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Don Corleone

Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti dies at 78

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Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti died at the age of 78.

The Miami Dolphins confirmed the news of the passing.

An eight-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro, Buoniconti was a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Dolphins and played a pivotal role during the 1972 Perfect Season, when Miami went 17-0 and won Super Bowl VII.

Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker offered his condolences over the passing.

"Nick Buoniconti was a true hero of the game. His inspiring Hall of Fame journey that started as a 13th round draft choice to leading the Dolphins 'No Name' defense is one filled with grit, determination, courage and compassion. Nick's contributions off the field were even greater than what he did on it. He lived a life of honor and nobility and his legacy will live forever through his Bronzed Bust in Canton, Ohio.

"The entire Hall of Fame family mourns Nick's passing and we will keep his wife Lynn and his entire family in our thoughts and prayers."

The 102nd overall pick in the 1962 AFL Draft, Buoniconti began his career and played seven seasons with the Boston Patriots. The linebacker was named to five AFL All-Star Games and four AFL All-Pro teams as a member of the Pats.

Ahead of the 1969 season, Buoniconti was traded to Miami where he spent seven years and played under and alongside fellow Hall of Famers Don Shula, Bob Griese, Larry Csonka and Paul Warfield.

Buoniconti finished his career with 32 interceptions, the third-most by a linebacker in NFL history.

The linebacker was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. Buoniconti is also a member of both the Patriots Hall of Fame and Dolphins Honor Roll.

Off the field, Buoniconti will be remembered for raising more than $450 million for research into the treatment of spinal cord and brain injuries. After his son, Marc, was rendered quadriplegic while playing football in 1985, Buoniconti co-founded the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, one of the world's leading neurological research centers.

Buoniconti also worked on HBO's "Inside the NFL" for 23 seasons and spent time as an agent to over 30 professional athletes such as Andre Dawson and Bucky Dent.

Marc Buoniconti issued the following sentiments on the passing of his father:

"Today, with a heavy heart and profound sorrow, my family and the entire Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Buoniconti Fund community mourn the loss of a man who was truly larger than life, my father, NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti. My dad has been my hero and represents what I have always aspired to be; a leader, a mentor and a champion. He selflessly gave all to football, to his family and to those who are less fortunate. He made a promise to me that turned into a revolution in paralysis research. We can best honor his dedication and endless commitment by continuing with our work until that promise is fulfilled and a cure is found."

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001038140/article/hall-of-fame-linebacker-nick-buoniconti-dies-at-78

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I used to watch quite a bit of Inside the NFL which featured Nick and Len Dawson.  He was a great player and a good ambassador for the game.

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His playing days were well before my time, but I do remember him when I used to watch Inside the NFL on HBO in the mid 90’s. 

 

RIP. 

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11 minutes ago, EagleJoe8 said:

His playing days were well before my time, but I do remember him when I used to watch Inside the NFL on HBO in the mid 90’s. 

 

RIP. 

He retired in '76, which is right around when I really started to become more 'aware' of football, though I do have a few earlier memories like O.J. breaking the 2,000 mark and Joe Namath being on The Brady Bunch... somewhat related to that, back then, I used to think that Bennie and the Jets was about the NY Jets... what can I say, I was about 5 when it came out lol.

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16 minutes ago, VaBeach_Eagle said:

He retired in '76, which is right around when I really started to become more 'aware' of football, though I do have a few earlier memories like O.J. breaking the 2,000 mark and Joe Namath being on The Brady Bunch... somewhat related to that, back then, I used to think that Bennie and the Jets was about the NY Jets... what can I say, I was about 5 when it came out lol.

76 is my birth year. Though I only experienced 10 days of it being born on 12/21.  He left just as I was entering lol. 

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