To All That Knew And Loved Gary “Big Hands” Johnson:
Gary’s family and friends are lobbying for his induction into the National Football League Hall of Fame. Prior to Gary’s death on August 4, 2010, Mr. Melvin Lars, President and CEO of Brighter Futures; a lifelong and great friend of Gary’s, with support from Hall of Famer Jim Brown had begun working tirelessly towards getting Gary inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
If you knew Gary, or ever saw him on a football field, you know he was not just an ordinary football player; he was one of the greatest football players to ever play the game. The late great, Eddie Robinson of Grambling College once declared,” Gary “Big Hands” Johnson the best defensive lineman in college football.”
Gary was the eighth overall pick in the 1975 draft; he played 9 seasons for the San Diego Chargers and became one of the most dominant defensive linemen in team history. He made it his practice to place his hands on rival quarterbacks through more than a decade on the defensive line. He was a two-time All–Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler. His 17½ sacks in 1980 remain a team record. Gary was voted NFL and AFC Defensive Player of the year. He was also voted by his teammates, the Chargers’ Lineman of the Year. In 1984, Gary played with The Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers. He was voted the Sports Illustrated unofficial defensive “MVP” in Super Bowl XIX.
Gary was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1991; the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997; the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame in 1999; the Breitbard Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2009, Gary was chosen during the San Diego Chargers’ 50th Anniversary, as a member of the team’s Top 50 San Diego Chargers of all time.
The legendary “Big Hands” Johnson traveled the world and made a difference in every life he touched. He was a great human being with a very large heart; a tender-hearted gentleman with a wonderful sense of humor. There have been many newspaper articles and forums since his passing (Shreveport Times, Sign on San Diego, Yahoo Sports, NFL Sporting News, ESPN Sports, San Francisco Chronicle, CBS Sports, Bolt Talk, Bolts From The Blue) referring to him around the world as a wonderful, caring, loving and gentle giant of a guy, that never lost his way. This is the Gary we all knew and loved; a loving and devoted husband, a wonderful father, an adorable son, a one of a kind brother, a special friend and a great teammate.
We are soliciting your support by way of letters and emails for our hero and mentor in masses to flood the office of Mr. Lars to be forwarded up to the League office by him and his staff. Help us complete this unfinished business and give Gary’s name the honor and recognition it so rightfully deserves. Please go to the following website to review a clip of Gary’s highlights and sign the petition:
Please address all letters as follows:
Brighter Futures, Inc. – Entertainment
Gary “Big Hands” Johnson
H-O-F Supporters 800 Ellis Rd. Suite 203
Norton Shores, MI 49441
Gary left us way to soon, however we can keep his memory alive forever! Thank you in advance for your support!