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RIP Johnny "Lam" Jones


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  • #16
    The NY Times obit for Lam Jones, which appeared in today's print edition, was written by Frank Litsky, who passed away in October.

    Jones won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics and signed pro football’s first million-dollar contract, with the Jets. But N.F.L. stardom eluded him.


    • #17
      I wonder how many pre-obits written by Litsky are on file. Over the past 15 years there were probably a lot of infirm and elderly sports heroes that were candidates for such treatment.


      • #18
        A great look back at Jones' incredible '76 season.

        Lam Jones' 1976 meteoric rise began in Brownwood

        During summer meets measured in meters, Jones qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100. At the Trials, Jones qualified for the Olympic team in the 4x100 relay and the 100. At the Montreal Olympics — the ones known for gymnast Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10 — Jones’s events were all that mattered to folks back home in Texas. He finished sixth in the 100 in 10.27.

        A week later, in front of 70,000 spectators, he joined Harvey Glance, Millard Hampton and Steve Riddick on the Olympic gold-medal U.S. 4x100 relay team that set a world record with a time of 38.33 seconds.

        Less than 24 hours later, on Aug. 1, 1976, Jones was due to arrive in a private plane back home in Lampasas. Rudnicki was there and witnessed something as unforgettable as the state meet.

        “Everybody was there from little grade-school kids to 80-year-old ladies, and they were all sweating in the hot sun in the middle of the summer,” Rudnicki said. “It was one of those scenes that was surreal — the anticipation of the conquering hero from a small town who was still an amateur athlete and had won a gold medal for his country.

        “It was Americana at its best in a lot of ways. It was a scene that has since fallen by the wayside in the Olympics now, with all the professionalism and the top athletes doing commercials for Disneyland,” Rudnicki said.


        • #19
          Frank Rudnicki... now there's a name from the past!


          • #20
            The 4x100 time wasn't a world record.


            • #21
              Headline: Column: Jones’ legendary race remains in state meet lore