Sisto Averno

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Sisto Averno
Sisto Averno - 1953 Bowman.jpg
Averno on a 1953 Bowman football card
Born (1925-05-25)May 25, 1925
Paterson, New Jersey
Died March 26, 2012(2012-03-26) (aged 86)
Randallstown, Maryland
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 237 pounds (108 kg)
Position(s) Guard, Linebacker
College Muhlenberg College
Baltimore Colts
New York Yanks
Dallas Texans
Baltimore Colts

Sisto Joseph Averno (May 12, 1925 in Paterson, New Jersey – March 26, 2012 in Randallstown, Maryland) was an American football guard and linebacker who played in the National Football League for the original Baltimore Colts (1950), the New York Yanks (1951), Dallas Texans (1952) and the Baltimore Colts (1953–1954). He was the final pick of the 1951 NFL Draft, serving as that draft's Mr. Irrelevant. Sisto's college football career also earned him recognition as a member of the Muhlenberg College Athletic Hall of Fame.[1]

In his five years with the Colts, Averno's starting pay was $4,000. The most he ever made in one season was $9,500. Sisto would usually play the whole game as a member of the offensive line, linebacker, kickoff and punt teams.

He also had a reputation for playing while injured. According to Sisto: "One time, I separated my shoulder," Averno said. "I told the coach, Clem Crowe. He said, 'Block with the other one.' "[2]

Later in life[edit]

In his later years, Sisto suffered a stroke, had his knee and a hip replaced, and he also required the use of a walker to get around. These conditions are thought to be linked to injuries he suffered during his playing years. Because of these health conditions, Averno became an advocate for better benefits to retired NFL players.[3]


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