Jack Snow, an outstanding receiver for the Los Angeles Rams for more than a decade and a longtime radio analyst for the Rams franchise, died on Monday at a hospital in St. Louis. He was 62.
The cause was complications of a staph infection, the Rams said. Snow had double hip replacement surgery last spring. Steve Savard, the Rams' radio play-by-play broadcaster, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently that doctors did not think the infection stemmed from the surgery, although it was eventually present in the hip area.
Playing for the Rams from 1965 to 1975, Snow teamed with quarterbacks Roman Gabriel, John Hadl, and James Harris in passing offenses that helped bring five division championships.
He caught 340 passes for 6,012 yards and 45 touchdowns on teams that were also known for the Hall of Fame defensive players Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, and Jack Youngblood.
"He was one of the few guys we had that would go across the middle and catch that football," Jones told AP. "He was tough -- ?tough as nails.
"Jack had the greatest hands in that time period. 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 was an analyst for the Rams' radio broadcasts in their final three seasons in Los Angeles and continued to work for them when they moved to St. Louis in 1995. He made his final broadcast on Nov. 20, when the Rams played the Arizona Cardinals.
A native of Rock Springs, Wyoming, Snow, 6 feet 2 inches and 210 pounds, was an all-American end at Notre Dame in 1964, finishing second in the nation in receptions, with 60, and fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, won by Irish quarterback John Huarte. The Minnesota Vikings made Snow a first-round draft pick but traded him to Los Angeles soon afterward.
Snow is survived by his son, the Gold Glove first baseman J.T. Snow, who joined the Boston Red Sox last week after nine seasons with the San Francisco Giants, and his daughters Michelle and Stephanie. His wife, Merry, died in 1998.
When Snow played in LA, the Rams' passing game of the late 1940s and 1950s featuring quarterbacks Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin and receivers Tom Fears and Crazy Legs Hirsch was long gone. But celebrities of another sort were at times on the sideline.
As Snow recalled it: "I once ran over Telly Savalas on an out pass. I tippy-toed to stay in bounds and nailed him. I looked down to see who I hit and said, `Oh, my God.' Told my wife that night that I'd KO'd Kojak."