A throwback in time: Ode to John

by George Veras
President/CEO Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprise. Veras was a producer at CBS Sports from 1981-1994.

Special to Profootballhof.com

I have been at a far distance in your life, yet in those brief interludes of exchange, I have always felt you there in so many ways. Your All-Madden team trophy number two is right on my desk. . .and I laugh every time I read that someone has “access to a NFL Draft Room.”  Do you remember, we were the first. . .1983, Dick Vermeil and Carl Peterson let us inside for the pick of number one wide receiver Mike Quick of North Carolina State? That was a nine-minute feature on CBS Sports Saturday. Sandy Montag wasn’t even on the bus.

You have brought such incredible joy to so many with your passion for America’s game. . at so many different levels. My 13-year-old right tackle would not be there or derive so much joy from the pleasure of teamwork and physical contact, had it not been for your EA Sports Games. Our viewing pleasure with my four sons is indescribable. . .how we held you up against all others, and gleefully rejoiced in your insight which made everything else seem pale and bland in comparison.

Your dedication to your craft reminds me of Socrates preaching to his disciples…not of duty, not an obligation, but out of sheer love. . but in your case, a love shared by millions and one that is very much a part of the American persona.

You leave like you left coaching…on top, with no regrets, which adds even more to your legend on the Mt. Everest  of announcing. There is nothing that you have not done in that way and it is for that, that you are so admired and revered. Yes, you might not have impacted foreign policy, environmental issues, or world security, but you have given so many such pleasure and passion that one wonders if that is not better than the platitudes of politicians.

I know that this is all true and not an exaggeration  because as much as I will miss hearing you and be forced to drown in mediocre expressions of a supposed “knowledge of the game,”, the fact that I can distinguish that fact means that you gave me the ability to know excellence from average. For that, I will always thank you and not regret not hearing you intone insight and wisdom, but at least I know the difference.

Congrats on all and I hope you enjoy your health, family and friends on the sunset of great accomplishments.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises, is a for-profit organization established in 2006 to develop marketing programs and conduct. Enterprises, under the leadership of George Veras, President/CEO, is now engaged in the creation of commercial ventures featuring Hall of Famers, including television, new media, merchandise, sponsorships and events. Proceeds from Enterprises operations will benefit the Pro Football Hall of Fame and its Enshrinees Assistance Fund, (both 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit educational and charitable organizations), as well as the Hall of Famers.

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