Wagoner/PD on Snow
The Wonderful Mr. Snow
Monday, January 9, 2006
I am extremely sad about the passing of Jack Snow. With that in mind, this edition of notes will have little to do with football or anything going on with the team. We can get to that later. In the meantime, I’d like to share a little bit of what Jack Snow was like and the type of person he was. First and foremost, my prayers and thoughts go out to his family. Also, I would like to make tomorrow's edition of the mailbag a tribute to Jack Snow. For those of you with a great story to tell about Mr. Snow either as a player, a broadcaster or an encounter somewhere, please send it along and I will post it in the mailbag.
The first time I ever met Jack Snow was in training camp before the 2004 season. I have to admit, it was a little intimidating. Here was this guy who had played 11 seasons for the Rams, appeared on the television show “Bewitched” and was even in the movie Heaven Can Wait. When I introduced myself to him, I made the first mistake that someone who is younger and doesn’t know him can make. I said ‘Nice to meet you, Jack.’ I was promptly informed that I should henceforth refer to him as Mr. Snow. For each time I called him Jack, he would grow continuously irritated with me. Not wanting to get off on the wrong foot with one of the great sources of information about not only the Rams, but also football in general, I made it a point to remember to always address him as Mr. Snow. To some, that might sound like he is being arrogant, but as he told me, he was always taught to respect his elders and I should too. The more I remembered to address him correctly and the more I got to know him, I began to see that Mr. Snow was one of the funniest, most genuine people around. He even told me that there would come a day where I would be able to call him Jack. Of course, he would let me know when that day came. I saw him on multiple occasions stick up for people who couldn’t stick up for themselves. He was always ready with some sort of sarcastic comment or witty retort at a moment’s notice. But at the end of the day, you always knew he was just having fun. If Mr. Snow didn’t make fun of you or have a joke for you, it probably meant he didn’t like you much. Needless to say, I was on the receiving end of a number of those jokes, but I learned a lot about the history of the organization from him even if I refused to root for Notre Dame as he often tried to get me to do.
As the color analyst for the Rams, many criticized him for being a ‘homer’ for the team. But that’s because he was part of the team. A big part. Anyone who devotes that much time and energy to an organization will inherently have a certain amount of loyalty. Being a Ram was who Mr. Snow was. He loved this organization and he loved everything about being a part of the broadcasts. As recently as the weekend of the Houston game on Nov. 27, Mr. Snow seemed to be in good condition. He became sick soon before the buses left to go to the airport that day. He was taken to the emergency room for a staph infection soon before the buses were to leave. But, always the tough guy, Mr. Snow made it to the airport in time to get on the plane. It was a fashionably late entrance that only he could pull off. But when he arrived in Houston, he was worse for the wear and was unable to broadcast the game. As much pain as he was in then, it pained him just as much to not be there to watch the Rams play as he had been so many times before.
I wasn’t alive to have the pleasure of watching Mr. Snow play football. But I know the amount of time and work he put into his job as the color analyst for the team. I’m certain that he had the same type of drive and desire as a player. For all he accomplished on a football field, Mr. Snow always loved to tell me about his appearance in Heaven Can Wait. In fact, he told me of his role that first day I met him. He even told me that it was the only movie set that Warren Beatty has been on where he was the second-best looking guy there. I, of course, laughed, but was quickly corrected as he pointed out that he was being serious. Perhaps my favorite Mr. Snow anecdote was the story that was retold in former Rams Public Relations Director Rick Smith’s book. During a game, apparently Mr. Snow caught a pass near the sidelines and couldn’t slow his momentum enough to keep from running over actor Telly Savalas. According to the book, Mr. Snow returned to the huddle and blurted out, "I think I just killed Kojak."
Many times in life, good people are taken away from us too soon. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to know Mr. Snow long enough to call him Jack. I guess in this case, Heaven just couldn’t wait.
Re: Wagoner on Snow
Rams' Jack Snow dies
By Dan Caesar
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Rams radio analyst Jack Snow, who also was a standout wide receiver for the club, died Monday night (Jan. 9, 2006) at Barnes-Jewish hospital of complications from a staph infection.
Snow had been there, in critical condition, since shortly before Christmas.
"He battled his illness with great courage and tenacity," said Steve Savard, the Rams' radio-play-by-play broadcaster for the past six seasons who became close friends with his partner. "He was an inspiration to everyone around him, including his doctors and nurses. Jack's family appreciates all the support and love St. Louis fans showed him during his illness."
Snow, 62, broadcast his last game on Nov. 20. He intended to work the Rams' game Nov. 27, in Houston, but became too ill to go on the air that day. He returned to St. Louis with the team after that game, and immediately was hospitalized. His condition eventually improved and he was able to move to a rehabilitation facility. However, he took a turn for the worse shortly before Christmas and he was readmitted to the hospital and was unable to recover.
Rams equipment manager Todd Hewitt fondly recalled his long association with Snow, whom he has know since 1967. Snow was playing for the Rams then and Hewitt was 9 years old and hanging around the team with his dad, who was the equipment manager.
"Jack kind of always took care of me," Hewitt said. "He always teased me, of course. There were times when I was little, the guys would tie me up and throw me in the shower. My dad would be yelling for me, wanting to know why I wasn't doing my work. Jack and the guys would be quiet and I'd be taped up in the shower."
