It is my sad duty to inform that another great Philadelphia legend, Johnny Sample, has passed away.
In the opinion of serious football fans, Johnny was one of the greatest cornerbacks (along with another Philadelphian, Herb Adderly) of all time. He won three championships, two with the Baltimore Colts and the historic Super Bowl III with the NY Jets. He authored "Confessions Of A Dirty Ballplayer", which was a landmark book for its time. Known as for his voracious, agressive style of play, Johnny was also poetry in motion, the supremely gifted athlete. Indeed, his longtime radio show on WHAT 1340 AM used to tout that he played an incredible number of sports competitively. He was a top tennis player in the country (I believe he won a doubles championship, and was a top 5 singles player), and embraced the game with a passion that we audiophiles can appreciate.
Of course, Johnny's life was not all peaches and cream. His son, John B. Sample III, died a few years ago, and it is said there is nothing more devastating for a person to experience in life. Listening to him often discuss the situation, one got a true insight into the humanity of the man. Despite being the toughest of men, he was big enough to cry. His teenage grandson, John B. Sample IV, carries on the name. His 10 year old daughter, Sabrina, was THE focus of his life.
Despite being a vocal member of the Black Power Movement and a member of The Nation Of Islam, Johnny loved all people, and one could see that his true dream was for this country to strive to truly fulfill its destiny.
Some of Johnny's closest friends were Joe Namath, Jim Brown, Wilt Chamberlain, Sonny Hill, and current boxing champion Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins.
I loved listening to Johnny's radio show prior to it being dropped in the summer of 2004, and he was most impressive figure at the Eagles next day news conferences in my mind. I got to know and love him by listening to him over the years on the radio.
There will never be another Johnny Sample, a incredibly unique man, who lived a memorably historic life.
May God bless him,