Registered: May 2003
Local time: 06:31 AM
Location: Delta House
Former Rams Receiver Jack Snow Dies
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 staph infection. His family was with him when he died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, said Duane Lewis, a team spokesman.
"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.
"This is a very sad time for all of us," Rams owner Georgia Frontiere said. "Jack was a special part of the Rams' family for many years. 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."
In addition to Snow's broadcast duties, he helped out during practice, voluntarily.
"Jack was a true professional," said 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. He was a great, great man."
McCutcheon, a five-time Pro Bowl running back, said he and Snow stayed in almost constant contact ? even after their playing days ended.
"Jack, all the time I knew him, was a pretty healthy guy," McCutcheon said. "To see him have to struggle with this type of thing was gut-wrenching.
"I think Jack had a sense of humor. 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. It's a sad day for everybody who knew him."
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."
Staph bacteria are a common cause of skin infections. Healthy people might carry the bacteria on their skin and in their noses. Still, the germ can cause serious surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections and pneumonia.
Lewis did not know how Snow got the infection, most common among those who live in close proximity to others. That can include sports teams. In fact, the Rams had an outbreak of the infections in 2003.
Five members of the team developed drug-resistant infections after sustaining turf burns, and two or three members of the San Francisco 49ers developed infections after playing the Rams early that season. The outbreak was the subject of an article last year in the New England Journal of Medicine. The players were not identified.
In August, Joe Vitt, who was then linebackers coach, was hospitalized for three days with a staph infection in his left hand. Vitt took over as interim head coach in October, when Mike Martz stepped aside due to endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the lining of the heart.
Snow is survived by three children, J.T., Michelle and Stephanie.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.