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Thread: "Mad Dog" Obit...

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    "Mad Dog" Obit...

    Follow-up "obit" story......................

    Ex-Steelers great White dead at 58
    By Alan Robinson
    Associated Press



    PITTSBURGH - Dwight White, the Steel Curtain defensive end known as "Mad Dog" who helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s, died following surgery. He was 58.

    He died at a Pittsburgh hospital, the team said Friday. The cause was not disclosed.

    White is the second member of the original four-man Steel Curtain to die this year. Defensive tackle Ernie Holmes died Jan. 17 in a car accident in Texas.

    White, a two-time Pro Bowl player, was chosen as one of the 33 members of the Steelers' 75th anniversary all-time team last season.

    White was best known for climbing out of a hospital bed to play in the Steelers' first Super Bowl victory, 16-6 over the Minnesota Vikings in 1975. White lost 18 pounds after being diagnosed with pneumonia and a lung infection, yet played nearly the entire game.

    White made three tackles for no yards as the Vikings ran seven of their first eight running plays his way and went on to finish with only 17 yards rushing on 21 attempts. White also accounted for the only points of the first half when he sacked Fran Tarkenton in the end zone for a safety.

    White, a former player at East Texas State (now Texas A&M-Commerce), gained his nickname because of his intensity. He often said that playing on the defensive line was like having "a dog's life."

    Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said that inner drive was the reason the 6-4, 250-pounder could play so well only hours after being hospitalized.

    "He played with a relentlessness that led us to four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s," Rooney said in a statement. "Dwight refused to be denied, as was evidenced when he walked out of the hospital with pneumonia to play in Super Bowl IX and had an outstanding game. Dwight will be remembered by those who knew him even more for being a wonderful and caring person."

    Rooney's son, Steelers president Art Rooney II, said the organization "lost an important member."

    "He always seemed to rise to the occasion when it counted most and added an element of toughness that was synonymous with our teams of the 1970s," Rooney II said.

    White's death follows a trend in which former Steelers players have died at an uncommon rate. At least 38 former Steelers players have died since 2000, with 17 of them 59 or younger, as was White.

    According to a Los Angeles Times survey in 2006, one-fifth of the former NFL players from the 1970s and 1980s who died through that year were former Steelers.

    White was a fourth-round draft pick in 1971 after being a first-team All-Lone Star Conference player and team captain at East Texas State as a senior.

    White made his first Pro Bowl in 1972, playing on a Steelers defensive line that also featured Hall of Famer Mean Joe Greene and defensive end L.C. Greenwood.

    White repeated as a Pro Bowl selection in 1973 and his 46 sacks from 1971-80 are the seventh most in Steelers history. He had 33 1/2 sacks from 1972-75, with three in the Steelers' 21-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the January 1976 Super Bowl.

    White was chosen by The Associated Press as a first team All-AFC player in 1973.

    White retired after the 1980 season - one of the first players from the Steelers' Super Bowl teams to do so - and became a prominent stock broker in Pittsburgh and one of the most successful former Steelers in the business world.

    Most recently, he was senior managing director of public finance for Mesirow Financial in Pittsburgh. Before that, he was a partner and principal operator of the Pittsburgh office of W.R. Lazard & Co., plus a company board member, and worked for investment firms Balche-Halsey and Daniels & Bell.

    "Let's just say, like Yogi Bear used to say, I'm smarter than the average bear," White told Pittsburgh author Jim O'Brien in 1991. In the same interview, he said his one vice was he smoked too much.

    White, the oldest of three children who grew up in Hampton, Va., and Dallas, also was involved in numerous community events and charity activities.

    "He had a special gift that enabled him to liven up any room that he entered," Rooney II said.

    White also was chairman of the Pennsylvania Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

    "His NFL nickname, Mad Dog, belied the fact that he was a true gentleman and an accomplished business leader," Gov. Ed Rendell said in a statement. "After retiring from football, he entered the financial services industry with the same tenacity and determination he showed on the football field."

    Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday in Pittsburgh.


  2. #2
    Pro Bowler Flasteel's Avatar
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    Re: "Mad Dog" Obit...

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler
    White's death follows a trend in which former Steelers players have died at an uncommon rate. At least 38 former Steelers players have died since 2000, with 17 of them 59 or younger, as was White.

    According to a Los Angeles Times survey in 2006, one-fifth of the former NFL players from the 1970s and 1980s who died through that year were former Steelers.


    I was thinking that we've lost an inordinate number of players in the past ten years or so, but I had no idea that we represented one-fifth of all deceased players. Wow. I think steroid use with our lineman played a significant role in this, but no matter how you slice it, that's just an incredibly sad number.



