Irv Cross Obituary, Irv Cross Has Passed Away At The Age Of 81, And What Was The Cause Of His Death?

Irv Cross, a name synonymous with pioneering strides in both the National Football League (NFL) and sports broadcasting, passed away near his home in Roseville, MN, at the age of 81. His remarkable journey from the football field to the broadcasting studio exemplifies a life of groundbreaking achievements and steadfast resilience. Cross’s contributions to sports and media were celebrated by institutions like CBS Sports and the Philadelphia Eagles, underscoring his enduring legacy.

Who Was Irv Cross?

Born and raised in Hammond, Indiana, Irv Cross’s athletic prowess was evident from his high school days. Excelling in football, basketball, and track and field, Cross was not just a gifted athlete; he was a trailblazer from the outset. His early life was marked by resilience in the face of racial adversity, a trait that would define his personal and professional endeavors.

How Did Cross Break Barriers in College and NFL?

Cross’s journey to prominence began at Northwestern University, where he captained the 1960 football team. Under the guidance of coach Ara Parseghian, Cross not only showcased his athletic excellence but also laid the groundwork for his future contributions to sports. His college years also marked the start of a lifelong friendship with Brent Musburger, a relationship that would later flourish in the professional realm.

Upon entering the NFL in 1961, Cross’s tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams showcased his exceptional skills as a cornerback. Not content with just being a player, Cross also took on the role of a defensive backs coach, demonstrating his commitment to the sport and his team.

What Made Cross a Pioneer in Sports Broadcasting?

After retiring from professional football, Cross transitioned to sports broadcasting, a move that would see him become the first Black man to work as a full-time sports analyst on national television. His role on CBS’s “The NFL Today” not only set a new standard for NFL pregame shows but also paved the way for future generations of broadcasters. Cross’s integrity, professionalism, and warmth endeared him to colleagues and viewers alike, with Brent Musburger highlighting his unparalleled kindness and trailblazing spirit.

How Did Cross Impact His Colleagues and Community?

Cross’s influence extended beyond the broadcasting studio. His colleagues, like CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, praised him for his significant contributions and the paths he paved for others. Musburger’s reflections on Cross’s character further underscore the profound impact he had on those around him.

Moreover, Cross’s life story, including his experiences with racial discrimination, served as a powerful narrative of perseverance and dignity. His memoir, “Bearing the Cross,” co-authored with sportswriter Clifton Brown, provides a testament to his resilience and commitment to overcoming obstacles.

What Legacy Does Cross Leave Behind?

Irv Cross’s legacy is multifaceted, encompassing his achievements as an athlete, a broadcaster, and a trailblazer for racial equality. His pioneering role in sports broadcasting opened doors for many who followed, while his contributions to the NFL as a player and coach remain celebrated. Cross’s life, marked by overcoming adversity and breaking barriers, serves as an enduring inspiration to athletes, broadcasters, and individuals striving to make a difference in their fields and communities.

How Will Cross Be Remembered?

Irv Cross will be remembered not just for his accomplishments in sports and broadcasting but also for the character he exhibited throughout his life. His story is one of overcoming adversity, breaking barriers, and paving the way for future generations. As we reflect on his legacy, Cross’s life reminds us of the power of resilience, kindness, and the enduring impact of paving new paths for others to follow.

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