Jimmy Johnson Almost A "Survivor"

Former football coach was all set to go coiffed and shirtless into the jungle

By Janie Campbell
|  Monday, Jun 8, 2009  |  Updated 1:10 PM EDT
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JJ shows off his tribal council enemy-crushing technique. What we wouldn't give to see that hair in the jungle.

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Jimmy Johnson is very rich, and he does what retired rich people do: go fishing, hold tiny dogs, and refuse to put on pants and a shirt at the same time.

That's what he says, anyway.  We suspect he also spends at least 4 hours a day on his Lego-man hair, or tending to the special sausage casing skin that allows him to be chubby but never, ever jiggle.  (He's stuffed in there like a human kielbasa!  It's amazing!)

Either way, what the former coach of the Hurricanes, Cowboys, and Dolphins has been up to while not on Fox NFL Sunday isn't really a surprise. 

Except for this: JJ was one physical away from being on Survivor, the reality television show that would have dropped him in the African jungle to match wits with random Americans and catch his own food. According to the Miami Herald

Survivor is one of his favorite shows. And he wanted to be on it. So he went out back on the private beach, [his wife] with the video camera, and explained to the producers why he should be allowed even though he worked for a rival network. He filled out thick files of paperwork and signed contracts. He got his yellow-fever shots. And he was headed to Africa for 45 days of seclusion when the doctor called about some of his tests. One artery to his heart was totally blocked, another blocked 70 percent. He wouldn't be going anywhere. He has lost 30 pounds since.

Thanks a lot, Jimmy Johnson's arteries!  What might have been: the greatest series of Survivor ever. Johnson is competitive, crafty, able to catch his own food, and clearly comfortable in beachwear.  Would he form alliances?  Yes, because they wouldn't involve Dan Marino. Would he cry on camera? Well, it would have been the furthest he'd been from a steakhouse in probably...ever. Would he turn out to have quirky habits like Survivor's famous naked guy? We could only hope.

And thanks to his arteries, we'll continue to wonder. But it did get us thinking: what would an all-football edition of Survivor look like (aside from Jerry Jones melting in sunshine)?  Backbiting, cheating, secret alliances? 

Oh, that's right, we already have it: the SEC coaches' meetings.  All that's missing is a shirtless Jimmy Johnson.

Janie Campbell thinks there should be cameras on Jimmy Johnson -- and the SEC coaches -- at all times. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.

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