Legendary NFL writer Paul Zimmerman died at the age of 86 yesterday. Better known to some readers as “Dr. Z,” Zimmerman provided in depth game analysis and opinion to Sports Illustrated for 29 years.
He was someone that wrote about offensive line play when linemen got no love. He used his VCR to make sure he watched every game each week long before the invention of NFL Sunday Ticket.
His career began as a beat writer. He covered the Jets locally in New York. He was also providing a regular column on wine to the papaer during that time. In the pages of SI, Dr. Z would pick games weekly, choose his own all-pro teams at season’s end, and go out of his way to profile players he felt were under appreciated. Among his other credits, Zimmerman served as one of ESPN’s original draft experts and authored multiple books. His most successful was The Thinking Man’s Guide to Football.
Paul Zimmerman’s writing career ended after a stroke in 2008. He is survived by his wife Linda and their two children.