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    Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    In an interview with Jerry Crowe of the Los Angeles Times, Deacon Jones says the fact that his uniform No. 75 has not been retired by the Rams is “asinine.”
    Jones, never one to massage his words, had plenty else to say. Here’s the full story:
    Deacon Jones attacks interviews the way he used to stalk quarterbacks — with abandon, no holds barred.
    Outspoken, opinionated and unwary of offending, the Hall of Famer credited with giving a name to one of football’s signature defensive plays seems to hold cliches and rote answers in the same regard he once did his prey — which is to say, very little.
    Jones’ forte, of course, was sacking quarterbacks, a term he coined to give cachet to the art of tackling passers.
    “You take all the offensive linemen and put them in a burlap bag, and then you take a baseball bat and beat on the bag,” Jones says, explaining the term. “You’re sacking them, you’re bagging them. And that’s what you’re doing with a quarterback.”
    Jones, 70, pulls forward in his chair as he speaks, voice booming to a near-shout as he makes his points. Cigarette in hand, the greatest defensive end in the history of the Los Angeles Rams is seated in the living room of the spacious home he shares with wife Elizabeth in a gated community in Anaheim Hills.
    Of his legendary aversion to opposing quarterbacks, he notes, “You kill the head of the snake, the body dies. He is the rallying point, so you’ve got to create that daily hate” for the quarterback.
    Pro football may never have seen a more ferocious pass rusher than David “Deacon” Jones, a 14th-round pick who turned out to be one of the greatest steals in NFL draft history.
    Relying on footwork, speed and a devastating set of flying hands — his 1996 biography, “Headslap,” was named after his since-banned signature move — Jones struck fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks for 14 seasons with the Rams, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins from 1961 to 1974. An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.
    “Unstoppable as a flood, as elusive as a fly in a hot room,” Jim Murray wrote of Jones, who nicknamed himself Deacon after a chance meeting with a Disney executive convinced him that he needed a more distinctive moniker to stand out in a crowd.
    Said Merlin Olsen of his former teammate: “There has never been a better football player than Deacon Jones.”
    Jones doesn’t argue.
    “I came as close to perfection,” the former “Secretary of Defense” says, “as you can possibly get.”
    Except he never won a ring.
    “I did it all but one thing in my football career,” he says, “and that was, win that damn championship. Everything else, I double-timed; it wasn’t even close, OK? But within that structure didn’t come a championship, and I live with that every day. I’ve been in the Hall of Fame [nearly] 30 years, and I still can’t dump it.”
    A larger-than-life figure during his playing days in Los Angeles, Jones fronted a band that performed at the Cocoanut Grove and says he sang onstage with Ray Charles. He never seriously pursued a singing career but has worn a variety of other hats since leaving football: actor, businessman, commentator, benefactor, sports and pop culture memorabilia collector.
    “I’ve dabbled in a lot of everything,” says Jones, who still makes public appearances at charitable events such as “Evening With the Stars II,” Thursday’s fundraiser at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes. “When I hit 65, I lied to myself like most people do and said, ‘I’m retired, I ain’t doing nothing else.’
    “Well, when I looked at the things I was doing, it wasn’t like a job. It was all [an extension of] my football career.”
    And football, of course, is still his favorite subject.
    Though Jones was one of three defensive ends named to the NFL’s 75th-anniversary all-time team in 1994, his No. 75 has not been retired by the Rams, a decision he calls “asinine.”
    He says a friendly rivalry with Olsen, drafted by the Rams a year after Jones arrived, helped him reach his full potential.
    “I learned so much from Merlin,” he says. “The guy was just fantastic. We played 10 years together, side by side, and you saw the results of it: There ain’t no left side in the history of this game better or more dominant than me and Merlin Olsen.”
    Of his signature move, Jones says, “The headslap was not my invention, but Rembrandt, of course, did not invent painting.”
    Jones, in other words, turned it into a concussive art form.
    “The quickness of my hands and the length of my arms, it was perfect for me,” he says. “It was the greatest thing I ever did, and when I left the game, they outlawed it.
    “I couldn’t be more proud.”
    Slim and trim at 6 feet 5 and 237 pounds — about 40 pounds lighter than his playing weight — Jones says a bout with prostate cancer about 20 years ago prompted a lifestyle change and resulted in his dropping more than 100 pounds.
    Now he’s taking medication to help him stop smoking.
    “I smoked my whole career,” he says. “Sunday morning, I’d smoke a pack of them [things], my nerves was so scratched up. If I’d had myself a quart of whiskey, I’d have drank that.”
    Instead, he relieved his stress by chasing quarterbacks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75-deacon_jones.jpg  



  2. #2
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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    Yeah I'm baffled as well.

    Hopefully they do the right thing and get this guys number retired. I hope he overcomes cancer.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  3. #3
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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    I agree with him.

    He is the greatest DE in the history in the NFL. Any team in the league would be honored to have him as an alum, yet here in St. Louis, we snub him for some unknown reason. The organization treats him like he never existed. It's ridiculous!

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    This should have been done in LA 20, even 30 years ago. Why did this never happen?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    This should have been done in LA 20, even 30 years ago. Why did this never happen?
    Seriously.

    I kind of assumed he already was retired, I was kinda shocked to hear this, to be honest.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    This should have been done in LA 20, even 30 years ago. Why did this never happen?
    Good question, especially with the team on a number retirement kick the last few years.

    Get it done Chip!

  7. #7
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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    Perhaps it was because he didn't finish his career as a Ram.

    I have to say, every time I see Deacon quoted, he seems like an angry guy. I hope that's just a persona, and not how he is on a day to day basis, as that would be a horrible way to live.

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    You gotta love Deacon Jones and could easily make the case that he is the greatest Ram ever. I can only imagine what his sack totals would have been if those stats were recorded during his playing days. I have no idea why his number hasn't been retired, but I would really like to hear the official explanation, I'm sure it's a good one.....

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    whilst retiring jerseys is not something i am a fan of...

    i sure hope that no-one else in the NFL is aware of this travesty of justice...the shame is bad enough being kept "in-house"..

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    He's been mad at the Rams for years. When he played for the Chargers it looked weird seeing him in that uniform but geez he was spewing venom then about the Rams.

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    He's been mad at the Rams for years. When he played for the Chargers it looked weird seeing him in that uniform but geez he was spewing venom then about the Rams.

    He`s a Rattlesnake no doubt...but well..if i had been traded,then notified about it at a team mates wedding..without having any say in it like i was a slave after revolutionizing the position whilst playing for a team i loved..i think id Rattle somewhat too...

    retiring numbers should not be about how easy to get on with someone is surely..

  12. #12
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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    What a douche bag. I understand he was a great player, but ultimately..does it REALLY matter? It's a number for crying out loud.

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    I agree with Deacon. His number should have been retired before they left L.A.

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    Martz must have said something. Why else would his jersey still be on the field.
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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    Re: Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75

    I read completely through this article and missed this quote. I can only speculate on a few reasons why it hasn't been retired. From what I know of him he didn't live his life at that time with the highest of moral standards. I am sure based on how he interviews, he has said some other things to the organization that probably stung. And finally, not trying to win the "Beat the Dead Horse Award", but Madam Ram really didn't proactively try to market the team during her tenure here in LA and doing something like this would have taken time and money, which she was pretty tight with.

    My biggest question is why is the LA Times even interviewing him?
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