|Thursday, July 07, 2011 – John Patti, Keith Mills|
|John Mackey has died.
The retired Hall of Fame Tight End of the Baltimore Colts died Wednesday night in Baltimore.
Mackey had been battling dementia for several years.
The Hall of Famer grew up on Long Island and played for the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1971. He played for the San Diego Chargers in 1972.
Mackey was a principal in one the most famous plays in NFL championship history during Super Bowl V in 1971, catching a pass from John Unitas after the ball first bounced off the hands of receiver Eddie Hinton and then grazed the fingertips of Cowboys All-Pro defensive back Mel Renfro. The ball caromed further down-field into the waiting arms of Mackey, who ran untouched for a (then) Super Bowl-record 75-yard touchdown reception. Baltimore won the game, 16-13, on Jim O’Brien’s 32-yard field goal with five seconds left.
Former Baltimore Colt Stan White tells WBAL’s Keith Mills that Mackey had been in “a vegetative state here for a while. However,for a long time he had been in such great physical shape, he just didn’t know who anybody was. It has been a tough 5 or 10 years for John Mackey.”
John Mackey was 69.