David “Deacon” Jones used to channel a lot of hate to play defensive end for the Rams. The 70-year-old Pro Football Hall of Famer still has it.
Jones told the Los Angeles Times that he’s upset his former team has yet to retire his No. 75. And that’s a nice way of putting it. Jones actually called the decision “asinine.”
The Rams have retired six numbers, with the majority of the players coming from the Los Angeles era — Bob Waterfield (7), Eric Dickerson (29), Merlin Olsen (74), Jackie Slater (78) and Jack Youngblood (85). Marshall Faulk, whose entire Rams stay came in St. Louis, had his No. 28 retired in 2008 (and, yes, Slater played one season in St. Louis). Jones is a member of the St. Louis Ring of Honor, despite having never played in the city as a Ram.
Jones is credited for coining the term “sack,” and here’s his reasoning for the name, as told to the Times:
- “You take all the offensive linemen and put them in a burlap bag, and then you take a baseball bat and beat on the bag,” Jones says, explaining the term. “You’re sacking them, you’re bagging them. And that’s what you’re doing with a quarterback.”
Jones was never one for being humble:
- “I came as close to perfection,” the former “Secretary of Defense” says, “as you can possibly get.”
- Except he never won a ring.
- “I did it all but one thing in my football career,” he says, “and that was, win that damn championship. Everything else, I double-timed; it wasn’t even close, OK? But within that structure didn’t come a championship, and I live with that every day. I’ve been in the Hall of Fame [nearly] 30 years, and I still can’t dump it.”
And finally, some thoughts on his famous move, the head slap:
- Of his signature move, Jones says, “The headslap was not my invention, but Rembrandt, of course, did not invent painting.”
- Jones, in other words, turned it into a concussive art form.
- “The quickness of my hands and the length of my arms, it was perfect for me,” he says. “It was the greatest thing I ever did, and when I left the game, they outlawed it.
- “I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Times‘ story is well worth a read while you’re ducking working today. Especially if you are a Rams official who hasn’t retired Jones’ number.