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American Football: ex pro bowler reggie white dies at age 43

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posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 11:58 AM
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Former NFL Star Reggie White Dead at 43


HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Sports Network) - NFL great Reggie White died Sunday morning of a massive heart attack. He was 43.

White, the league's former all-time sack leader, put together a Hall of Fame career as a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles (news) and Green Bay Packers (news) from 1985-1998. He also played for the Carolina Panthers (news) in 2000.


A 13-time Pro Bowl selection, White died at his North Carolina home just seven days after his 43rd birthday.


ESPN reported his death Sunday morning on its NFL preview show




posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 12:34 PM
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What a shame, Reggie was a good person. I had the pleasure of knowing Reggie, his nephew was on my high school football team and he came to all of our games. I'm shocked by his untimely death at such a young age. I watched him play here in Philly for many years and he was an unbelievable football player. His teammate in Philly died young too, Jerome Brown in a car accident. Thats too bad, I feel for his family.




posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 01:23 PM
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Reggie was a great and classy player. This was truely shocking, so young.


If you were an offensive player, this was the last thing you wanted to see coming your way.




[Edited on 12/26/04 by truenorth]



posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 01:42 PM
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I was shocked to hear about this earlier today. He was a truly great man, and was also working with NASCAR on thier diversity program.

NFL.com article on Reggie



posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 03:36 PM
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Reggie White am i missing something here this guy was a phenomenal American Football player but for goodness sake he was only 5 years older than myself when he passed away



posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 05:46 PM
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Here's a more complete article from NFL.com -

NFL legend White passes away at 43

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 26, 2004) -- Reggie White, a fearsome defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers who was one of the great players in NFL history, died Sunday, his wife said. He was 43.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

"Today our beloved husband, father and friend passed away," White's wife, Sara, said in a statement through a family pastor. "His family appreciates your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of Reggie White. We want to thank you in advance for honoring our privacy."

A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and ordained minister who was known as the "Minister of Defense," White played a total of 15 years with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina. He retired in 2000 as the NFL's all-time leader in sacks with 198. The mark has since been passed by Bruce Smith.

"Reggie White was a gentle warrior who will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history," NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said. "Equally as impressive as his achievements on the field was the positive impact he made off the field and the way he served as a positive influence on so many young people."

A member of the NFL's 75th anniversary team, White was elected to the Pro Bowl a record 13 straight times from 1986-98. He was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 1987 and 1998.

"As great a player as Reggie was, he was a better person, and it isn't close," Detroit Lions chief executive officer Matt Millen said. "Every life that Reggie touched is better for it."

After an All-American senior season at Tennessee, White began his pro career with the Memphis Showboats of the USFL in 1984. He joined the Philadelphia Eagles, who held his NFL rights, after the USFL folded in 1985. For eight years he was as an integral piece in Philadelphia's "Gang Green Defense."

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie called White "one of the greatest men ever to play the game of football" and said his "legacy on and off the football field will never be forgotten."

White then signed as a free agent with Green Bay in 1993. His signing, along with a trade for quarterback Brett Favre, helped make the Packers champions again. He was the first major black player to sign with the Packers as a free agent.

His decision to choose the Packers was a surprise. While visiting various teams, he suggested he would prefer a major city, where he could minister to black youth.

"That's what changed the football fortunes of this franchise. It was huge," Packers president Bob Harlan said. "Everyone thought the last place he would sign was Green Bay and it was monumental because not only did he sign but he recruited for Green Bay and got guys like Sean Jones to come here. He sent a message to the rest of the NFL that Green Bay was a great place to play."

The Packers made consecutive Super Bowl appearances, including a win over New England in 1997, when White set a Super Bowl record with three sacks.

White worked tirelessly in the offseason with inner-city youths. But his image was tarnished when he gave a speech in which he denounced homosexuality and used ethnic stereotypes. White later apologized.

White was 39 when he finished his NFL career with Carolina -- his third retirement. He retired for one day before the 1998 season, but then said God had told him he needed to play again, and he returned to the Packers.

White retired again after the 1998 season and took a year off from football. After the Packers allowed him out of his contract, White returned to play for the Panthers.

"I will always miss the locker room and the guys, but I know God's will for me to move on to other challenges because it's not in me like it used to be," White said at the time.

White's last season was disappointing. He recorded a career-low 5.5 sacks with only 27 tackles. He didn't show the same pass-rushing skills that made such a dominating force.

White spent eight years with the Eagles and six with the Packers before a final one with the Panthers. Remarkably durable, White missed only one game in his last 12 seasons and started all but three games during that span.

"Reggie's records and accomplishments say it all," George Seifert, who coached him on the Panthers, once said. "He is a Hall of Fame player and possibly the best defensive lineman ever to play the game."

Statement from the league:
Reggie White was a gentle warrior who will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history. Equally as impressive as his achievements on the field was the positive impact he made off the field and the way he served as a positive influence on so many young people. We are deeply saddened by his loss and extend our deepest sympathy to Reggie's wife Sara and his entire family.
Paul Tagliabue,
NFL Commissioner

Statement from the Eagles:
We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest men ever to play the game of football. On behalf of the entire Eagles family, our condolences go out to his wife, Sara, to his children, and to all those who have been touched by Reggie throughout his life. His legacy on and off the football field will never be forgotten.



posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 06:02 PM
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To An Athlete Dying Young
(by A. E. Housman)

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners who renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.

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