The legendary football writer Paul Zimmerman, Dr. Z, died this afternoon at the age of 86. Dr. Z was the first national writer to really bring play-by-play breakdown to the masses. He was breaking down games when there was no Internet, no coach's film available to the public, just your TV and a VCR. His Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football is a seminal work that helps explain the game and is valuable even now, over 30 years later.
Link goes to a story Doug Farrar wrote five years ago about how indebted most modern NFL writers are to Dr. Z's legacy.