Andy Robustelli

Andrew Richard Robustelli (December 6, 1925 – May 31, 2011[2]) was an American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants. He played college football at Arnold College and was drafted in the nineteenth round of the 1951 NFL Draft. Robustelli was a six-time First-team All-pro selection and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

Andy Robustelli
Andy Robustelli Induction
No. 81
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born:December 6, 1925
Stamford, Connecticut
Died:May 31, 2011 (aged 85)
Stamford, Connecticut
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Stamford
(Stamford, Connecticut)
La Salle Military Academy (Oakdale, New York)
College:Arnold[1]
NFL Draft:1951 / Round: 19 / Pick: 228
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions:2
Fumble recoveries:22
Touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early life

Robustelli was born on December 6, 1925 in Stamford, Connecticut, to Lucien Robustelli, an Italian-American and his wife Catherine Robustelli. He attended Stamford High School, where he excelled in football and baseball. At age 18, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served on the USS William C. Cole in the Pacific Theater. After the war, he attended the now-defunct Arnold College, in Milford, Connecticut, where he played both football and baseball. After college, he was drafted in the NFL by the Los Angeles Rams in the nineteenth round of the 1951 NFL Draft. In June, 1951, he was offered a tryout with the New York Giants baseball club. The Giants offered Robustelli a $400 contract to play for their minor league affiliate, the Knoxville Smokies.[3]

Football career

Player

A two-way end at Arnold College, Robustelli was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the nineteenth round of the 1951 NFL Draft and was considered a long shot to make the team. The Rams were impressed with his determination and toughness as a defensive end and he not only made the team, he was an All-Pro in 1953 and 1955. He played for the Rams until he was traded to the New York Giants in 1956.

Robustelli spent nine seasons with the Giants, playing for six conference champions and one NFL championship team. He was a starter on the Giants defense from 1956 until his retirement after the 1964 season.

In Robustelli's first season, the Giants won the NFL championship. They won Eastern Division titles in 1958, '59, '61, '62, and '63, losing in the NFL championship game each time, in 1958 and 1959 to the Baltimore Colts, in 1961 and 1962 to the Green Bay Packers, and in 1963 to the Chicago Bears.

With the Giants, Robustelli was an All-Pro in 1956, and 1958 through 1960. He received the 1962 Bert Bell Award as best player in the NFL, one of the few defensive players to do so. He played in 174 NFL games, missing only one in his career. Over his career, he recovered 22 fumbles (the NFL record when he retired) and intercepted two passes, returning both for touchdowns.

Although small for a defensive end at 6'0" and 230 pounds, Robustelli was exceptionally smart, quick, and strong and known as a superb pass rusher.[4] Robustelli also holds the distinction of being the only football player to have played in the first two nationally televised NFL games.[5]

Administrator

Robustelli returned to the Giants when he was appointed as its director of operations on December 17, 1973. He took over responsibility for most of the Giants' football matters. Owner Wellington Mara had been making the team's football decisions himself since the death of his older brother Jack in 1965, but had finally been prevailed upon to give up some of his authority. For all intents and purposes, Robustelli was the team's first general manager.[6]

He took over a team whose 2–11–1 record the previous season was the worst in the National Football Conference (NFC).[7] The Giants had to play home games at the Yale Bowl in 1974 and Shea Stadium in 1975 before they were finally able to move into Giants Stadium in 1976.

The Giants never had a winning record during Robustelli's six years in the front office. Their best finish during that span was 6–10–0 in 1978, a season which included a 19–17 debacle to the Philadelphia Eagles on November 19 which ended with what is known to Giants fans as simply "The Fumble." Robustelli announced his resignation as director of operations in conjunction with the Giants' dismissal of head coach John McVay on December 18, 1978, one day after the regular season finale. He had decided one year prior that the 1978 season would be his last with the ballclub.[8] He was succeeded by George Young following that campaign.

Post-football career

After his retirement as an active player, Robustelli spent one year (1965) as a color analyst for NBC's coverage of the American Football League. That same year he purchased Stamford-based Westheim Travel and renamed it Robustelli Travel Services, Inc. Specializing in corporate travel management, it grew into Robustelli World Travel by the time it was sold to Hogg Robinson Group in 2006.[9]

He also founded National Professional Athletes (NPA), a sports marketing business which arranged appearances by sports celebrities at corporate functions, and International Equities, which evolved into Robustelli Merchandise Services. The latter eventually became the foundation for Robustelli Corporate Services.[9]

Death

Robustelli died on May 31, 2011 from complications following a gallbladder surgery.