Hewitt returned the kindness recently.
"I had a jersey made up for him, and the whole team signed it," Hewitt said. "They wanted to give it to him after he got home, but they finally took it into the hospital and they said it really perked him up when he saw the players had signed it."
Hewitt recalls that Snow loosened things up in 1973, shortly after the stern Chuck Knox took over as the club's coach. That was Snow's ninth season in the NFL.
"One of Chuck's famous saying was that, 'I'm going to speak softly so you'll have to listen hard,'" Hewitt said. "That's how he'd start meetings. I remember Jack raising his hand and saying, "Coach, can you speak up? We can't here you in the back of the room.'"
Snow remained fiercely loyal to the club through the years, to the point he sometimes drew criticism for sticking up for players through lean times.
"Don't take a shot at my ballclub," he said in an interview last year after a flap developed over his role. "The Rams are like my extended family, they're my surrogate boys."
Hewitt said Snow's emotions were genuine.
"Jack loved the Rams and loved the players," Hewitt said.
Snow had double hip replacement surgery last spring, having the operations done simultaneously so he would be ready when training camp began in July. He thought the deterioration of the joints was related to his long football career. Snow recovered and was back in the booth for the first broadcast this season.
Savard said recently that Snow's doctors didn't think the development of the staph infection was connected to those surgeries, although a hip is one of the places the infection eventually hit.
Snow was a standout receiver for the Rams from 1965-75, finishing fifth in the NFL in receptions (51) in 1970 and ninth that season in receiving yardage (859).
Hewitt recalled a play Snow made long ago for the Rams in a game in Baltimore.
"Roman Gabriel was the quarterback, (threw the ball) and Jack left his feet at about the 5 yard line, diving for the ball," Hewitt said. "About three quarters of the ball had gone though (his hands), but he caught it at about the 1. He caught the back end of the ball, and slid into the end zone on a muddy field.
"Jack was a heck of a player."
Snow was drafted out of Notre Dame in 1965 by Minnesota, but the Vikings traded him to the Rams, for whom he played his entire 11-season NFL career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1967.
"One of the things I remember is that his biggest claim to fame was that he never got caught from behind when he was playing for the Rams," Hewitt said.
Snow was the Rams' receivers coach in 1982 and eventually moved into the club's broadcast booth, and came with the club to St. Louis when it left Los Angeles in 1995.
Snow was an all-city baseball and football player as a high school student in Long Beach, Calif., before heading to Notre Dame. He made the varsity as a sophomore in 1962 as a backup and punter before eventually blossoming as a senior, when he caught 60 passes (second in the NCAA) for 1,114 yards and nine touchdowns and was a first-team All America selection. He finished fifth in balloting for the 1964 Heisman Trophy.
Snow was born Jan. 25, 1943, in Rock Springs, Wyo. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1965 with a degree in psychology.
Among his survivors are daughters Michelle and Stephanie, and a son, J.T. Snow, as well as seven grandchildren. J.T. Snow is a first baseman who signed last week with the Boston Red Sox after playing last nine seasons for San Francisco.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Re: Wagoner on Snow
JACK SNOW'S CAREER
Selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 1965 NFL draft. Traded by Minnesota to the Los Angeles Rams for offensive end Jim Phillips and defensive tackle Gary Larsen, 1965.
YEAR ... GP ... Rec. ... Yards ... Avg. ... TD
1965 ... 14 ... 38 ... 559 ... 14.7 ... 3
1966 ... 14 ... 34 ... 634 ... 18.6 ... 3
1967 ... 14 ... 28 ... 735 ... 26.3 ... 8
1968 ... 14 ... 29 ... 500 ... 17.2 ... 3
1969 ... 14 ... 49 ... 734 ... 15.0 ... 6
1970 ... 14 ... 51 ... 859 ... 16.8 ... 7
1971 ... 14 ... 37 ... 666 ... 18.0 ... 5
1972 ... 14 ... 30 ... 590 ... 19.7 ... 4
1973 ... 14 ... 16 ... 252 ... 15.8 ... 2
1974 ... 14 ... 24 ... 397 ... 16.5 ... 3
1975 ... 10 ... 4 ... 86 ... 21.5 ... 1
Total ... 150 ... 340 ... 6012 ... 17.7 ... 45
Where he ranks with the Rams
-- Fifth in receiving yards, 6,012
-- Seventh in receptions, 340
-- Fifth in touchdown receptions, 45.
At Notre Dame 1962-64
-- 1962: Played split end. Had 4 receptions for 46 yards.
-- 1963: Played split end and flanker. Had 6 receptions for 82 yards. As a punter, he averaged more than 38 yards a kick.
-- 1964: Named consensus first-team All American. Caught more than half of Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte's completions, and was the NCAA's second leading receiver, with 60 catches for 1,114 yards and 9 touchdowns.
TOTAL FOOTBALL, ST. LOUIS RAMS, NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL ENCYCLOPEDIA
Re: Wagoner/PD on Snow
This Is wonderfull "RW" You and "AR" have done a great job with Mr. Snows threads I know Jack Snow would be proud of this thread a long with his family ... Well done ! fair well Jack and thank you form all you have done ... Unfortunately Heaven couldn't wait ....