Jennings Made Jump To Broadcasting After Playing Career

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former Giants punter and broadcaster Dave Jennings died on Wednesday after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 61.

WFAN radio host Mike Francesa opened his show with the news just after 1 p.m. He said he received a call about Jennings’ passing “less than an hour ago” and was asked to say a few words.

“He will be sorely missed,” Francesa said of Jennings. “He had suffered and suffered extensively at the hands of this disease for many, many years. It took away his job first and now it has taken him away at a very young age. He fought a very courageous fight for many years with this. He did it with great grace and great courage.”

Jennings was a four-time Pro Bowler with the Giants. He played from 1974-84 with Big Blue and ended his career with the Jets (1985-87).

Jennings took up broadcasting after his playing career, joining the WFAN family as a Jets and Giants commentator. He retired after the 2008 season.

Jennings was inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor in 2011. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader with 931 punts and 38,792 yards.

“Dave Jennings was one of the all-time great Giants,” Giants co-owner John Mara said in a statement. “He was a valued member of the Giants family for more than 30 years as a player and a broadcaster, and we were thrilled to include him in our Ring of Honor. More importantly, he was an outstanding person who battled his illness with rare courage and dignity. We will miss him dearly.”

Jennings died at his home in Upper Saddle River, N.J., the Giants said.

“Dave was the very first player I met when I came to the Giants,” Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson said in a statement. “When I met him I felt so welcomed. Dave was a guy that everyone not only liked, but loved. Anyone who knew Dave would say he was a great guy.”

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