Awards and honors

Robustelli is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.[4][10] He was named Walter Camp Man of the Year in 1988.

Personal life

His grandson, Andrew Robustelli, played college football at Jacksonville University, attended rookie minicamp with the New York Giants in 2015 and also played for the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League in 2016.[11][12][13]

References

  1. ^ http://www.lostcolleges.com/copy-of-arnold-college
  2. ^ Richard Goldstein (May 31, 2011). "Andy Robustelli, Giants' Hall of Fame Defensive End, Dies at 85". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Giants Among Men, Jack Cavanaugh, p.7, 2008, Random House, ISBN 978-1-4000-6717-6
  4. ^ a b "Pro Football Hall of Fame Bio". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  5. ^ Giants Among Men, Jack Cavanaugh, p.113, 2008, Random House, ISBN 978-1-4000-6717-6
  6. ^ Anderson, Dave. "Robustelli Named Giants' Director of Operations," The New York Times, Tuesday, December 18, 1973.
  7. ^ 1973 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics – Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  8. ^ Myers, Gary. "Giants Ax McVay; Robustelli Resigns," The Associated Press, Tuesday, December 19, 1978.
  9. ^ a b About Us – Robustelli Corporate Services.
  10. ^ "National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Bio". National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  11. ^ Pennington, Bill (May 9, 2015). "Rookie Andrew Robustelli Brings Familiar Name to Giants". nytimes.com. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  12. ^ "Andrew Robustelli". arenafan.com. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  13. ^ Graziano, Dan (May 8, 2015). "Andrew (not Andy) Robustelli is in Giants rookie camp". espn.com/. Retrieved October 15, 2016.

External links

1951 Los Angeles Rams season

The 1951 Los Angeles Rams season was the team's 14th year with the National Football League and the sixth season in Los Angeles. In 1951, the Rams had an up-and-down season, never winning more than three games in a row, but was able to win eight games and clinch the National Conference after defeating the Green Bay Packers during week twelve. Los Angeles also led the National Football League in attendance for the second time while in Southern California and was the first of ten straight seasons leading the league in attendance. The Rams' largest crowd during the 1951 campaign was 67,186 against the Cleveland Browns during week two.After their 8–5 campaign, Los Angeles won the National Conference and advanced to their third NFL Championship Game in a row and faced the then-powerhouse Cleveland Browns. The Rams ended up winning their second NFL Championship in seven seasons, and their first in Los Angeles. The 1951 NFL Championship was also the State of California's first major professional championship and the Rams' only title while in Southern California. The Rams would advance to the championship round three more times (1955, Super Bowl XIV, and Super Bowl LIII), but failed to win another championship during their first stint in Los Angeles until after the Rams had moved out of the market.

Statistically, the Rams scored 391 points during this season, the second-most points-scored in the 1950s (although significantly less than the highest-scoring team of the decade, the 1950 Rams). Los Angeles led the league in total points, total yards, passing yards, and was third in the league in rushing. Ram quarterbacks Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin led the National Football League in quarterback rating with both in the top three in yards per completion. Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch was arguably the best receiver in the league in 1951, leading in nearly every receiving category (receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, yards per reception, yards per game, and points scored). While the Rams' offensive statistics were stellar, Los Angeles was middle-of-the pack in the NFL with 261 points and 3,879 yards given up.

1953 All-Pro Team

The 1953 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1953 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP) (based on voting among 48 member paper sports writers and AP staffers), the United Press (UP), and the New York Daily News.

1956 Los Angeles Rams season

The 1956 Los Angeles Rams season was the team's 19th year with the National Football League and the 11th season in Los Angeles.

1956 NFL Championship Game

In the 1956 National Football League Championship Game was the league's 24th championship game, played at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx in New York City on December 30.The New York Giants (8–3–1) won the Eastern Conference title and hosted the Chicago Bears (9–2–1), the Western Conference champions. The teams had met in the regular season five weeks earlier on November 25 at Yankee Stadium and played to a 17–17 tie; the Bears entered the championship game in late December as slight favorites. The Giants hosted because the home field for the title game alternated between the conferences; home field advantage was not implemented until 1975.

