Football News Headlines
NOTE: The intent of the News Section is not to dwell on negative stories that are more suited to be found in the Police and Crime Section of your local newspaper, but to report and document stories that cover the entire realm of The World of Football. Chances are, you may not have seen some of these stories before.
(Obituary) March 15, 2018 – Tom Benson, the owner of the NFL New Orleans Saints and the NBA New Orleans Pelicans, dies at the age of 90. Benson was a self-made billionaire through the banking industry and owning car dealerships. He bought the Saints in 1985 and the Pelicans in 2012. At the time, the Saints had never had a winning season since it began playing in 1967. He also owned the New Orleans VooDoo of the Arena Football League from 2004-2008. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and the Saints stadium. The Superdome was turned into a temporary shelter for those who were displaced in the wake of the hurricane. The Saints were forced to play their home games at the Alamodome in San Antonio during the 2005 season. In 2014, Benson made a $10 million donation to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio to help pay for renovations to Fawcett Stadium. He also donated another $1 million towards a planned retirement home for ex-players to be built near the Hall of Fame. Fawcett Stadium was renamed Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in his honor and a bronze statue of Benson was unveiled at the stadium last August. The Saints won their first Super Bowl under Benson’s ownership in February 2010 over the Indianapolis Colts.
(Obituary) March 14, 2018 - Billy Martin, who played tight end in college and in the NFL, dies at the age of 75. Martin was known as The Jolly Giant because he stood six-feet, four-inches tall. He played college football at Georgia Tech and was selected in the second round of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He was also selected in the second round of the rival American Football League Draft that same year by the Kansas City Chiefs. Martin signed with the Bears and played in Chicago in 1964 and 1965. He was then selected by the Atlanta Falcons in an Expansion Draft in 1966 and played for the Falcons in 1966 and 1967. He ended his playing career with the Minnesota Vikings in 1968.
(Obituary) March 9, 2018 – Chris Gedney, who played tight end in college and in the NFL, dies at the age of 47. The cause of death was not immediately known. Gedney played college football at Syracuse and was selected in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He played for the Bears from 1993-1995 and then for the Arizona Cardinals in 1997, 1998 and 2000. After his playing career was over, he went into broadcasting. He spent time as a color analyst for Cardinals NFL games and then returned to Syracuse as the Senior Associate Athletic Director and was also part of the football broadcasts. Gedney was named to the school’s All-Century Football Team in 2002.
(Obituary) March 1, 2018 – Dorne Dibble, who played six seasons in the NFL, dies at the age of 88. Dibble played college football at Michigan State and was drafted in the third round of the 1951 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He played offensive end and defensive back for Detroit in 1951 and 1953-1957. He did not play in 1952 because he was serving in the U.S. Air Force. He won two NFL titles while playing for the Lions in 1953 and 1957. Dibble was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
(Obituary) February 19, 2018 – Fred Carr, who played linebacker in the NFL for 10 seasons, dies at the age of 71. Carr started out at the junior college level and helped lead Phoenix College to a national championship as a freshman in 1964. He then played football at Texas Western, which today as known as UTEP. He was selected in the first round (fifth overall) of the 1968 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and played in Green Bay from 1968-1977.
(Obituary) February 15, 2018 – Leo Cahill, a former head coach and general manager in the Canadian Football League, dies at the age of 89. Cahill played college football at the University of Illinois and played in the 1947 Rose Bowl. He started out as an assistant college football coach at Illinois and then had stops at Toledo and South Carolina. He became an assistant coach in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes in 1960. From 1967-1972 and from 1977-1978 he was the head coach of the Toronto Argonauts. In 1974 and 1975 he was the general manager of the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League. Cahill also spent time as the general manager of the Argonauts from 1986-1988. He also served as a color commentator for CFL telecasts on CBC between 1981 and 1985. Cahill was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
(Obituary) February 9, 2018 – Jim Garrett, the father of Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, dies at the age of 87. Jim started out as an assistant NFL coach with thein 1970 and was the head coach of the of the World Football League in 1974. He also spent time as an assistant coach and the . Garrett served as a college football head coach at the Coast Guard Academy, Lehigh, Susquehanna and Columbia. From 1987 to 2004, Jim Garrett was a player scout for the Cowboys.
(Obituary) February 8, 2018 – Ben Agajanian, a place kicker who played in three different pro football leagues, dies at the age of 98. Agajanian played college football at New Mexico. In 1941, he lost four toes on his right foot in an industrial accident. His pro football career began in 1945 at the age of 42 when he played for both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He then played for the Los Angeles Dons of the All American Football Conference in 1947 and 1948. In 1949 he played one season for the New York Giants and in 1953 he played for the Los Angeles Rams. He returned to the play for the Giants from 1954-1957. In 1960, he played for the Los Angeles Chargers of the American Football League, his third pro league. He was playing for the AFL Dallas Texans in 1961 when Vince Lombardi make a secret trade for Agajanian for come to the Green Bay Packers. At the time, the AFL and NFL were rivals and were not allowed to make trades with each other. He finished his playing career with the AFL Oakland Raiders in 1962 and the AFL San Diego Chargers in 1964. His nicknames included “Bootin’ Ben” and “The Toeless Wonder.” He is credited with being the first kicking specialist in pro football. He won two NFL titles during his career; one with the Giants in 1956 and another with the Packers in 1961.
