It was an emotional halftime ceremony at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, as the family of the late great John Mackey helped honor the former SU Star's legacy. Mackey, who is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, passed away in July at age 69 after a long struggle against dementia. Mackey had his jersey retired at the Dome back in 2007, and his widow Sylvia says today was another significant moment towards the memory of her late husband.
"To come right from Syracuse right from our beginning," reflects Sylvia Mackey, "right from when we first started right here in Syracuse, fell in love, moved on, and now we're right here after his passing. He's left a legacy of being just wonderful to all people."
Mackie played for the Orange from 1960 through 1962, had 27 receptions for 481 yards and scored six touchdowns. The Hall of Famer was also a former member of the NFL Players' Association, and has left his mark in the fight for player safety on the field. But any celebration involving the Syracuse Orange hold a special place for the Mackie family as a whole.
"This also would have been his 70th birthday today, and also 51 years ago this month is when I met John at the corner of Crouse and Marshal street, that was the beginning of my meeting the love of my life."
Click on the video link for more from the ceremony.