Nick Buoniconti, is a two-time Super Bowl winner with the Miami Dolphins, a veteran of fourteen seasons in the NFL, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here's Everything You Need To Know About Nick Buoniconti.
Nicholas Anthony Buoniconti was born December 15, 1940, in the Italian neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts. He grew up a staunch Catholic, graduated from Catholic high school, and, naturally, went to a Catholic college.
How Good Was Nick Buoniconti?
From 1958 to 1961, Nick played for Notre Dame at the defensive tackle spot, and was one of the team's defensive leaders, becoming its captain in his final season. He was named to the NCAA All-Star team, but when it came time to enter the draft, most NFL scouts deemed him too "small" to play at the professional level.
In the AFL draft, the Boston Patriots selected him only in the thirteenth round. The coaches moved the rookie to the linebacker position and he unexpectedly became one of the leaders of the defense in his first season. At the end of the 1962 season, Buoniconti became the best debutant on the Patriots roster. From 1963 to 1967 he was included in the AFL All-Star Game.
In 1969, Nick was traded to the Miami Dolphins, where Don Shula made him one of the key players in his signature defense. The team played in the Super Bowl three times in a row from 1971 to 1973, winning the major football trophy twice.
All told, Buoniconti played seven seasons each for the Patriots and Dolphins, playing 183 regular-season games and 13 playoff games during his career. He is a member of the AFL All-Star Team, the New England Patriots' Club Hall of Fame, and the Miami Dolphins Ring of Honor. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
After retirement, Nick briefly worked as a lawyer, a degree he earned while still a player for the Patriots. He then opened a sports agency whose clients included MLB stars. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Buoniconti served as president of United States Tobacco.
In 1985, when his son suffered a spinal cord injury, he began funding the University of Miami Medical Research Center, which is now one of the leading medical centers in the field of neurology.
Nick also did a lot of commercials, and until 2001 he co-hosted the show Inside the NFL on HBO.
In the last years of his life, Buoniconti suffered from neurological problems. In 2017, he announced that he was donating his brain to research chronic traumatic encephalopathy problems after his death. A year later, Nick supported an initiative by several former players to ban contact football for children under the age of 14. Nicholas Buoniconti passed away on July 30, 2019.
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