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Punter, broadcaster Dave Jennings dies at 61

davejennings Getty Images

Dave Jennings, a four-time Pro Bowl punter who played for the Giants and Jets and became a broadcaster for both teams after his playing career ended, has died at the age of 61.

Jennings, who had suffered from Parkinson’s disease since 1996, died at his home this morning, the Giants have announced.

“Dave Jennings was one of the all-time great Giants,” Giants owner John Mara said. “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 didn’t play high school football and went to St. Lawrence University as a basketball player, but he had a naturally strong leg and decided to walk on as a punter. He ended up being a three-time all-conference football player, and the Giants invited him to training camp in 1974. He spent 11 seasons as the Giants’ punter and then punted for three more years for the Jets, and he was a Pro Bowler in 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1982. After retiring as a player he worked both Jets games and Giants games as a radio announcer.

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20 Responses to “Punter, broadcaster Dave Jennings dies at 61”
  1. fdugrad says: Jun 19, 2013 1:47 PM

    This is very sad to hear. RIP

  2. bigbluefan11 says: Jun 19, 2013 1:50 PM

    At one point in the 70’s, he was the Giants offense. Overshadowed as a punter by Ray Guy, but extremely talented in his own right. I remember my father looking at the Giants stats one particularly bad season and saying “At least we have Jennings. imagine how sh***y we’d be without him.”

  3. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jun 19, 2013 1:52 PM

    RIP

  4. whatnojets says: Jun 19, 2013 1:56 PM

    Sad, very sad!

    RIP Dave

  5. barrywhererufrom says: Jun 19, 2013 2:01 PM

    Sad to hear..as a Jets fan Jenning’s did a great job as a punter and broadcaster. He never sugar coated when the team messed up. As a Giant when they were putrid he was sometimes the best weapon on the team. RIP Dave..you will be missed

  6. thesteelers says: Jun 19, 2013 2:05 PM

    I don’t understand why people find it so tragic when someone dies. When we die, where ever we go, even if into nothingness, it has to be a better place than it is here.

    Dave Jennings, your next journey awaits.

  7. kd75 says: Jun 19, 2013 2:11 PM

    First Dick Lynch, now Dave Jennings. Carl Banks better watch his back and keep up with his life insurance premiums.

    RIP Dave. Fun to listen to you on the radio all those years. Your dry sense of humor and knowledge of football influenced my life.

  8. szwhtsup123 says: Jun 19, 2013 2:15 PM

    That sucks. Bless you and RIP Dave.

  9. sdelmonte says: Jun 19, 2013 2:24 PM

    Damn.

    Great player, great broadcaster. One of the few that fans on both sides of the new stadium will mourn.

    RIP.

  10. roadtrip3500 says: Jun 19, 2013 2:34 PM

    There are no punters in the HOF – after Ray Guy, Dave Jennings has to be the second punter inducted.

    In the radio booth, he was known as a rules guru, regularly calling penalties on the air before the yellow flag hit the field. Even though it was radio, when Dave broke down a play, you had little confusion about what just happened.

    Enjoyed watching him in the Yale Bowl in 74, Shea in 75, and the rest of his Giants career in Giants Stadium. We called him “Crazy Dave” back then for his humor and seemingly acrobatic high leg kick… RIP Crazy Dave.

  11. faulkana says: Jun 19, 2013 2:52 PM

    Mr. Jennings used to punt balls at the farm of a family friend in Vermont. That was back in ’71 or ’72. My brothers and I were just little kids vacationing there at the time. Mr. Jennings pulled us over a fence when a bull was coming towards us. We always credited him with saving our lives. I am sure that we exaggerated the story some in our minds, but it has always been kind of cool to say that Dave Jennings saved our lives.
    I am sorry to hear that he is gone. I don’t remember him very well, but I know that my folks were very fond of him.

  12. foosballisthedevil says: Jun 19, 2013 2:57 PM

    RIP Dave. I love the special teams of the game and he made it more special.

    Meanwhile in Atlanta AM radio stations remain silent……

  13. hendawg21 says: Jun 19, 2013 3:28 PM

    Well although he played for the Giants, i’d like to say RIP from Redskin Nation.

  14. kingpel says: Jun 19, 2013 3:32 PM

    I used to love listening to Dave on WFAN. RIP.

  15. catfish252 says: Jun 19, 2013 3:33 PM

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Jennings Family. Thank you Dave for all the excitement you brought to the games each week, you’ll be missed.

  16. jdvalk says: Jun 19, 2013 3:47 PM

    Condolences to his family and friends.

  17. bbk1000 says: Jun 19, 2013 5:30 PM

    RIP Dave Jennings…

  18. censoredagain says: Jun 19, 2013 6:48 PM

    RIP Dave, and thanks for everything. You’ll be missed!

  19. bills399 says: Jun 19, 2013 8:01 PM

    I actually knew Dave and used to work out with him about 10 years ago. I always thought he had Parkinson’s but he never said anything to me so I never asked. he had an extremely dry sense of humor and was great at telling old stories. I haven’t seen him in 10 years but I will truly miss him.

  20. bookofelisha10 says: Jun 19, 2013 8:11 PM

    RIP- to young to ever see him on the field but i do remember my dad talking about him alot- have his football card still from when i used 2 collect em in my teen years.

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