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December 26, 2004
Reggie White, RIP

One of the greats of the NFL has died today at the terribly young age of 43. Reggie White, a man who played fearsome defense as a defensive end for Philadelphia and Green Bay and worked tirelessly for his faith the rest of the time, died of apparent complications from sleep apnea, according to the reports on ESPN tonight. USA Today carried this AP report earlier:

Reggie White, a fearsome defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers who was one of the great players in NFL history, died Sunday, his wife said. He was 43. The cause of death was not immediately known. ...

A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and ordained minister who was known as the "Minister of Defense," White played a total of 15 years with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina. He retired after the 2000 season as the NFL's all-time leader in sacks with 198. The mark has since been passed by Bruce Smith.

"Reggie White was a gentle warrior who will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history," NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said. "Equally as impressive as his achievements on the field was the positive impact he made off the field and the way he served as a positive influence on so many young people."

As a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings, the sight of Reggie White bearing down on the quarterback made me nervous for 15 years. Even though I rooted against him, his skills and his sportsmanship made it impossible to dislike him. He made the game fun for the fans and tried in his short life to build stronger communities through his belief in Jesus Christ. His passing saddens me, especially since I believed that White had so much more to teach us, but I feel comforted knowing that the Lord will look after him now.

Rest in peace, Mr. White, and thank you for all you gave us.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 26, 2004 8:11 PM

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