What a tragic, sad ending to a very promising life.
Dungy buries son, thanks his supporters
Manning, Sapp, Brooks, Glazer attend funeral for 18-year-old James
TAMPA, Fla. - NFL stars past and present attended the funeral Tuesday of the 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy.
After the funeral, Dungy gave a brief statement to the media, saying he was thankful for all the support he and his family have received in the days since the death of his son. He said that he and his family will "stand strong" amid the tragedy, and that he was glad his son had become a devout Christian.
"My family and I thank you for the love, prayers and support we have received from the people of Tampa, from the people of Indianapolis, from all over the country," Dungy said. "They have been great, gracious to us.
"We loved our son, he loved us and we miss him terribly ... Our family will stand strong. The strength we have in the Lord will allow us to get through this, like it does in times of victory."
He did not say when he would return to the sidelines for the Colts.
Flanked by a police escort, six charter buses carrying Indianapolis Colts players, coaches and staff streamed into the parking lot of the Idlewild Baptist Church in suburban Tampa.
Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning arrived separately for the service for James Dungy, who died last week in an apparent suicide.
Most of the Colts traveled to the funeral, as did former and current members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Dungy coached from 1996 to 2000. Among them were Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer, former general manager Rich McKay, now general manager for the Atlanta Falcons, and former Buccaneer Warren Sapp.
Buccaneers stars Derrick Brooks and Simeon Rice also attended, as did New York Jets coach Herman Edwards and Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.
Tony and Lauren Dungy planned to bury their son following the service. Dungy left the team last Thursday, and it was uncertain when he would return.
On Monday evening, hundreds of mourners came to pay their respects to the coach. Dungy, revered in this city as much more than someone who wins football games, seemed to be comforting well-wishers instead of the other way around.
Jim Caldwell, who is running the Colts in Dungy’s absence, has been in almost daily contact with him and is trying to keep the team in its routine. That included a scheduled three-day break even after a second straight loss Saturday, 28-13 at Seattle.
Still, the teen’s death has pushed football into a secondary role for the Colts, who spent much of the past two months answering questions about the possibility of becoming the second NFL team to complete a perfect season.
That quest ended at 13-0 when they lost 26-17 to San Diego on Dec. 18. Four days later, James was found unresponsive in his apartment and pronounced dead in the hospital. The exact cause of his death will be determined following a toxicology study.
From what I heard his son is bi-polar and has had issues, dont know how true that is but I was reading it somewhere.
James Dungy, 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, hanged himself with a leather belt from a ceiling fan, according to the 911 call made by the teenager's girlfriend from his Lutz, Fla., apartment in the early morning hours of Dec. 22.
Antoinette Anderson said she took a 10-minute walk and returned to the apartment to find Dungy lifeless, according to the 911 tape released Wednesday by a Hillsborough County (Fla.) Sheriff's Department official.
The tape also revealed Dungy's roommate was sleeping in a different room in the apartment when Dungy was discovered by Anderson.
The Colts coach, who missed one game due to the death of his eldest son, declined comment at the Colts' Westside complex Thursday afternoon.
The 911 tape reveals Anderson telling the emergency dispatcher that she thought James Dungy was dead, and that she used a knife to cut him down. "I think he tried to hang himself or something," she said.
The dispatcher instructed her to wake up the roommate, whose name wasn't released, and tried to walk them through a CPR procedure.
A Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy soon arrived and took over the CPR. A paramedic crew took Dungy to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The medical examiner has called the death an apparent suicide. An exact cause has not been released pending results of toxicological tests.
Oh that's really sad.