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I got to prove to people I’m as good as they are saying. Sure, I got dollar marks for eyes, but I also have pride in my job. I don’t care if I don’t get a pass just as long as I can take two men with me on my pattern."
(Syracuse)...6'2'', 224...John Mackey ... No. 2 draft pick, 1963 ... Prototype tight end with breakaway speed, ability to avoid tackles, strong blocker ... Long-distance threat who scored six TDs over 50 yards, 1966 ... Caught deflected pass for 75-yard TD, Super Bowl V ... Career record: 331 catches, 5,236 yards, 38 TDs ... Three-time All-NFL, played in five Pro Bowls ... Second tight end to enter Hall ... Born September 24, 1941, in New York, New York ... Died July 6, 2011, at age of 69.
John Mackey was only the second player who performed strictly as a tight end to become a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 6-2, 224-pound Syracuse University star joined the Baltimore Colts as a No. 2 draft pick in 1963 and quickly established himself as a premier performer at his position.
He played nine seasons with the Colts and then finished his 10-year career with the San Diego Chargers in 1972. Mackey was not like other tight ends of his day, who were typically thought of as just another tackle on the line of scrimmage. John added another dimension to the position. His breakaway speed made him a legitimate long-distance threat. In 1966 for instance, six of his nine touchdown receptions came on plays of 51, 57, 64, 79, 83 and 89 yards.
Even though leg and knee injuries combined to cut short his career, he was a durable performer who missed only one game in 10 years. Mackey started every game as a rookie and then became the only first-year star to be picked for that year's Pro Bowl. He also played in four other Pro Bowls during the 1960s. For three straight years in 1966, 1967 and 1968, he was the NFL's all-league tight end.
In 10 seasons, the one-time NFL Players Association president caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns. As a rookie, he caught 35 passes for 726 yards and a career high 20.7-yard average. That year, the Colts also utilized his speed as a kickoff return specialist and he averaged 30.1 yards on nine returns. Perhaps his most famous single play came in Super Bowl V when he grabbed a deflected pass from Johnny Unitas that produced a 75-yard touchdown, a Super Bowl record at the time.
1964 NFL – Cleveland Browns 27, Baltimore Colts 0
Mackey started at tight end. He caught one pass for two yards.
1968 NFL – Baltimore Colts 34, Cleveland Browns 0
Mackey started at tight end. He caught two passes for 34 yards and ran the ball twice for four yards.
1970 AFC – Baltimore Colts 27, Oakland Raiders 17
Mackey started at tight end. He caught one pass for 14 yards.
1971 AFC – Miami Dolphins 21, Baltimore Colts 0
Mackey did not start. He had one reception for six yards.
Super Bowl III – New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7
Mackey started at tight end. He had three receptions for 35 yards.
Super Bowl V – Baltimore Colts 16, Dallas Cowboys 13
Mackey started at tight end. He had 2 receptions for 80 yards and one touchdown.
All-NFL: 1966 (AP, UPI, NEA, PFWA, NY), 1967 (AP, NEA, NY), 1968 (AP, UPI, NEA, NY, PW)
All-NFL Second Team: 1967 (UPI)
All-Conference: 1966 (SN), 1967 (SN), 1968 (SN)
All-Pro: 1968 (PFWA, PW)
(5) – 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
(at time of his retirement following 1972 season)
Super Bowl Records
• [1st] Longest Pass Reception, Game – 75 (vs. Dallas, Super Bowl V)
Colts’ records held by Mackey
(Records through the 1971 season, Mackey’s final season with Baltimore)
• [1st] Longest Pass Reception, Game – 89 (vs. Los Angeles, Oct. 30, 1966)
• [1st] Longest Pass Reception, Super Bowl – 75 (vs. Dallas, Jan. 17, 1971)
Team Statistical Championships
Pass Reception Titles: 1968
• NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1960s
• NFL's 50th Anniversary Team
Full Name: John Mackey
Birthdate: September 24, 1941
Birthplace: New York, New York
Died: July 6, 2011
High School: Hempstead (New York, NY)
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 25, 1992
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 1, 1992
Other Members of Class of 1992: Lem Barney, Al Davis, John Riggins
Pro Career: 10 seasons, 139 games
Drafted: 2nd round (19th overall) in 1963 by Baltimore Colts
Uniform Number: #88 with Baltimore, #89 with San Diego