Do You Remember This Grand Rapids Sports Giant? One of the Greats!
Grand Rapids has lost a true giant in sports after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He is Mike Kadish who passed away at his home in Florida recently at the age of 72.
Jack Doles, Sports Director at WOOD TV, and one of the best, paid a wonderful tribute to Mike because he truly made Grand Rapids proud.
Mike was an All-City and All-State football lineman at powerhouse Catholic Central in the late 60s. He was recruited by legendary Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian, playing in two Cotton Bowl classics. He was named to the Playboy and Bob Hope All-American teams and played in the prestigious College All-Star game and Senior Bowl his senior year.
After college, the NFL came knocking of course, and he was a first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins and was a member of the only team in NFL history to go undefeated and win a Super Bowl, and had the ring to prove it.
Just prior to the 1973 season he was traded to the Buffalo Bills where his career blossomed. Over the next nine seasons, he played in 127 games as a standout defensive tackle with the Bills. In 1977 he was named the team MVP, he was regarded as one of the NFL’s top run-stoppers.
In addition to being a force both on and off the field, Kadish was an outspoken player rep, who fought for higher player salaries throughout his career.
So many football players have to walk away from the game because of brain injury. Mike paid that heavy price also. Kadish had been battling Parkinson’s since the mid-90s.
His brain has been donated, so that researchers can study the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Survived by his wife of 50 years, Diane, and their three sons, Zach, Zane and Zeke, he will be remembered as one of the greatest football players to ever come from West Michigan.
Mike always said he had simple goals in life. He wanted to be a good husband and good father. He succeeded in both!
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