Mandich Memories More Than Just Football

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It was a Twitter feed that informed me Tuesday night (April 26) of the passing of Jim Mandich. And while Twitter is a relatively new social media platform, the old fashioned ideals of personal relationships are what set my mind in motion.

Of all things, I didn't think about Jim Mandich the Michigan Wolverine and Miami Dolphins football great. I thought of the last time I had a conversation with Jim and what he didn't talk about.

I was fortunate to have been able to travel to Green Bay's Lambeau Field last season to watch the Dolphins plays the Packers. I had never been Lambeau Field and this was on my so-called bucket list.

As I stood on the sideline, exchanging pleasantries with Chad Henne, waving at Jake Long and low-fiving Charles Woodson as he ran onto the field, Mandich came over to talk. He was still working radio, covering the Dolphins games despite his battle with cancer.

He was nattily attired in a Dolphin colored long-sleeve shirt, tie and sweater vest. He really looked and sounded great. Along with former U-M assistant coach Bill Sheridan (now with Miami), we discussed Michigan football until Mandich had to get back to the press box for his radio gig.

Even though he was thin, he did not look frail. He had great color in his face, he had excitement in his voice, and was he talking about the future -- the future of Michigan football.

He did not talk about his battle with cancer. He did not talk about doctors' visits or hospital treatments. He just wanted to talk about Michigan.

Last night a tweet told many of us Mandich of Michigan is no longer with us. Like many other M Men and Women, he has left a lasting legacy made by a personal touch.

That is what we will remember.

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