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."
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