a time when it was difficult to do so as owners were far nastier with players. Mackey stood tall.

There are actually few parallels between Mackey's union and the one today fighting the owners. The money is so large and players so comfortable it can't compare. This day is more about honoring Mackey than drawing comparisons. There were few people like Mackey. There will never be anyone like him again.
Category: NFL
Tags: John Mackey

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: July 9, 2011 11:35 am

Why John Mackey mattered

If not for him those greedy players of today would not be stealing millions with little return, 'they' owe John Mackey big time, he never eraned a fortune nor did he whinge and whine and gripe about about it and he utimately paid the price.
RIP John you earned it!

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: July 7, 2011 9:21 pm

Them's fighing words

And I mean that sincerely as a compliment.  Mackey was a great fighter, a great leader, and a good man. Rest in Peace, John.

Since: Mar 23, 2011
Posted on: July 7, 2011 5:00 pm

Why John Mackey mattered

mackey was the man. 'nuff said

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2011 3:29 pm

Why John Mackey mattered

Without John Mackey, professional football players would not be where they are today, nowhere close.  When John Mackey played, professional football players had to take part time jobs in the offseason to make ends meet.  I remember working alongside Tom Mack in the early 70's during the football hiatus and going to see a couple of his teammates pro wrestling; that's what pro football players did.  It was alot different then; I hope today's players realize that when they address the health and welfare benefits for the older players in the new contract.  John Mackey was a pillar of a man, one whose contributions paved the way for today's players, much more than most players realize. 

Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: July 7, 2011 2:32 pm

Why John Mackey mattered

John was a great player and a great human being. He's still the best TE that I ever saw. Some other TEs might have been better receivers or better blockers, but none had a better whole package than Mackey. I doubt there was ever a better TE at  running people over. He deserved better with his health issues. Rest well, John. You deserve it.

Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: July 7, 2011 2:14 pm

Why John Mackey mattered

I feel that he was the greatest tight end to ever play the game. The only thing that's good about his passing is that he's finally able to be at some sort of peace. I've read over the years how badly his mind has deteriorated. You see the old films of players like Mackey or Earl Campbell, and you see just how damaging the sport can be. As long as the NFL is around, I think John will be remembered for the enormous impact he had both on the field and off. 

Since: Jul 7, 2011
Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:58 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:49 pm

Why John Mackey mattered

Awesome description.  So glad you saw it and are able to share the sensation at this time. Very few times in our lives do we sense we are viewing or experiencing something amazing.  Thanks.

Since: Mar 2, 2007
Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:32 pm

Why John Mackey mattered

The sports world is a little dimmer with the loss of John.  God, what a player and, what a man.  They broke the mold with John.  God bless you and now your family also.Cry

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2011 12:53 pm

Why John Mackey mattered

John Mackey was an honored hero of our fraternity at Syracuse University Sigma Alpha Mu. We had a dedicated John Mackey room and he and his wife visited the frat house multiple times while I was there in the late 60's early 70's. He was a formidable figure of a man but a kind, caring, generous one who gave lots of his free time to others. We, at Sigma Alpha Mu, Syracuse, were proud to be his brother.
Bob Kiken'71 SyracuseU ETASAM

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