The world of professional football lost one of the members of the old guard on Friday, as legendary coach Bum Phillips passed away at the age of 90.
Phillips was the head coach of both the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints during his time in the National Football League, in addition to various coordinator positions he held. As the defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers from 1967 to 1970, Phillips was among the first to make the switch to the 3-4 defense, something that his son Wade (a former NFL head coach and the current defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans) has carried on.
Bum Phillips enlisted in the Marine Corps shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and became one of the elite Marine Raiders. Phillips was also active in charitable work after his coaching days finished, particularly those for the hearing impaired.
More than anything, however, Bum Phillips was known for his big personality.
There was one story from the story that CBS Sports did upon hearing of his death that I hadn't heard, but found particularly funny.
But the best story I ever heard from Phillips was when he was talking about (Sid) Gillman and his love of film-watching. One late night, the two of them were watching film, and Phillips was beginning to fall asleep when Gillman startled him awake by saying, "Hey Bum, this is better than making love."
Responded Phillips: "Either I don't know how to watch film, Sid, or you don't know how to make love."
(When Phillips told me that story, he slyly remarked that the language might have been a little more blue than that.)
Yeah. . .I'm guessing that it probably was.
We extend our condolences to the Phillips family at this time.