Sylvia Mackey was one half of the Mackey “power couple.” She met her husband John, while both attended Syracuse University. After graduation in 1960, John went on to star in the NFL as a Hall of Fame tight end for the Baltimore Colts. Sylvia went on to a very successful modeling career. When John was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 59, Sylvia went to work as a flight attendant, in order to get the medical insurance to pay for John’s mounting health care costs.
As the bills mounted, Sylvia reached out to former NFL commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, not only to discuss the plight of her family, but also carry the torch for many of the wives and families who were in the same circumstance. Eventually, the “88 Plan” (John’s uniform number) was implemented to help those who needed it. Sylvia is a true power broker and has strong ties to the highest reaches of both the NFL and the NFLPA. Without ever picking up a football, “Mrs. 88,” (as she signs off in her e-mails) has been a true Game Changer.
I interviewed Sylvia several times over the past couple years and each time she was both candid and classy.
Over the past two years, director Sean Pamphilon has shot more then 300 hours of footage (pee-wee's to the pro's) and traveled thousands of miles to tell the story of The United States of Football. Not all of the more then 60 interview subjects made it into the film. Here in Gems from the Cutting Room Floor we will show you outtakes from the film as well as short stories cut exclusively for the website.
SP Philms is an independent film company specializing in sports documentaries. Director Sean Pamphilon, with his fresh first-person style of journalism, is able to get to the essence of each subject and their story in a way that few others are able to do. This is why our film, The United States of Football, is setting the trend on this issue and our film-making setting the standard in journalistic documentary.
Sean Pamphilon is an award-winning filmmaker (“playing with RAGE”) and Emmy winning documentary producer (HBO’s boxing series “Legendary Nights”) with nearly twenty years of production experience in sports television.Read more »