A celebration of Dan Reeves’ life

A celebration of Dan Reeves’ life

His brother Charles, the eldest of four children, spoke first.

He talked about growing up in Bethel Baptist Church, his younger brother’s love of football, and how he tried to share everything he learned from the legendary Bobby Dodd from his time as manager of the Georgia Tech football team.

He talked about his and his brother’s golf trips and about Reeves getting the newlywed cheerleader Pam to go on a first date with him in South Carolina.

“Pam, he worshiped the land you walked on,” Reeves said to Dan Reeves’ widow.

He noted Reeves’ omission from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“I’m sure he’s in God’s Hall of Fame,” Reeves said. “I’ll always miss him.”

Broadcaster Shannon Sharpe, who was drafted by Reeves of Savannah State in the seventh round of the NFL Draft, then spoke. Sharpe noted that he did not prepare any remarks because the speech had written itself for the past 33 years.

He recalled that April 23, 1990, was the first time he had heard Reeves’ voice. He called after the Broncos drafted Sharpe.

Sharpe told stories about his struggles to gain a foothold in the NFL, and how Reeves always had an encouraging word.

“It’s my job to get you on the field; it’s your job to stay there, ”Sharpe said. “Coach Reeves wanted me to succeed.”

Sharpe credited Reeves for leading him to a Hall of Fame career and for “breaking the generation’s curse of poverty” in his family.

Former Falcons kicker Jay Feely followed Sharpe.

“He was tough,” Feely said. “He was tough, but he loved you. You would not let him down.

Feely spoke about Reeves’ dinners Saturday night for team members and officials at roadside matches. Reeves sometimes did magic tricks, but always picked up the tab.

Feely remembered a time when the team was in New Orleans and Reeves ran into Vick at an ATM. It did not work, and Reeves asked Vick how much money he needed. Vick told him $ 1,000. Reeves withdrew some cash and gave $ 1,000 to QB.

Vick, amazed that Reeves had a pile of cash the big one, asked the coach why he was carrying so much money.

“I have not decided whether I should go to the casino or not,” Reeve said.

Pastor Charles Gardner then spoke about Reeves’ work in his church and how the church had a fundraiser to buy land for a parking lot.

Gardner said the church would not need a fundraiser if everyone paid their tithes like Pam and Dan Reeves.

“I grew up as a Baptist, I did not know I had a choice,” Reeves exclaimed, according to Gardner.

Reeves did a lot of community service with the Tommy Nobis Center, Atlanta Food Bank and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His ambition was to improve the lives of others.

Reeves, who coached the Falcons from 1997-2003, died early December 31 at the age of 77 due to complications from a long illness, according to his family.

Reeves appeared in nine Super Bowls as a player (Cowboys), assistant coach (Cowboys) or head coach (Broncos, Falcons). He won two of them: Super Bowl VI as a player and XII as an assistant coach, both with the Cowboys.

In his second season with the Falcons behind quarterback Chris Chandler, running back Jamal Anderson, defender Chuck Smith, linebacker Jessie Tuggle and the rest of the “Dirty Birds”, they went to the Super Bowl.

With Reeves recovering from a quadruple bypass heart surgery along the way.

Reeves finished with the record 201-174-2 as a coach, including 49-59-1 at the Falcons. He was also the head coach of the New York Giants.

Reeves worked in television and also served as a consultant for Georgia State when it investigated whether to start a football program. He also did some work for a radio station in Atlanta.

Reeves was born in Rome on January 19, 1944.

He became a prominent multisport at Americus High School and received a scholarship to play football in South Carolina.

Reeves was tough but fair.

“It was a beautiful service,” Anderson said. “A service that exemplified what he was all about. His faith, family and football. It was great to hear different people speak, but just to see the impact he has had on so many people spanning generations and different organizations. “

Former Falcons offensive lineman Kynan Forney attended the service.

“I have a lot of love for Coach Reeves because he gave me a chance,” Forney said. “I have even more love for him because after I was appointed, he called my mother on the phone and gave her his home number, office and mobile. He gave her his wife’s number and said they would take care of me. Until in Today, my mother is still talking about it. “

caption arrowCaption

Shannon Sharpe speaks at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church during Dan Reeves’ memorial service on Friday, January 14, 2020. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Steve Schäfer

    Shannon Sharpe speaks at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church during Dan Reeves' memorial service on Friday, January 14, 2020. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
caption arrowCaption

Shannon Sharpe speaks at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church during Dan Reeves’ memorial service on Friday, January 14, 2020. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Steve Schäfer

Credit: Steve Schäfer

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