Don Banks, Longtime NFL Writer, Dies at 56

Ryan Phillips

Don Banks, one of the nation’s best NFL writers, has died at 56. Banks reportedly died in his sleep early Sunday morning after spending the weekend in Canton, Ohio for the NFL’s Hall of Fame ceremonies.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, paramedics were called to Banks’ hotel room in North Canton and found him unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Banks spent 17 years as part of Sports Illustrated’s NFL coverage team and worked for The Athletic-Boston over the past three seasons. His “Snap Judgments” column was a must-read for NFL fans. Before Sports Illustrated, Banks at worked as a beat writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Banks had recently been hired by the Review-Journal to cover the NFL.

The paper released the following statement about his death:

“Words can’t express the depth of sadness the Review-Journal staff feels for Don’s family and friends. Beyond a sportswriting institution, Don was a dedicated husband and father and a class act. No NFL journalist commanded more respect. The sport has lost one of its finest storytellers.”

Banks is survived by his wife Alissa and his two sons, Matt and Micah.

Personally, I had several interactions with Don over the years and he was never anything but gracious and incredibly pleasant. In my experience he was always willing to offer help or knowledge on any subject related to the NFL.

I’ll certainly miss reading his work and speak for everyone around here when I say our thoughts are with his family, friends and co-workers.