    "I hate him. Everybody says I'm supposed to be polite when I talk to you all, but I hate him..." "He talks too much, he doesn't make sense, he's fat, he's sloppy, he acts like he's the best thing since sliced bread. He's ugly, he stinks, his mouth stinks, his breath stinks, and basically his soul stinks, too.

    "Not too many people have personalities like that and survive in life. I don't know how he does it."


    -Kris Jenkins on Warren Sapp

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    Re: "Mad Dog" Obit...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flasteel
    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler
    White's death follows a trend in which former Steelers players have died at an uncommon rate. At least 38 former Steelers players have died since 2000, with 17 of them 59 or younger, as was White.

    According to a Los Angeles Times survey in 2006, one-fifth of the former NFL players from the 1970s and 1980s who died through that year were former Steelers.


    I was thinking that we've lost an inordinate number of players in the past ten years or so, but I had no idea that we represented one-fifth of all deceased players. Wow. I think steroid use with our lineman played a significant role in this, but no matter how you slice it, that's just an incredibly sad number.
    Agreed.... And I do believe the steroid use played a part.... I posted an article several months back about the "overly high" death rate, but it was laughed at...

  4. #4
    Pro Bowler Flasteel's Avatar
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    Re: "Mad Dog" Obit...

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler
    Quote Originally Posted by Flasteel
    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler
    White's death follows a trend in which former Steelers players have died at an uncommon rate. At least 38 former Steelers players have died since 2000, with 17 of them 59 or younger, as was White.

    According to a Los Angeles Times survey in 2006, one-fifth of the former NFL players from the 1970s and 1980s who died through that year were former Steelers.


    I was thinking that we've lost an inordinate number of players in the past ten years or so, but I had no idea that we represented one-fifth of all deceased players. Wow. I think steroid use with our lineman played a significant role in this, but no matter how you slice it, that's just an incredibly sad number.
    Agreed.... And I do believe the steroid use played a part.... I posted an article several months back about the "overly high" death rate, but it was laughed at...
    I don't remember the article, but you got laughed at? What's up with that? What was being ridiculed...the steroid connection?



    "I hate him. Everybody says I'm supposed to be polite when I talk to you all, but I hate him..." "He talks too much, he doesn't make sense, he's fat, he's sloppy, he acts like he's the best thing since sliced bread. He's ugly, he stinks, his mouth stinks, his breath stinks, and basically his soul stinks, too.

    "Not too many people have personalities like that and survive in life. I don't know how he does it."


    -Kris Jenkins on Warren Sapp

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    Re: "Mad Dog" Obit...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flasteel
    I don't remember the article, but you got laughed at? What's up with that? What was being ridiculed...the steroid connection?
    Well, 'ya gotta consider the source from the other board.... ...Yes, it was tied to 'roids, but the fact that Steeler players were the most on the list... I just tried to look for the article, but am having trouble finding it. I honestly don't remember the source, but it was quite disturbing... I'll keep looking.

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    Re: "Mad Dog" Obit...

    Fla, this isn't it. But it was along these lines....


    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Friday, January 18, 2008
    Holmes latest of former Steelers players deaths since 2000
    Associated Press

    PITTSBURGH -- Some were accidental, some were tragic and others were inexplicable.

    For some reason, former Pittsburgh Steelers players keep dying at an alarming rate, one that appears to be far higher than that for other NFL teams.

    Former star defensive lineman Ernie Holmes' death in an auto accident Thursday night in Texas was at least the 34th death of a former Steelers player since 2000, with 16 of them age 59 or younger, as was Holmes.

    Several of those who died are known to have used steroids, including former offensive guard Steve Courson -- the first NFL player to reveal he used them. He died by accident in November 2005 following years of heart problems. Several others were long rumored to have used steroids, although there has been no definitive proof they did.

    Of those Steelers deaths, eight were in their 50s, five were in their 40s and two were in their 30s.

    As with all NFL teams that joined the league in its early days -- the Steelers concluded their 75th season earlier this month -- Pittsburgh has lost nearly all of the players from its early teams. Five of the 34 who died since 2000 were in their 80s.

    But it is the unusually high number of deaths among players who are relatively young that is uncommon. In 2006, a Los Angeles Times survey found that nearly one-fifth of the NFL players from the 1970s and 1980s who had died since 2000 were former Steelers.

    "I can't explain it," longtime Steelers executive Joe Gordon said Friday. "Maybe it was something in the water."

