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Jim Zorn's final visit with George Michael

George Michael had a unique relationship with the Redskins, from his exclusive interviews with owner Daniel Snyder to the training camp seminars he offered players on dealing with the media. Perhaps for that reason, Jim Zorn met with the team Thursday morning to talk about how large a figure George Michael was, and to tell his players about Michael's death.

But Zorn took it a step further after Thursday's practice, when he talked about his final visit with Michael. Zorn--who did his weekly coach'ss show with Michael during his first season with the Skins--heard how ill Michael was, and went to the hospital Wednesday afternoon to visit with Michael one more time. Michael was sedated and unresponsive, Zorn said, but they still had a conversation of sorts.

"I got to hold his hand," Zorn said. "I got to talk with him about football. I got to talk with him about what he has meant to me. I got to pray with him....I got to yell at him, because he's always yelled at me. But I have fond, fond memories. You know, he was a real legend in my history, having The George Michael Sports Machine. I really loved the relationship that I had with him here, I have a lot of respect for him, and I absolutely loved working with him last year on the TV program that we did together with he and Sonny. Because I just sat back and watched, and it was like two brothers fighting with each other during the breaks. It was hilarious.

"You know, he just is one of these guys that has a spark with everything he does. He brings life to the things that he's interested in, and you'd better hang on, because he's got some great lectures for you. You kind of hate while they're going on, but you love sort of the man after they're done, because he still loves you. So he's meant a lot to everybody.

"I feel very sad for his family, especially [his wife] Pat and his children, who lost a tremendous husband and father. He's meant a lot to a lot of [the media members] right here I'm sure, with all of his antics and special words and actions. I mean, I could go on and on, I'm kind of rambling, but you would understand why. I just want to wish his family well. We're hurting here with the Redskins. He had special relationships with the Redskins team, the Redskins organization, Mr. Snyder, [and] Dan's father as well. He's going to be sincerely missed, he was sincerely revered, and that's the way it should be. We're going to have some great memories in years to come."

I asked what sort of football talk the two men had on Wednesday, and as always, Zorn was brutally honest.

"I told him how embarrassed I was last week," the coach said. "I told him I was glad he didn't see the game. And then I talked to him about the Cowboys game, what we're going to try to do."

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 24, 2009; 2:43 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Jim zorn is a class act till the end. With everything swirling around him he takes the time and effort to visit a guy who he had a pretty short relationship with. That could not have been easy. I'm sure there are guys who have known George longer and better who didn't go to these lengths. Good for zorn.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 24, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

zorn is amazing, and that more than anything else is why this year's fall is so sad. Qualified for the job or not, everyone let him down, not the other way around.

Posted by: Terrierag | December 24, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Jim Zorn's great character is why I still support him as the Redskins head coach. He is the type of man that doesn't lead by manipulating his players via threats or hype, but instead he leads by example and by caring for those around him.

Has he been a perfect coach? No. Is he smart enough to learn from his mistakes? Absolutely. If Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder would work with Zorn, give him the players he wants and two or three more years, I believe the Redskins would do great things.

I will miss George Michael; he was a great sports reporter.

Posted by: SkinsFan2111 | December 24, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Zorn may not be the best coach in the world but he is one classy man.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | December 24, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Zorn may not be the best coach in the world but he is one classy man.
Agree entirely with this post.

George was a showman, but he showed a lot of compassion; I can recall how he did a show from his farm as a punch of "animals" were doing unthinkable things to horses and he was trying to let the public know what was happening.

Posted by: almelbe | December 24, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Zorn = Class Act

Posted by: bigmiken | December 24, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Reading Zorn's comments and seeing him on the news, you come to appreciate what a quality human being this man is. Whatever life holds for him in the future, I wish him all the best.
RIP George, and thank you for visiting our living rooms for all those years. You will be missed greatly. Godspeed to you.

Posted by: harrelsonw | December 24, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this is just the spark The redskins will need to beat up on Dallas Sunday Night.

Fitting that the Redskins/Cowboys game will be on NBC4.

Maybe The Redskins Dirt band will play for the last time, in tribute to George Michael & The Dallas loss on Sunday.

Shame that I can't get channel 4 here in Florida, but in honor of George, I will be rooting for a Cowboys loss & a Redskins victory.

God & the holy family don't get cable, or ESPN. They now have Darrian Chapman & George Michael to deliver the sports, and Walter Cronkite & Paul Harvey to deliver the news. Impressive show I'd say.

R.I.P. George. You will be missed.

Posted by: Robbnitafl | December 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

None of this surprises me at all. This is the Jim Zorn I have gotten to know for so many years. This is the way he treats all people. Jim is a man of great character and integrity. And I cannot say that enough. Jim has so much to offer as a person that goes way beyond this game of football. I hope when this season ends that he has the opportunity to go down some new paths with his life wherever the Lord may take him next. He deserves far, far better than how he has been treated by the Redskins organization and the media.

Posted by: afriendofzorn | December 25, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Zorn is a guy you want with you when times get tough. He got a bad draw here and was likely not ready to be a HC. But, he is a solid, stand up guy. That counts for a lot, IMO.

Posted by: TheDubb | December 25, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

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