Don Banks

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Sunday that Don Banks, the veteran pro football writer they had recently hired for NFL coverage, had passed away in his sleep earlier that morning. Banks had attended the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies the previous day in Canton, Ohio.

Paramedics were called to the 56-year-old’s hotel room but he was found unresponsive and pronounced dead on the scene.

Banks was mostly known for his 16-year stint with Sports Illustrated where his Snap Judgments column recapped each Sunday of the NFL season. He was also known for his various appearances on TV and radio shows across the country including NFL Network’s Top 10 program, the Dan Patrick Show, and more. He left SI in 2016 in what he described as a “salary cut.

Later that year he reappeared with his Snap Judgements column on NFL.com but then started posting directly on the New England Patriots website.

In 2017, Banks joined The Athletic as an NFL contributor in 2017, where he wrote generally about the NFL but did maintain a focus on the Patriots. He joined the Review-Journal recently to cover the eventual arrival of the Raiders and his first piece for them had been published on Sunday.

“Words can’t express the depth of sadness the Review-Journal staff feels for Don’s family and friends,” Review-Journal Executive Editor Glenn Cook said Sunday. “Beyond a sportswriting institution, Don was a dedicated husband and father and a class act. No NFL journalist commanded more respect. The sport has lost one of its finest storytellers.”

Banks was remembered fondly on social media by many of his colleagues for his work as well as his friendship.

Banks is survived by his wife, Alissa, and two sons (Matt and Micah) from a previous marriage.

[LV Review-Journal]

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.