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Paul Zimmerman
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Commentator
    (October 23, 1932-November 1, 2018)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Sportswriter for the New York Post (1966-79) and Sports Illustrated (1979-2008)
    Wrote ‘A Thinking Man’s Guide to Professional Football’ (1970) and ‘The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Professional Football’ (1984)
    Nicknamed ‘Dr. Z’
    He noted, ‘There’s a thin line between working hard and obsession, and I think I’ve crossed the line.’
    He charted everything that occurred during a football game, including how long it took to sing the national anthem.
    When his first marriage was disintegrating and his wife wanted to talk about their relationship, his response was ‘Can’t we talk about it at halftime?’
    He was so upset when a younger colleague used his desk, he smashed his keyboard against the floor.
    A Sports Illustrated fact checker noted, 'He took it as an affront that you would question anything he said about the NFL.'
    His weekly mailbag column frequently sprinkled admittedly bad puns and jokes in with his answers to readers.
    At the Post, he doubled as the wine columnist.
    He wrote the ‘Sports Illustrated’ cover story for 14 Super Bowls.
    The New York Times wrote that he had ‘the rare gift of being interesting and technical at the same time.’
    He mellowed a lot during his second marriage.
    Model Brooklyn Decker, who teamed with him for a humorous web series discussing football, said, ‘I was expecting him to be an old curmudgeon, and he couldn’t have been any more different than that. He was such a softie. He was so funny.’
    He correctly predicted that the underdog New York Giants would beat the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
    He received the highest honor of the Pro Football Writers of America, the Dick McCann Award (1996).

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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