A letter from The MMQB’s editor-in-chief

By Peter King
July 05, 2016

We’re getting on with the business of football this week, three weeks before the opening of training camps and serious prep for the 2016 season. Before we do, I want to send my sincere thanks to all those who made a great Dr. Z Week possible last week. Thanks to:

Paul and Linda Zimmerman. As the best football writer of our lives struggles with the effects of three 2008 strokes, rendering him unable to communicate or read or enjoy the game the game he once mastered, Paul and Linda allowed their lives to be opened up to the world at a painful time for them. His writing, in the Archie Manning and Jack Lambert and Howie Long profiles last week, and his wonderful take on a life in journalism, reminded all of what we are missing—and taught a young generation of football fans what great sports writing is.

 

You, the readers. Responding to Paul’s story and pain, as of this morning nearly 650 of you donated large and small amounts, totaling more than $46,000. You dug deep, and Linda and Paul are touched. Thank you. We are keeping the GoFundMe page open though the rest of this week. Tell your friends there’s still time to help.

The NFL community. Colts owner Jim Irsay stepped up with a $50,000 donation, emotionally received with deep gratitude by the Zimmermans, and two other teams stepped forward, anonymously, with donations of $10,000 apiece. Good-hearted people doing good things.

The money raised will help Paul stay in a top assisted-living facility. The medical care he’s needed has drained his savings and, at 83, so much of the continuing care he needs is not covered by his regular insurance. This will allow Paul and Linda the peace of mind that good care will give him over the next year-plus.

The writers who told such good stories about Dr. Z and his effect on their lives: former player and GM and now friend Matt Millen; Pro Football Focus founder Neil Hornsby; ESPN football authority K.C. Joyner; and The MMQB’s Andy Benoit, who wrote an insightful review of Zim’s A Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football and showed how, three decades after its publication, the book still has real meaning to the game and fans today. Also, thanks to Tim Rohan, who, in his first month on the job for The MMQB stepped in and wrote a terrific profile of Dr. Z, a man he’d never met until he was introduced to Paul late last month in New Jersey.

Those in the publishing community who are considering Zim’s unfinished memoirs for publication. Many of you have asked about self-publishing, and that’s also something Linda will consider as she weighs the options. More about that in the weeks to come. There’s a market for this book, and we want to help make it possible.

And to executive editor Mark Mravic of The MMQB. He took such care in culling down the long chapter from the memoirs on Zim’s life in journalism, and in choosing the best-of stories for you to read, and in making the week happen.

• DR Z WEEK: All of the content from The MMQB’s weeklong tribute to Paul Zimmerman

Many of you have asked about the story of the housekeeper who stole money and a valuable coin collection from the Zimmermans’ home. What will become of the woman? What will become of the case? Lawyers are still negotiating a possible settlement, and I will report back to you in a future Monday Morning Quarterback column on the outcome.

I didn’t found The MMQB to be the kind of advocacy journalism site it became last week. But sometimes we need to advocate for something we think is right, and important. I hope the fact that one off-season week was taken up with all Paul Zimmerman, all the time, was a good use of your football week. I know we at The MMQB feel good about it.

It’s touching to know so many of you felt so strongly about a voice that has been silenced for nearly eight years. You read, and you reacted and you gave. You made Paul Zimmerman relevant again. As he should be, forever.

Thank you, one and all.

Questions or comments? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

 

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