Didinger: Why it’s so hard to say goobye to Tommy McDonald


Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles

Hall-of-Famer Tommy McDonald was such a marvelous wide receiver that Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi once said, “If I had 11 Tommy McDonalds I’d win a championship every year.”

But Tommy McDonald was more than a terrific football player. He was a wonderful individual.

That’s the inescapable conclusion after reading Hall-of-Fame writer Ray Didinger’s poignant tribute to  McDonald, who passed away this week at 84.

Didinger, who grew up in and around Philadelphia admiring … and then befriending … McDonald, became so close to the former receiver that he served as McDonald’s presenter at Canton — an induction where McDonald was so joyous that he threw his 25-pound bronzed bust in the air, turned on a radio and danced to disco music.


Yes, Tommy McDonald was one-of-a-kind. He was also a treasure. And so is Didinger’s eulogy, which you can … and should … read here:


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  1. brian wolf
    September 25, 2018

    Tommy McDonald was a great receiver who fearlessly went over the middle and competed to the final whistle of a game. He scored alot of TDs as well and waited a long time to get to the Hall.

    John Sample of the Colts and Jets thought he was the toughest player he ever faced and knew whenever he was facing him, it would be a 60 minute dogfight.

    RIP Tommy

    • September 26, 2018

      Agreed. He gets forgotten in this era of over inflated passing numbers and rules that take defense out of the game. Didinger’s story was superb. Brought the human side to the picture, too. I got an autographed photo from Tommy when I was a kid. Still have it. Up on my wall. Will never forget the guy.

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