Monday, June 3, 2013

R.I.P. Deacon Jones

Deacon Jones, a former NFL football player, Hall of Fame member (inducted in 1980), and a man considered to be one of the greatest defensive football players of all time, has died at age 74.  He played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1961-71, then two years for the San Diego Chargers, and finished his career with the Washington Redskins in 1974.

Deacon also was an accomplished R&B singer during his football playing days, backed by the band Nightshift, which later became War.  He was featured in the War hit song "Why Can't We Be Friends", which he recorded with the band.

I'm not a passionate sports fan (of any sport), but Deacon Jones holds an unusual distinction for me.  Out of the many photos I have with celebrities and autographed items that I own, he's one of three people in the sports world that I have an autograph from.  I met Deacon at an event at Desert Diamond Casino here in Tucson a handful of years ago and he was there autographing photos.  He was kind enough to autograph a picture which currently hangs on the wall of my home office.

In case you're wondering, the other two autographed items I have from people in the sports world are a pair of boxing gloves signed by boxer Fernando Vargas, and an autographed photo from pro wrestler Randy "Macho Man" Savage.  Now that I think about it, two of the three men who autographed items for me are no longer alive (Randy Savage died a few years ago).

R.I.P. Deacon Jones.  Thanks for the autograph and for the nice conversation when we met.

Autographed Deacon Jones photo that hangs on my wall