(NFL) February 4, 2018 – The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII. The game was played in Minneapolis in front of 67,612 fans.
(Obituary) February 4, 2018 – Jim Stillwagon, who played in the CFL, dies at the age of 68. Stillwagon played college football at Ohio State and was a defensive tackle. He helped lead the Buckeyes to an undefeated season in 1968 and a college football national championship. He was then selected in the fifth round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, but he never played for the Packers. Instead he signed with the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League played for the Argos for five seasons from 1971-1975. He was a three-time CFL All-Star and was named an All-Time Argo in 2009.
(Obituary) February 4, 2018 – Edwin Jackson, a linebacker in the NFL, dies in a car crash at the age of 26. Jackson and another person were standing next to a car on the side of the road about 4 AM when they were hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver. Jackson played college football at Georgia Southern and was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals. He then signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2016 and played in all 16 games for the Colts. Jackson was placed on Injured reserve for the entire 2017 season.
(NFL) February 3, 2018 – The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 was announced. The eight new members are linebacker Robert Brazile (Houston Oilers), safety Brian Dawkins (Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos), guard Jerry Kramer (Green Bay Packers), linebacker Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens), wide receiver Randy Moss (Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers), wide receiver Terrell Owens (San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals), linebacker Brian Urlacher (Chicago Bears), contributor Bobby Beathard (Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers).
(Obituary) January 20, 2018 – Jerry Keeling, a two-way player in the Canadian Football League for 15 seasons, dies at the age of 78. Keeling played college football at the University of Tulsa and signed with the Calgary Stampeders in 1961. He played quarterback and defensive back for Calgary from 1961-1972, winning a Grey Cup title with the team in 1971. He also played for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1973-1975 and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1975. He won a second Grey Cup championship in 1973 with Ottawa. As a quarterback, he completed a 109-yard touchdown pass in 1966 and on defense, he had a 102-yard fumble return in 1964. After he retired as a player, he returned to Calgary as an assistant coach in 1982 and 1983. Keeling was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1989 and was added to the Stampeders Wall of Fame in 1990.
(Obituary) January 12, 2018 – Keith Jackson, the legendary college football broadcaster, dies at the age of 89. After spending time in the Marine Corps, Jackson attended Washington State University and received a degree in broadcast journalism in 1954. He spent 10 years at ABC station KOMO in Seattle doing news and sports before he became the sports director of ABC Radio West. He then began broadcasting college football for ABC Sports in 1966. When ABC’s “Monday Night Football” was introduced 1970, Jackson was the play-by-play broadcaster and worked alongside Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. However, he was replaced by former New York Giants star, Frank Gifford after just one season on the show. He returned to broadcasting college football games in 1971 and became the voice of college football for a generation of fans over the next 30 years. The National Sports Media Association named Jackson Sportscaster of the Year five consecutive years, from 1972 to 1976. Jackson also worked USFL games from 1983-1985. Over the years he also worked baseball, NBA and college basketball games and even auto racing. He worked 10 Summer and Winter Olympics and appeared on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports.” He is credited with being the first to refer to the Rose Bowl as “The Granddaddy of Them All” and Michigan Stadium as “The Big House.” His signature phrase was “Whoa Nelly.” His last game was the 2006 Rose Bowl. He was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2009.
(College) January 8, 2018 - Alabama defeated Georgia 26-23 in overtime to with the college football national championship. It was the Crimson Tide's fifth title since 2009 and its 12th since 1961.
(College/FCS) January 6, 2018 - The #2 ranked North Dakota State Bison defeated the #1 ranked James Madison Dukes 17-13 to win the national championship of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA. The Bison won their sixth national title in seven years and their 14th title overall since 1965. The Dukes were the defending DII national champions.
(Obituary) January 4, 2018 – Carmen “Carm” Cozza, the legendary coach at Yale University, dies at the age of 87. Cozza played college football at Miami (Ohio) where he played quarterback, running back and defensive back. He became the school’s freshman football coach in 1956 and move up to the varsity staff in 1961. He became an assistant coach at Yale in 1963 and the head coach there in 1965. He remained the head coach at Yale for 32 years, from 1965-1996 and posted a record of 179-119-5. He led the Bulldogs to 10 Ivy League titles and was the winningest coach in Ivy League history at the time of his retirement. After he retired, he became a special assistant to the Athletic Director at Yale as well as doing color commentary during Bulldog football game through 2016. Cozza was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.