Bye to Ol' Spaghetti Legs

TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

It was only right. Jackie Parker's memorial was standing room only.

Edmonton said goodbye to a legend - The Legend - in a large room off the west concourse of Commonwealth Stadium Nov. 10.

The memorial was as classy as the man himself, the personal tributes capturing the life and times of not only Jackie Parker the football great but Jack Parker great guy and good man. It was mixed with laughter and put lumps in the throats of the throng of hundreds who were there.

Don Getty, the former premier and Parker's backup quarterback, was chosen by the family to offer a tribute.

Getty said to look back, it's remarkable.

"How could a young man who grew up in a shack in Tennessee make that kind of an impact on a northern part of Canada? But he did.

"Somehow he captivated us, fans, friends and teammates. He helped us create a group of people we can call the Eskimo family. He was a symbol of that family and for a time, its leader, this Tennessee hillbilly.''

Getty said he'll go to his grave believing Parker was the greatest player in any league ever.

"I'm convinced he was better than any of them. The best I've ever seen. And he never tried to bring attention to himself.''

Jackie's son Jack Jr. spoke last and said he'll remember his dad on his deathbed, too.

He told of the last days in hospital when his dad asked him to see if the others near him in the hospital needed anything.

"In his last days he was more concerned about everybody else. It doesn't get any better than that.''


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