This is just so, so awful.
Jeff Dickerson, a sports reporter and journalist who covered the Chicago Bears of the NFL for the last two decades, has died from complications of colon cancer. He was 44 years old.
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Dickerson had joined ESPN Chicago way back in 2001 to cover the city’s professional football franchise, and left his mark as a “true professional” covering the team for two decades before he succumbed to this horrible disease.
Even more tragically, the sports journo, who was placed in a hospice care home last week, died at the same facility where his wife Caitlin Dickerson (pictured above) had tragically died two years prior. Caitlin died at just 36 years old back in 2019 after eight years of battling melanoma. Jeff and Caitlin’s deaths have left their son, Parker, orphaned. Along with the child, Jeff leaves behind his parents, George and Sandy Dickerson, according to media reports.
The radio station ESPN 1000 WMVP-AM in Chicago, where Dickerson was a frequent on-air radio guest during his long tenure covering the Bears, released a statement about the man’s untimely passing, saying:
“Our hearts ache as we share that our teammate & friend, Jeff Dickerson, has passed away. JD was an amazing son, husband, father & friend. We will miss his smile, his love for his family & his love for all the fans of Chicago. You will live in our hearts forever. We love you JD.”
In addition to his work with ESPN and on radio, Jeff got his start at rival Chicago sports radio station The Score, covered Loyola College basketball during the winter months, and served as a broadcaster for a time on Chicago’s local ABC affiliate TV station.
Jonathan Hood, who broadcast college basketball games with Dickerson, called the man a “consummate professional” according to media reports. The Chicago Bears football team evidently believed that to be the case, too, releasing their own statement about JD’s death via ESPN:
“JD took a great deal of pride in his coverage of the Bears for 20 years. He was a true professional and even better person. JD always was one of the first media members to arrive in the press box on game day, with a hello and a smile that could brighten anyone’s day. He was one of a kind and will truly be missed.”
And former players for the Bears are also speaking out now, as well.
Robbie Gould, who was a longtime kicker for both the Bears and the San Francisco 49ers and also co-hosted a radio show with Dickerson, shared his own statement about the late father’s professional work and abilities:
“As a player you can appreciate that the wisdom he put on paper was as neutral and correct as it ever was going to be. It was always going to be your words. It was always going to be what the story was. It was never going to be someone filling in the blanks. Players definitely noticed. He always wrote a true story. He always wrote what was happening at the moment. He didn’t try to back the bus up over somebody. He tried to get it exactly how the story was.”
No doubt that’s a very big compliment in Dickerson’s line of work, especially coming from a player.
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You can hear more about the late sports reporter, gone far too soon, in this NBC Sports Chicago clip from Tuesday in which hosts David Kaplan and Pat Boyle remember Dickerson’s work and legacy:
Such a sad situation. We can’t even imagine what Jeff’s son Parker must be going through, now having lost two parents far too soon in two years’ time.
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been established to benefit Parker — and as of Wednesday night it had already raised nearly half a million dollars.
You can visit and donate to that fundraiser HERE.
[Image via GoFundMe]