Andy Robustelli

June 2, 2011 at 9:05 PM | Posted in Football, Sports | 5 Comments
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Andy Robustelli died the other day at 85 and was in the Football Hall of Fame for 40 years and that is one measure of how great he was. He was the defensive leader of the storied Giant teams of the  fifties and sixties. It was a team of names: Sam Huff, Charley Conerly, Y.A. Tittle, Frank Gifford, Kyle Rote, Pat Summerall,  Alex Webster, Roosevelt Brown, Emlen Tunnell, Jimmy Patton, Dick Lynch and his mates on the defensive line: Roosevelt Grier, Dick Mozelewski (Mod-ju-lef-ski) and Jim Katkavage. In the fifties, Tom Landry coached the defense and Vince Lombardi the offense. I’m not making this up.

Robustelli, Grier, Modzelewski, Katkavage

This Giant team played in 6 Championship Games but won only once. They ran into two buzz saws back then: Unitas’ Colts and Lombardi’s Packers. (I can not comment on the loss to the Bears in ’63  other than to say that I am not over it.) They lost nobly and as a true fan I can say that they never let us down. I loved them with my whole heart and to know that Robustelli our leader is dead, is heartbreaking.

Andy’s father was a barber in Connecticut and his mother was a seamstress. He only went to college after serving in the Navy in World War II. With Robustelli there was never a need to exaggerate. He was a giant to us huddled in front of the TV or with our ear to the radio for home games (which were not televised in those days.) We screamed Dee-fense even if there was no one in the room. We were so in love.


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  1. Great picture. I was going to say that Andy Robustelli looked small and then make a comment about how small players were compared to today, but he was 6″1. Rosie Greer is listed at 6″5. The man was big!

    • He was big and Roosevelt Brown was bigger — maybe not as tall but a very big man. One of the great offensive tackles of all time. That that team only won one championship is a crime!

  2. Thanks Tom, I didn’t know about Andy. He & I grew up in the same home town of Stamford. His kids went to my high school. Andy was a beloved person & model family man. A great person…the John Wayne of Stamford.

  3. Lovely post Tom.

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