Both teams had been absent from the league title game for a decade, when the Bears won the championship over the Giants at the Polo Grounds in 1946. The Giants' most recent NFL title was before World War II, in 1938. The 1956 season marked the Giants' first at Yankee Stadium, moving across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds. This was the first championship since 1949 without the Cleveland Browns, who had appeared in six consecutive since joining the NFL in 1950.

The 1956 Giants featured a number of Hall of Fame players, including running backs Frank Gifford and Alex Webster, offensive tackle Roosevelt Brown, linebacker Sam Huff, and defensive end Andy Robustelli. Two assistants of Giants head coach Jim Lee Howell, offensive coordinator Vince Lombardi and defensive coordinator Tom Landry, later became Hall of Fame head coaches with other franchises; Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers to five NFL Championships during the 1960s and Landry led the Dallas Cowboys to five Super Bowls, with two wins, during the 1970s. He was the head coach of the Cowboys for 29 seasons, through 1988.

1956 New York Giants season

The 1956 New York Giants season was the franchise's 32nd season in the National Football League. After finishing with an 8–3–1 record, the Giants won their fourth league title by defeating the Chicago Bears 47–7 in the NFL championship game. It was their first NFL title in eighteen years; the Giants did not win another for thirty more.

1957 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), New York Daily News (NYDN), The Sporting News (SN), and United Press (UP) were among selectors of All-Pro teams comprising players adjudged to be the best at each position in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1957 NFL season. The AP, NEA, NYDN, and UPI selected a first and second team.

1958 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), New York Daily News (NYDN), The Sporting News (SN), and United Press International (UPI) selected All-Pro teams comprising their selections of the best players at each position in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1958 NFL season.

1960 All-Pro Team

Selectors of All-Pros for the 1960 National Football League season included the Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), New York Daily News (NYDN), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and The Sporting News (SN).

1960 New York Giants season

The 1960 New York Giants season was the franchise's 36th season in the National Football League. The Mara family was opposed to the AFL adding a team in New York, but received an indemnity fee of ten million dollars.

1961 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), Pro Football Illustrated (PFI), New York Daily News (NYDN), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and Sporting News (SN) were among selectors of All-Pros for the 1961 National Football League season.

1961 NFL Championship Game

The 1961 National Football League Championship Game was the 29th title game. It was played at "New" City Stadium, later known as Lambeau Field, in Green Bay, Wisconsin on December 31, with an attendance of 39,029.The game was a match-up of the Eastern Conference champion New York Giants (10–3–1) and the Western Conference champion Green Bay Packers (11–3). The home team Packers were a 3⅓-point favorite.Packers Ray Nitschke, Boyd Dowler, and Paul Hornung, were on leave from the U.S. Army. Hornung scored 19 points (a touchdown, three field goals, and four extra points) for the Packers and was named the MVP of the game, and awarded a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette from Sport magazine.The victory was the first of five NFL titles won in a seven-season span by the Packers and their head coach, Vince Lombardi. It was the Packers' seventh league title and their first in 17 years.

1962 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in 1962. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1962 NFL Championship Game

The 1962 National Football League Championship Game was the 30th NFL title game, played on December 30 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. It matched the New York Giants (12–2) of the Eastern Conference and Green Bay Packers (13–1) of the Western Conference, the defending league champions.The Packers were led by hall of fame head coach Vince Lombardi, in his fourth year, and the Giants by Allie Sherman, in his second season. Green Bay was favored by 6½ points. The attendance for the game was 64,892, and the weather during the game was so cold that television crews used bonfires to thaw out their cameras, and one cameraman suffered frostbite. The conditions also made throwing the ball difficult.

Green Bay won 16–7, behind the performances of game Most Valuable Player linebacker Ray Nitschke, and fullback Jim Taylor. Right guard Jerry Kramer, filling in as placekicker for the injured Paul Hornung, scored ten points with three field goals and an extra point. The Giants fumbled twice, with Nitschke recovering both for the Packers, while the Packers recovered all five of their own fumbles and intercepted a Giants pass.This was the third and final NFL title game played at Yankee Stadium; the others were in 1956 and 1958, with the Giants winning the first. There would not be another NFL title game in greater New York City for 51 seasons until Super Bowl XLVIII, which was played February 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium and resulted in the Seattle Seahawks defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8. Previous championship games hosted by the Giants in New York were played across the Harlem River at the Polo Grounds in 1934, 1938, 1944, and 1946; the Giants won the first two. An additional title game was played at the Polo Grounds in 1936, hosted by the Boston Redskins and won by the Packers.

