Catching Up With Former Michigan State Football Great Jim Morrissey


Morrissey was the epitome of toughness and class as he represented the Spartan Nation.

As Spartan football has been resurrected under Mark Dantonio, the word toughness seems to make its way into the conversation. Under the Dantonio regime, Spartan football has been solidly built on both effort and toughness. These are two of the ingredients that have been a staple during the rebuilding process. No one embodied the spirit of effort and toughness more than Jim Morrissey. Jim lettered four years at MSU and went on to star in the NFL as a Chicago Bear having won a Super Bowl. We recently caught up with Jim on Spartan Nation Radio.

Morrissey had this to say about his philosophy and preparation. “I loved playing sports growing up and loved putting as much effort into each practice, each game as I possibly could. I grew up loving sports.”  This was evident throughout Jim’s Spartan career as well as his long stay in the NFL, which ultimately resulted in a championship. Jim Morrissey proved that effort and toughness along with a genuine love for competition could overcome pure size and speed.

Jim Morrissey never wowed anyone with his physical stature or athleticism. He always made the sure tackle and willingly lowered the boom on ball carriers that found their way to his side of the field. He loved the game and his passion for football showed each and every time he took the field.  MSU’s success in 1984 was very much the result of Jim Morrissey’s contributions and many wins would have gone the other way without him.

Morrissey is still the unassuming character he always was, taking little time to focus on himself rather talking about his genuine passion for the sports community and his transformation from player to fan. “I am an active fan. I love watching the Bears. I love watching Michigan State. It is a big part of my life.” 

Jim also spoke about his ties to MSU beyond his own playing career and let everyone know that another Morrissey will make it three generations in a row. “My dad played basketball for Michigan State for a year. Actually my daughter is playing basketball for Michigan State as a walk-on next year. She is going to be a freshman. So we are a big part of Michigan State. We will always be a big part of Michigan State. I look forward to getting back there for a number of games in the fall.”

Jim Morrissey is what celebrating the past while building the future is all about. Mark Dantonio has encouraged MSU football players from the past to be a part of the program. Jim Morrissey is one of those guys you want around East Lansing. Jim is a winner having done remarkable things on the football field, but also celebrates a career outside of sports that would make any Spartan proud.

We will be checking in with Jim when he is back in East Lansing and hope to have him on our show again. It is great to know that he’ll be around East Lansing more often now that he has a daughter suiting up for Suzy Merchant. GO GREEN!!