A few days ago, the NFL lost a legend. Even in his heyday, not many people would have known who he was if you gave them his given name, Oail Andrew Phillips, Jr. But in the late 1970′s, “Bum” Phillips was a household name.
Phillips didn’t look the part of one of the best NFL head coaches of his era. He didn’t have the steely demeanor of Chuck Noll. He wasn’t a staunch disciplinarian like Bud Grant. He wasn’t an animated maniac like John Madden. Rather he was more the guy you’d see filling up his pickup truck if you were buying gas at the gravel-road pumps in Goliad, Texas. From his trademark cowboy hat to his well-worn cowboy boots, and the giant belt buckle in-between, Phillips was the antithesis of the “Playboy” NFL of the 1970′s.
That’s why I loved him.