Jake Scott, the free-spirited, hard-nosed free security who was a cornerstone of the Miami Dolphins dynasty in the Seventies and the Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl VII, which capped the league’s solely undefeated season, died on Nov. 19. He was 75.
Scott fell down a flight of steps whereas visiting pals in Atlanta, had surgical procedure to restore a spinal harm and died in the hospital 10 days later, based on his brother-in-law, Randy Fabal.
After two standout seasons at Georgia and a 12 months with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League, the place he went after a falling-out together with his faculty coach, Vince (*75*), Scott was drafted by the Dolphins in the seventh spherical in 1970. Coach Don Shula, who had taken over the hapless Dolphins that 12 months, made Scott a starter and was immediately rewarded.
Scott, a wily and fearless defender, had a team-record 35 interceptions in his six seasons in Miami, the place he was additionally a punt returner with a repute for by no means calling for a good catch. He was chosen to 5 Pro Bowls between 1971 and 1975 and with Dick Anderson shaped one in every of the greatest duos of safeties in league historical past.
Scott’s two interceptions in Super Bowl VII — together with one in the finish zone that he returned to midfield — helped hold the Washington Redskins offense from scoring. (Washington’s solely factors got here on a fumble return.)
“I think I’ll give Bill Kilmer an extra set of keys,” Scott mentioned of the Redskins’ quarterback after Scott obtained a automobile for his M.V.P. efficiency.
In Super Bowl VIII in opposition to the Minnesota Vikings, which the Dolphins additionally received, Scott recovered two fumbles.
Scott was not a fan of authority figures, together with the demanding Shula. On the Dolphins’ staff bus experience to the stadium earlier than Super Bowl VII, Shula, who had already misplaced two Super Bowls as a coach, instructed Scott to maintain it down.
“What are you worried about, being the chokingest coach in the history of the Super Bowl?” Scott shot again, according to Jim Mandich, the Dolphins tight finish.
Scott had taken a $5,000 pay reduce to signal with the Dolphins, however made up for it when he floated the thought of leaving for the upstart World Football League, the place teammates Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick and Paul Warfield ended up. Not eager to lose a high defender, the Dolphins gave Scott a five-year contract value $600,000.
But after a number of run-ins with Shula, together with a dispute over whether or not Scott may play injured, Scott was traded earlier than the 1976 season to Washington, the place he completed his profession in 1978 with 49 complete interceptions. Scott and Shula didn’t converse for many years after the commerce.
A lifelong bachelor, Scott shunned the highlight, attended few alumni occasions and barely spoke to the media. He invested his cash in automobile dealerships, which he misplaced, however traveled extensively, was an avid fisherman and cut up his time between houses in Colorado, Key West, Fla., and the island of Kauai, in Hawaii.
“He’s the only man I’ve known who lived life entirely on his own terms,” mentioned Stan Stanfill, a longtime good friend and the son of Scott’s teammate at Georgia and in Miami, Bill Stanfill.
Jacob Eugene Scott III was born on July 20, 1945, in Greenwood, S.C. to Jacob Eugene Scott, a pulp wooden contractor, and Mary Hughie Scott, an educator. When he was younger, Scott moved to Athens, Ga., the place his mother earned a doctorate in education at the University of Georgia and younger Jake idolized Fran Tarkenton, a neighborhood highschool quarterback who went on to star at Georgia and in the N.F.L.
In 1962, Scott’s household moved to the Washington, D.C., space, the place Scott performed highschool soccer and was a water boy for the Redskins. Tarkenton remembered Scott as a youth soccer participant and helped recruit him to play at the University of Georgia, the place he had taken a course taught by Scott’s mom.
Scott is survived by his sister, Rita Scott Fabal.
Scott sat out his freshman 12 months with accidents, then led the staff in interceptions in each 1967 and 1968 and was named in each seasons as a first-team All-S.E.C. defensive again. Several of his information nonetheless stand although he performed simply two seasons. Scott by no means forgave Coach (*75*) for selecting to take the staff to the Sugar Bowl as an alternative of the extra prestigious Orange Bowl, and left to play in Canada in what would have been his senior 12 months.
(*75*), although, admired Scott’s skills and lobbied for him to affix the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Scott, who was in Hawaii, did not show up to the induction ceremony. In 2006, he additionally turned down an invite from the N.F.L. to attend Super Bowl XL, the place former M.V.P.’s have been being honored.
“I don’t need the money,” Scott told a reporter from The Sun-Sentinel that year. “I don’t need it for my ego.”
A decade later, he attended Super Bowl 50 and joined his previous roommate, Bill Stanfill, at a Dolphins Honor Roll induction ceremony. Shula was available to congratulate them.
Jake Scott, Super Bowl M.V.P. for the Dolphins, Dies at 75 The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Pehal News.