JFK Remembered: Tom Pratt

Cardinals pass-rush specialist Tom Pratt was in his first year of coaching in Kansas City. AP Photo

The Arizona Cardinals pass-rush specialist reflects on the 50-year anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy:

“Well, I was in Kansas City with the Chiefs. That was my first year of coaching in professional football. And we had just finished our meetings on a Friday morning and we were kind of milling around, and all of a sudden, we got the word that he had been assassinated, had been shot. Of course, right away, we didn’t know if he was dead or not.

“I mean, it was a shock that went through everybody because, particularly, we had so many former players that were from Dallas because we had moved the team from Dallas that year. It was the first year of the Chiefs in Kansas City.

“I can just remember the empty feeling, and we just kind of got our way through and we did practice that afternoon just because we were getting ready to play the Jets in New York, so it was a road trip. And so we practiced and then came in and said, ‘Well, we don’t know what’s going to happen,’ because they were talking about canceling that week, which [the AFL] eventually did. So it was a shock for all of us.

“There were so many of the guys who had just come from Dallas, there was even more concern there that there was more going on than actually what happened.”

-- Tom Pratt, 77, as told to ESPN.com Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss