Deacon Jones: Thanks for the Memories

Sad day as another of the NFL's greatest players ever passes away

I'm going to miss Deacon Jones. Growing up as a Los Angeles Rams fan I already loved him from his time with the team when my memory picks up in 1970. He and Merlin Olsen were my two favorite players from that time. Even at the age of 4 I knew the history behind them and the original Fearsome Foursome. Watching Deacon and Merlin on television are some of my earliest memories I can recall.
Good times; great memories.
But with Deacon, like with Merlin (who passed away in 2010), it was more than just the passion of a fan of a NFL team blindly following what his favorite player's are up to after football. Deacon had personality and was fun to listen to as both a former player being interviewed, and as a broadcaster just sharing his opinions on sports. To listen to Deacon talk about the way football was played in the 1960's and early 1970's was compelling. He was smart, articulate, and funny. Back at the start of the 21st century when ABC was having difficulties finding a way to stop cable television's inevitable dip into the Monday night football ratings pocketbook, there was a lot of speculation about who would make up a great Monday night football broadcast booth? I always thought Deacon would have been a great choice as one of the three broadcasters. I was always a little surprised he never got consideration for it.
With Deacon's passing, it leaves Rosey Grier as the last surviving member of the Los Angeles Rams original Fearsome Foursome. Lamar Lundy, who was paired with Rosey, Deacon, and Merlin to form the original 4, passed away in 2007. At the age of 80 years old, I sincerely hope Rosey Grier is healthy and has many years left in him. While I never saw Lundy and Grier play, I do remember Diron Talbert and Coy Bacon being in their places along that Rams defensive line in 1970 and how the unit was stilled referred as the Fearsome Foursome.
I find myself saddened. Condolences go out to Deacon's family and friends, along with those who were lucky enough to know the man himself. To Deacon himself, thanks for all the great memories you brought to many. Including myself.