Paul Zimmerman — or "Dr. Z," as he's been affectionately known for years — is a legendary pro football writer; for almost five decades, he chronicled the sport as only he could as it transformed into the nation's true pastime.
He developed a passionate following mostly through his notable work at Sports Illustrated, where he of course covered football, but his coverage of other sporting events — particularly of the 1972 hostage situation at the Munich Olympic games — earned him legend status.
In 2008, that all changed for Zimmerman. The man, whose football writing career began in 1960, suffered a series of strokes, and since that time, he has been left without the ability to read, write or, for the most part, even talk.
Now 83, Zimmerman is in an assisted-living facility in New Jersey, and the costs are mounting. Only parts of his bills are covered by insurance, and a recent theft from his family's home has left Dr. Z — and those who care for him — in an even bigger predicament.
Fortunately, there is a way to help Zimmerman, as Jim Irsay demonstrated on Friday. The Indianapolis Colts owner pledged to donate $50,000 for Zimmerman's care:
Those who have been a fan of Zimmerman's writing for years — or even those who just want to give a few bucks — can do the same, thanks to a GoFundMe online campaign established by Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Click here to donate.
Tim Rohan of King's MMQB site this week also penned a touching look back at Zimmerman's career — as well as the challenges he's faced since 2008, when he suffered his strokes. You can check out that piece by clicking here; it's well worth your time.
And even if you aren't able to help Zimmerman with a monetary donation, be sure to check out the MMQB, which is celebrating "Dr. Z Week" (click here) by republishing many of his best works over the years.
(Photo via *Sports Illustrated*.)