    Seven of the 34 died of heart problems before reaching their 60s: Hall of Fame center Mike Webster (50), center Jim Clack (5, defensive back Ray Oldham (54), defensive back Dave Brown (52), defensive lineman Steve Furness (49), quarterback Joe Gilliam (49) and offensive guard Tyrone McGriff (41).

    Remarkably, all three of the regular centers from their Super Bowl days of the 1970s are dead: Webster, Clack and Ray Mansfield, who died of a heart attack at age 55 in 1996. Webster made the Pro Bowl nine times with Pittsburgh.

    Webster had a series of medical problems after his career ended -- some traceable to damage to the front lobe of his brain that occurred during 16 seasons' worth of violent collisions.

    Despite playing on one of the best NFL teams of all time, both Webster and Gilliam were homeless at times before dying. Gilliam had cocaine and heroin problems and was once found sleeping in a cardboard box under a bridge in Nashville.

    Terry Long, a post-Super Bowl era guard who underwent a dramatic and unusually fast weight gain while in college and the NFL, committed suicide 2 years ago at age 45 by drinking antifreeze. He tested positive for steroids while playing and once tried earlier to commit suicide by ingesting rat poison.

    Justin Strzelczyk, a Steelers lineman from 1990-99, died following a high-speed chase with police on the New York Thruway in 2004. His truck crashed with a tanker truck while he was driving on the wrong side of the road.

    Linebacker David Little died at age 46 after also having heart problems. He died while lifting weights when the loaded bar dropped onto his chest and neck, causing him to suffocate.

    Other Steelers players deaths since 2000, their cause of death, if known, and ages at the time of death:

    Courson (home accident, crushed by fallen tree, age 50), wide receiver Theo Bell (kidney and skin diseases, 52), defensive lineman John Baker (stroke, other health problems, 72), quarterback Ed Brown (prostate cancer, 7, lineman Leo Nobile (kidney failure, 84), defensive lineman Ernie Stautner (Alzheimer's disease and other medical problems, 80), defensive back Johnny Sample (heart disease, 67), quarterback Bobby Gage (heart attack, 77).

    Running back Bob Ferguson (diabetes, other health problems, 64), linebacker Bob Schmitz (apparent heart attack, 65), wide receiver Gary Ballman (undisclosed reasons, 63), offensive tackle James Parrish (cancer, 35), linebacker Fred Small (auto accident, 39), defensive lineman Frank "Pop" Ivy (natural causes, age 87), wide receiver Ron Shanklin (cancer, age 54), kick returner Billy Reynolds (died shortly after hip replacement surgery, age 71).

    Running back Leon "Muscles" Campbell (undisclosed reasons, 75), running back Fran Rogel (Parkinson's disease, other health problems, 74), running back Joe Geri (various health problems, 7, running back Bob Cifers (natural causes, 80), wide receiver Sam Boyd (natural causes, 86), tackle Billy Ray Smith (cancer, 66) and offensive-defensive back Lowell Perry (cancer, 69).

  7. #7
    Pro Bowler Flasteel's Avatar
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    Re: "Mad Dog" Obit...

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler
    Quote Originally Posted by Flasteel
    I don't remember the article, but you got laughed at? What's up with that? What was being ridiculed...the steroid connection?
    Well, 'ya gotta consider the source from the other board.... ...Yes, it was tied to 'roids, but the fact that Steeler players were the most on the list... I just tried to look for the article, but am having trouble finding it. I honestly don't remember the source, but it was quite disturbing... I'll keep looking.
    Okay, I thought it was being laughed at by a preponderance of folks, but it appears that only one or two of the trolls were tearing it down. I'm not sure of when you posted it, but let's see if I can "name that troll".

    Nut Sack (aka Ryan Leaf)
    TBradshaw

    I'll only guess two since it would be unfair to list everyone and guarantee I'm right.

    On a completely different note...Does anyone else find it hard to concentrate on their writing (in the posting screen obviously) with that "bouncing breasts" icon constantly jumping up and down? I know they're only cartoon tits, but they still have a power over me. (Hey! Where's the drooly icon??)



    "I hate him. Everybody says I'm supposed to be polite when I talk to you all, but I hate him..." "He talks too much, he doesn't make sense, he's fat, he's sloppy, he acts like he's the best thing since sliced bread. He's ugly, he stinks, his mouth stinks, his breath stinks, and basically his soul stinks, too.

    "Not too many people have personalities like that and survive in life. I don't know how he does it."


    -Kris Jenkins on Warren Sapp

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