many problems as the Cowboys of , the year Johnson began his. NFL career. . On the two-hour drive with girlfriend Rhonda Rookmaaker to last during the season--but I have to have a relationship with the man. Jerry Jones finally expresses regret for making Jimmy Johnson quit: Jerry's got myself a couple of tacos and was in bed with Rhonda [Rookmaaker, now . to Harwood's ominous advice: "Don't put your head underwater. A new book, excerpted in the July 12 issue of Sports Illustrated, says that owner Jerry Jones and Coach Jimmy Johnson are not the And what do Jones and Johnson have to say about this? Furthermore, Johnson said he was particularly upset about a reference to his girlfriend, Rhonda Rookmaaker.
That would be winning.
Rhonda Rookmaaker & Jimmy Johnson | News - married, husband, broadcaster, and more
I don't understand him at all. And that's saying a lot. Because, at my wedding, he was the best man. Lacewell and Johnson have known each other for almost 30 years, in work and play. In their early 20s, they rode Johnson's motorcycle at night, shining flashlights into the red eyes of alligators. Later in life, older but not grown up, they would get red-eyed themselves, drinking a ton of beer and putting on costumes to crash the homes of fellow assistant coaches after midnight, waking up entire families.
Once on Halloween - and see if you can picture Don Shula doing this - Johnson showed up at a house wearing nothing more than lipstick, a blond wig, a bra and underwear. Johnson and Lacewell don't speak anymore. Johnson thinks Lacewell wasn't loyal. Or not loyal enough, actually. There is nothing in the world Johnson hates more than a lack of loyalty, except perhaps losing. Lacewell denies this, but it hardly matters. What Johnson thinks is the only thing of relevance in most of his relationships, and he thinks Lacewell had something to do with the hiring of clown coach Barry Switzer as a replacement.
Lacewell and Switzer are friends, after all. Which is saying something. Because Switzer had an affair with Lacewell's wife. But Lacewell forgave Switzer. He is very bad at forgiving. That's the one part of him I do understand. I'm going to miss him. The mystery allows him to control all his important relationships - all of them - and Johnson needs that control.
Things he can't control, like Jerry Jones, he avoids. He has never been to a funeral. The wailing of the widow? How the hell do you control any of that? Nick Christin, Johnson's attorney, is Johnson's best friend away from football - aside from Rookmaaker, whom Johnson calls "my girlfriend and buddy.
Christin never asks why. When Johnson comes to the back of the plane and asks Christin to sit next to him in first class, Christin never questions it, even though Johnson won't say a single word to him the entire flight.
JIMMY JOHNSON'S LIFE IS FOOTBALL - AND HE WON'T LET ANYTHING ELSE INTERFERE | Deseret News
If anyone knows Johnson, though, it's Rookmaaker. They have a playful relationship, exchanging one-liners. Johnson was boasting one day about the bust of him in his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas, and Rookmaaker countered by pointing out that, big deal, it's in a museum next to some of Janis Joplin's panties.
Rookmaaker mocks the way he once put Tide in the dishwasher, filling the kitchen with suds. And the time he made macaroni and cheese explode, trying to cook it on a stove while in a glass container.
She gets embarrassed when he comes home with a generic brand of peas, because it's three cents cheaper than the good brand, and when he walks into an electronics store and asks for a discount. They love each other. They just never say so. Johnson has something of a problem with this. He wrote, "We had a great deal of feeling for each other. It's like a war, to see who will say 'I love you' first. Maybe he'll say it when I'm on my death bed or something.
Our relationship is funny. I let him think he controls everything, but I'm not passive. He wouldn't like that, either. I tell him not to talk to me like one of his players. I've seen him sweet, generous and cuddly, and I've seen him cold, hard and, well, I don't want to use the word ruthless, but there are just so many sides to him. Driving home from Dolphins camp after Johnson agreed to take the job, Rookmaaker was talking about how nice the secretary was and how cool it was to ride in Wayne Huizenga's helicopter and it was then that she realized she had lost him again.
Johnson was oblivious, consumed with thoughts about whom to hire and what to do next and. He's so independent, losses might be the only time he needs anybody.
JIMMY JOHNSON'S LIFE IS FOOTBALL - AND HE WON'T LET ANYTHING ELSE INTERFERE
Winning was tolerable, barely, and I don't know how to describe what losing was. Jimmy was so pressured and so self-destructive. I felt for him, but I couldn't reach him. He was in too deep. Johnson kept pushing and pushing and pushing everyone, no one harder than himself.
- Jimmy Johnson Biography
He was making macabre jokes about dying early, which the family hated. He was like just - lit dynamite - you didn't know which was worse, the fear of him going off or the explosion when he did.
When Johnson gets really mad, the blood river-rushes to his face and his players say he gets "a nuclear shade of red. Johnson never accepted or tolerated losing. But now he seemed to be having trouble understanding it. Johnson lambasted the team after three consecutive games, even though the Cowboys were about to win for a franchise-record 13th time.
Two of the outbursts came after victories, including one by a score. Regardless of whether the Cowboys cut him or kept him, Richards was going to earn his full salary and playoff share, but Johnson chose to have an empty roster spot rather than one occupied by someone who fumbles. It had never been done before in the NFL, a player being waived so late. Johnson flipped on flights.
He wanted everyone to suffer as much as he did after a loss, and he didn't tolerate noise. Once, Johnson rebuked everyone so furiously - players, coaches, flight attendants - that he wrote a letter to American Airlines afterward not to apologize, mind you, but to explain his behavior. He's also a riverboat gambler. In every big game the Cowboys have played, the Johnson touch shows through unorthodox moves.
His disdain for a field goal in the NFC title victory over San Francisco on a fourth and one was surprising. It failed and Johnson shrugged it off by saying, "That's my style. I like to gamble. He gets his message across through the press, his assistant coaches and in team meetings. Huge offensive guard Nate Newton knows what works best on him. For a mad football scientist, Johnson doesn't dress like one.
His hair is always perfectly groomed. He can be charming and witty. But he can also fly off at an assistant coach, player or reporter. Running back Curvin Richards was cut from the team after he fumbled twice in a victory over Chicago. Johnson has no close friends. Certainly not owner Jerry Jones. They may have been roommates at Arkansas but they don't even go to dinner with each other anymore.
We have an excellent working relationship. We listen to each other and then make decisions based on our analysis of situations. Johnson will tell you. I told him if he was going to win a Super Bowl to do it as soon as he can because I don't have long to wait. Johnson grew up in the refinery town of Port Arthur where he played high school football and teased the late singer Janis Joplin about her hair.
Johnson was a competitor from the day he could walk. One day he decided there could be gold in his backyard and talked brother Wayne into going after it.