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Andrew "Andy" Richard Robustelli (born December 6, 1925 in Stamfordmarker, Connecticutmarker) is a former 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 Collegemarker and was drafted in the nineteenth round of the 1951 NFL Draft. Robustelli was a seven-time First-team All-pro selection and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Famemarker in 1971.

Early life

Robustelli was born on December 7, 1925 in Stamford, Connecticutmarker, 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 Arnold College, in Bridgeport, Connecticutmarker. 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 with Class AA Knoxville.


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 and after that they won the 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 from 1956 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. He recovered 22 fumbles in his career (the NFL record when he retired) and intercepted two passes, both going for touchdowns.

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

Awards and honors

Robustelli is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Famemarker and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

He was named Walter Camp Man of the Year in 1988.

Cited references

  1. Giants Among Men, Jack Cavanaugh, p.7, 2008, Random House, ISBN 978-1-4000-6717-6
  2. Giants Among Men, Jack Cavanaugh, p.113, 2008, Random House, ISBN 978-1-4000-6717-6

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