1976 New York Giants season

The 1976 New York Giants season was the franchise's 52nd season in the National Football League. The Giants had a 3–11 record in 1976 and finished in last place in the NFC East.The season was highlighted by the opening of the new Giants Stadium at the New Jersey Meadowlands in East Rutherford on October 10. In the first game at the stadium, after four road games to open the season, the defending NFC champion Dallas Cowboys handed New York a 24–14 loss. The Giants then suffered defeats against the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers, falling to 0–7 after week 7. At this time, they fired third-year head coach Bill Arnsparger, whose Giants teams had lost 28 times in 35 games. John McVay was named the team's interim coach, although director of operations Andy Robustelli said the appointment was "not strictly" on a temporary basis.New York lost its first two games under McVay, against the Philadelphia Eagles and Cowboys. The Giants' first win at Giants Stadium came on November 14, when they defeated the Washington Redskins 12–9; it was their first victory of the season after nine consecutive losses. In their final four games, they won twice. Linebacker Brad Van Pelt became the first Giant to receive a Pro Bowl invitation since 1972. Following the season, McVay remained the Giants' head coach, signing a two-year contract.For the 1976 season and now based in New Jersey, the Giants debuted their new helmet design, changing from a stylized “NY” to the word “GIANTS”, underlined in block letters. They wore this helmet through the 1999 season.

2011 ESPY Awards

The 19th ESPY Awards were held on July 13, 2011, at the Nokia Theatre, hosted by Seth Meyers. ESPY Award is short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award.

Fearsome Foursome (American football)

The Fearsome Foursome was the dominating defensive line of the Los Angeles Rams of the 1960s and 1970s. Before them, the term had occasionally been applied to other defensive lines in the National Football League.

Jim Lee Howell

James Lee Howell (September 27, 1914 – January 4, 1995) was an American football player and coach for the National Football League's New York Giants. Howell was born in Arkansas and played college football and basketball at the University of Arkansas. He was drafted by the Giants in the 1937 NFL Draft and played wide receiver and defensive back from 1937 to 1947. While playing for the Giants, He was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives representing Lonoke County in 1940 and served one term during the January to March 1941 session of the legislature. After his playing career ended, he was head coach for Wagner College football.

Howell returned to the Giants in 1954 as head coach, succeeding fan, media and player favorite Steve Owen. Howell quickly hired Vince Lombardi as his offensive coordinator and shortly after converted Tom Landry from player to defensive coordinator. From 1954 to 1960, the Giants played in three NFL Championship Games, defeating George Halas’s Chicago Bears in 1956 by the score of 47–7.

During Howell's seven seasons as head coach, he earned a career 53–27–4 record, with a .663 winning percentage. He drafted and coached a roster of stars including six future Pro Football Hall of Famers, Sam Huff, Andy Robustelli, Rosey Brown, Emlen Tunnell, Frank Gifford and Don Maynard. Although his conservative, defense-oriented style was unpopular with the fans and media, the Giants' success on the field was more satisfying. Several other players from this era went on to become head coaches and broadcasters.

Howell played and coached in an era when football went from a relatively simple game to one of great complexity with schemes, formations and playbooks designed to deceive as much as over power. With future Hall of Famers Lombardi and Landry as coordinators, Howell's job was frequently to play the diplomat within his own team.

Howell stayed with the team as Director of Player Personnel until his retirement in 1981. He died on January 4, 1995 in Lonoke, Arkansas.

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Howell to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2007

John Johnson (trainer)

John "Mr. J" Johnson (March 31, 1917 – February 28, 2016) was an American athletic trainer, formerly for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL).

He began working for the Giants in 1948, and retired in 2008, after the Giants won Super Bowl XLII. He worked on the sidelines for 874 regular season games and 34 post season games. In addition, he worked as an athletic trainer for Manhattan College. He died in New Jersey at the age of 98 in 2016.

Los Angeles Rams awards

This page details awards won by the Los Angeles Rams American football team. The Rams were formerly based in St. Louis (1995–2015) and Cleveland (1936–1942, 1944–1945), as well as Los Angeles (1946–1994, 2016–present).

Andy Robustelli—championships, awards, and honors

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