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Former New York Giants Punter Dave Jennings Passes Away at 61

June 19th, 2013 at 4:15 PM
By Paul Tierney

Today, the New York Giants lost a notable member of their football family. Four-time Pro-Bowler and 14-year NFL veteran Dave Jennings lost his bout with Parkinson's disease at his home in Upper Saddle River, NJ. He was 61 years old.

Soon after the team announced Jennings' death, Giants President and CEO John Mara released a public statement stressing the importance of Jennings' role within the organization not just during his 11 seasons with the team as a player, but as a broadcaster as well.

“Dave Jennings was one of the all-time great Giants,” Giants owner John Mara said. “He was a valued member of the Giants family for more than 30 years as a player and a broadcaster, and we were thrilled to include him in our Ring of Honor. More importantly, he was an outstanding person who battled his illness with rare courage and dignity. We will miss him dearly.”

Jennings came to the Giants in 1974 after making making the all-conference team in three consecutive years at St. Lawrence University. He played 11 years for the Giants, making the Pro Bowl in 1978, 1979,1980 and 1982. In 1984, Jennings left for the New York Jets, where he played for three more season.

After retirement, Jennings became a Jets radio announcer from 1988 through 2001. In 2002, he joined longtime Giants announcers Bob Papa and Dick Lynch and broadcasted Giants games and did postgame interviews until he left football for good in 2006.

''Dave was always a guy that I admired from afar, and when we had an opportunity to add him to the Giants' broadcast team – when John Mara brought him back to the Giants family – it was a treat to work with Dave,'' Papa said. ''He was meticulous in his preparation and Dave was a leader in rules interpretations. Dave knew all the rules. Whenever something came up, you could always turn to Dave and you knew he would get the rule correct and that was going to serve the audience best."

Once a Giant, always a Giant. Giants 101 sends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dave Jennings during this tremendously difficult time.

Also…

Tags: Bob Papa, Dave Jennings, Dick Lynch, Football, Jets, John, John Mara, New York, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, St. Lawrence University

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8 Responses to “Former New York Giants Punter Dave Jennings Passes Away at 61”

  1.  TuckThis says:

    Always a classy guy. RIP.

  2.  BigBlueGiant says:

    R.I.P

  3.  James Stoll says:

    Remember him fondly. A bright spot during the dark ’70′s

  4.  Chad Eldred says:

    Very sad. Given how awful the teams were during most of his tenure, Jennings was a guy whose talent was much needed by his team and appreciated by the fans. Condolences to his family and friends.

  5.  Dirt says:

    Anyone with an opinion want to dig up some actual stats on injuries per kick return and injuries per rush on a league wide basis?

    While you look it up (I won’t, and I also won’t foolishly surmise that there is a higher risk without actual evidence), Domenik Hixon (the receiver, not the returner who never got hurt doing it), Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs all say hi on their repaired extremities.

    So does Devin Hester, who made a career out of burning scrubs on specials.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      Really???? You’re the guy asking for evidence yet you rant about rules to prevent head injuries with ABSOLUTELY NO evidence to make you’re case. Yeah, try to take the intellectual high ground now. Hold yourself to your own standard before lecturing anyone else.

    •  jfunk says:

      For what it’s worth, this site does show it as the most injury-producing play almost every year. followed closely by running and passing plays:

      http://www.advancednflstats.com/2011/09/will-new-kickoff-rules-really-reduce.html

      I suspect the true concern on ST from the league is probably concussions. Much higher probability that the collisions will be at a higher speed after long straight line sprints vs a scrimmage play.

      My opinion on keeping your stars off specials in general is a little different though. The way I see it, each snap taken on specials is a snap lost on offense. While you can argue that overall production yardage wise for the individual player may make the specials look more productive, it discounts the potential impact the player could have on the offense overall even when he isn’t accumulating stats. In other words, having your star RB in the backfield may help your WRs get open simply by forcing the defense to account for him even if he doesn’t get the ball.

      •  Krow says:

        I think we’d need to refine it some. Comparing a runback to every running play … or every passing play probably isn’t fair. I wonder where (say) a quick slant over the middle stands in the injury derby? Or a QB option run?

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