What a terrific public sendoff for Baltimore Colts Hall of Famer John Mackey. The public memorial service that was held at the Cathredral of Mary Our Queen on North Calvert Street featured eulogies and readings by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith, Hall of Famer Floyd Little, teammate-turned-minister Joe Ehrmann as well as Mackey's wife (Sylvia) and son (Kevin).
It was pretty cool to hear Goodell (who we all agree is a huge upgrade over former commish Paul Tagliabue) applaud Mackey for his pioneering work as the first president of the NFL players union.
Here's a VIP partial guest list, though I'm sure I'm leaving a lot of people out: Art Donovan, Lenny Moore, Bill Curry, former union director Ed Garvey, Bruce Laird, Tom Matte, Toni Linhart, Sam Havrilak, Marty Domres, Maxie Baughan, Brig Owens and Don McCauley, among others. The Ravens were represented by owner Steve Bisciotti, president Dick Cass and another of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game – general manager Ozzie Newsome. Former NBA star and current Detroit mayor Dave Bing, who met Mackey when bother were at Syracuse, also was among the special guests in attendance.
If you hang around the Web site long enough, you'll be able to read my column on the memorial service, which will be posted soon. If not, drag yourself out of bed in the morning and read it in the Sunday print edition. Don't make me come over to your house and read it to you personally.