|01-10-2006, 07:26 PM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Leucadia CA
Rams great Jack Snow passes away
Updated: Jan. 10, 2006, 12:44 PM ET
Former Pro Bowl receiver was battling staph infection
ST. LOUIS -- Jack Snow could always be counted on to make big receptions for the Los Angeles Rams. Over the middle, down the sideline or in the open field, Snow simply had a knack for catching the football.
"Jack had the greatest hands in that time period," Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones said. "You won't talk about his speed, but his speed was deceiving. He would catch that slant pattern over the middle and I've seen him outrun some guys that we thought were fast."
Snow, a star wide receiver for the Rams from 1965-75 and a longtime team broadcaster, died Monday night, the club said. He was 62.
Snow had been hospitalized on and off for the past two months with a blood-borne staph infection. His family was with him when he died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, team spokesman Duane Lewis said.
"He was a great teammate, one of the hardest-working guys that I played with," Jones said. "A terrible loss, a terrible shocker. Jack was a young man."
Snow, the father of Gold Glove first baseman J.T. Snow, was an analyst on the Rams' radio broadcasts, moving to St. Louis with the team 10 years ago. His last game in the booth was Nov. 20 during the Rams' home loss to Arizona.
Snow was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1967 and still ranks among the team leaders in several receiving categories. He had 340 receptions for 6,012 yards -- a 17.7-yard average -- and 45 touchdowns in 150 career regular-season games for the Rams. In 1967, he averaged 26.3 yards on 28 receptions and scored eight TDs.
"The guy ran the best patterns of any receiver during our period," Jones said. "He was one of the few guys we had that would go across the middle and catch that football. He was tough -- tough as nails."
After an All-America career at Notre Dame, Snow was drafted eighth overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 1965 but soon traded to Los Angeles, where he spent his entire 11-year NFL career.
"Jack was a special part of the Rams' family for many years," Rams owner Georgia Frontiere said. "It's very painful when a loved one is taken from us, but fortunately we are left with so many exciting and beautiful memories that we shared with Jack on and off the field."
Added Lawrence McCutcheon, the Rams' director of player personnel, who played with Snow from 1972-75: "When I came in he had been in the league four or five years. He was well-established, a great route runner, very dedicated to the game with outstanding hands, and he had the ability to relate to younger players and help them adapt to professional life."
McCutcheon, a five-time Pro Bowl running back, said he and Snow stayed in almost constant contact -- even after their playing days ended.
"I've always thought of him as a no-nonsense guy who took life by the horns. He enjoyed life, enjoyed his kids and was very proud of them."
Before he fell ill, Snow often helped the Rams' receivers during practice.
"I remember my first year, obviously I'm a free-agent nobody and one of the last guys in the receiver line, and he was always paying particular attention to me, making sure my details were right and giving me positive feedback," Dane Looker said recently. "A guy like Jack Snow -- you're going to miss him."
Rams internal medicine physician Douglas Pogue said last week that Snow's staph infection originated as a sinus infection, then entered the bloodstream and infected an artificial hip joint. His staph infection was not the kind that is resistant to first-line antibiotics, like the one several Rams players suffered three years ago, Pogue said.
Last February, five Rams players who had suffered turf burns in 2003 developed a kind of staph infection that is resistant to a common antibiotic known as methicillin.
Last week, Joe Vitt, who served as the Rams' interim coach for the last 11 games of the season, checked into a hospital for treatment of a lingering strep infection on his hand. It was initially mischaracterized as a staph infection.
Ousted Rams coach Mike Martz was treated this past fall for endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the heart valve. Pogue said the infection most likely was strep infection from the teeth or sinitis, and "was definitely not staph."
Snow is survived by three children, J.T., Michelle and Stephanie.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.