The football legend—who coined the word “sack” to describe his signature defensive tackle—died today at the age of 74.
He was born as David Jones. But that wouldn’t do. From his obit in the LA Times:
He said he gave himself the nickname Deacon after joining the Rams because there were too many David Joneses in the local phone book. “Football is a violent world and Deacon has a religious connotation,” he told The Times in 1980. “I thought a name like that would be remembered.”
Merlin Olsen, another member of the Rams’ Fearsome Foursome who died in 2010, once said of his longtime teammate: “There has never been a better football player than Deacon Jones.”
Rest in peace, Deacon.