I didn’t catch much of the news cycle yesterday as I spent most of the day on the couch sleeping away COVID-19 symptoms, but I did see the terrible news of the passing of long-time Bears beat writer, Jeff Dickerson. And as a father, and a human, it was unfortunate. I wasn’t lucky enough to have met Dickerson, but I was fortunate enough to have read and listened to his work for the last two decades of my life, and that I will miss.
Those who were lucky enough to know Jeff continue to share their stories and memories of Jeff and wish his son, Parker, and the rest of his family well, both locally and nationally.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy opened his mid-week media availability with some kind words and shared memories with Jeff from the coach’s time here in Chicago.
Coach Nagy opened today's presser by offering his thoughts and prayers to Jeff Dickerson’s family, including his son, Parker.
"It's a tough day for all of us." pic.twitter.com/kxcYh9OKBn
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 29, 2021
Eddie Jackson and Darnell Mooney also took time during their media sessions today to send their best wishes to Parker and the rest of the Dickerson family. The local outpouring of sadness and support has been wide-reaching already today. Luis spent some time this morning in today’s bullets sharing some of the best stories and thoughts on JD from many of the Chicago media members that knew him well, but the support has continued throughout the day.
Adam Schefter shared this fantastic piece from a former colleague, Kevin Seifert:
Unspeakably sad: Jeff Dickerson, a fixture at ESPN and in the Chicago sports market for two decades, died Tuesday of complications from colon cancer. He was 44. Thoughts with his 11-year-old son Parker, who now has lost both his parents to cancer. https://t.co/xhdgWZq1uG
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 28, 2021
Courtney Cronin, who covers the Minnesota Vikings currently over at ESPN, put together a touching and personal tribute to Jeff:
Writing is cathartic for me in moments of grief.
Jeff Dickerson's impact on my career and my life span far beyond the words below. I'll never be able to adequately express my gratitude, but I'll try in time by carrying his memory with me as I go on.
Thank you, JD. I love you. pic.twitter.com/cVtH7XVLk9
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) December 29, 2021
Matt Spiegel of The Score, who worked with Jeff during his time as a producer at the score when Jeff was an intern, dating back to the Belmont Avenue days of 670 The Score, had this to say:
Others knew Jeff Dickerson far better, but the impact of his loss has been felt in my life all day. A really wonderful man. Rest peacefully JD. pic.twitter.com/Oqs9xxie2N
As the kind words and memories continue to roll in, the financial support continues to as well.
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie leads all donors with his $10,000 contribution to Parker’s Fund, which has swelled to $377,111 at the time of publishing. Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and the Chicago Blackhawks have each kicked in $5,000 donations, and there are many more generous donors with names you would recognize in the list of donors. Adam Schefter has spent the day pushing the fund to his 8.9 million Twitter followers, reminding us all that that app can indeed be used for good from time to time.
Please consider supporting 11-year-old Parker Dickerson, who lost both his parents to cancer in recent years, including our beloved colleague Jeff Dickerson, who died yesterday of complications from colon cancer at age 44.https://t.co/IsdbyZ1mEL
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2021
Obvious Shirts is pitching in with a shirt/sweatshirt design honoring Jeff with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Parker’s Fund as well, and they’re reporting that they’ve already raised $15,000 through the sale of the JD shirts on their site!
Between the Twitter heavyweights pushing the fund, pro athletes and team owners, and the loyal Chicago sports community, I wouldn’t be surprised if Parker’s Fund cracked a half-million by tomorrow, and that’s proof of the power of the reputation left behind by Jeff Dickerson. Jeff touched many lives, whether as a friend, family member, colleague, or even simply your voice for Chicago Bears news and analysis for the last 20 years.