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Gary Reasons

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Gary Reasons
No. 55, 52
Personal information
Born: (1962-02-18) February 18, 1962 (age 62)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Crowley (Crowley, Texas)
College:Northwestern State
NFL draft:1984 / Round: 4 / Pick: 105
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at PFR

Gary Phillip Reasons (born February 18, 1962) is an American former professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Northwestern State Demons from 1980 to 1983 and was the first player chosen as a first-team Division I-AA All-America team in three consecutive years. He also played professional football in the NFL for the New York Giants (1984–1991) and Cincinnati Bengals (1992). He played on the Giants teams that won Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV. Reasons later worked as a college football television analyst and sideline reporter for ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports Southwest. He has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Early years[edit]

Reasons was born in 1962 in Chicago. He grew up in Texas and attended Crowley High School in Crowley, Texas.[1] He played at linebacker and tight end for the Crowley football team and played other sports as well, earning a total of 13 varsity letters from 1976 to 1980.[2]

Northwestern State[edit]

Reasons attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He played college football as a linebacker for the Northwestern State Demons football team from 1980 to 1983. He set Northwestern State records for most tackles in a game (24), a season (172) and in a career (394). He was the first player to be named three times to the Division I-AA All-America team selected by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).[3][4] As a senior, he was selected as a third-team All-American by Gannett News Service, an honor that typically only goes to Division I-A players.[5]


Reasons was selected by the New York Giants in the fourth round (105th overall pick) of the 1984 NFL Draft.[6] He played for the Giants for eight years from 1984 to 1991, appearing in 122 games, including 80 as a starter.[1] In December 1989, Reasons made a diving tackle against Bobby Humphrey of the Denver Broncos in the snow at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Reasons stopped Humphrey short of the goal-line, and the Giants won the game, helping them advance to the playoffs.[7][8] Three years later, The New York Times published an article about the hit, writing,

Reasons, a Giant linebacker, tackled a man with his head. In fact, his head tackled the other guy's head in midair. It was such a spectacular collision that, Reasons said, people still exclaim about it.[9]

Reasons also made a notable play during the 1991 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, running for 30 yards on a fourth-quarter fake punt play, which helped the Giants win 15-13 and advance to Super Bowl XXV.

In early 1992, the Giants did not include Reasons on their 37-man Plan B protected list.[10] He returned to the Giants but injured his knee during training camp and was released on injury settlement. He signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in September 1992.[11] He appeared in 12 games for the Bengals, nine as a starter, in 1992.[1]

Reasons played in the NFL for nine seasons, appeared in 134 games, and totaled 10 interceptions, 137 interception return yards, nine fumble recoveries, and three-and-a-half sacks.[1]


Reasons has received multiple honors for his football career, including the following:

  • In 1984, Northwestern State retired his No. 34 jersey, one of only three to have been retired by the school.[12]
  • On April 5, 1991, Reasons was honored by the Northwestern State and city of Natchitoches with the celebration of "Gary Reasons Day". As part of the celebration, he was enshrined in the Natichitoches "Walk of Honor".[13][14]
  • Reasons was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.[3] He was inducted as part of the first group of players from smaller schools.[12]
  • He was also inducted into Northwestern State's N-Club Hall of Fame in 1996.[4]
  • In 1997, he was also inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.[15]

Later years[edit]

Reasons married Terri Matthews, and they had three children: Nicholas, Randi, and Lacy.[15] He owned and operated a company that supplied amusement machines to restaurants, clubs, and arcades in the Houston ara.[15]

Reasons was also the owner and president of the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz of the AF2 arena football league. He also served as the team's head coach in 2004 and again in 2008.[16][17]

Reasons also worked for more than 20 years as a college football game analyst, color commentator, and sideline reporter for ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports Southwest.[2][18]

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
OKC 2004 10 6 .625 2nd in Southwest 0 1 .000 Lost to Peoria Pirates in wild card round
OKC 2008 1 5 .167 resigned mid-season[19] 0 0 .000
Total 11 11 .500 0 1 .000


  1. ^ a b c d "Gary Reasons". Pro Football Archives. Retrieved August 22, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Gary Reasons Returns Home to Crowley High School". Crowley School District. Retrieved August 22, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Gary Reasons". National Football Foundation. Retrieved August 22, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Gary Reasons". Northwestern State Demons. Retrieved August 22, 2023.
  5. ^ Buchsbaum, Joel S. (November 29, 1983). "Young, not Rozier deserves trophy". The Pensacola Journal. Gannett News Service. p. 3B. Retrieved February 26, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  6. ^ "1984 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2023-10-12.
  7. ^ Litsky, Frank (1989-12-11). "Giants Plow Past Broncos in Snow, 14-7 - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  8. ^ "Fantastic Finish Puts Giants in Super Bowl vs. Bills - The New York Times". The New York Times. 1991-01-21. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  9. ^ "Gary Reasons' Head". The New York Times. January 6, 1990. p. 45.
  10. ^ "Giants planning to be different". The Sunday Record. February 2, 1992. p. S12 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Reasons fills void from Bentley injury". The Cincinnati Enquirer. September 16, 1992. p. E3 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ a b "Reasons a good Hall of Famer". The Town Talk. May 18, 1996. p. B7 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "NSU, Natchitoches declare 'Gary Reasons Day'". The Town Talk. March 24, 1991. p. B6 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Reasons Day: Natchitoches honors NFL and former Demon star". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. April 6, 1991. pp. B1, B4 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ a b c "Overcoming obstacles: Lack of interest didn't keep Reasons from big career". The Times. July 11, 1997. p. 6C – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "In Focus: Yard Dawgz coach Gary Reasons; One man, many hats". The Daily Oklahoman. December 13, 2007. pp. 1C, 6C – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Ex-Giant will coach new Arena 2 team". The Daily Oklahoman. January 8, 2004. p. C1 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Special assignment: Reasons will handle on-field TV analyst role for TCU-OU game". The Daily Oklahoman. September 26, 2008. p. 2C – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ Martin, Ray (May 12, 2008). "Reasons Steps Down as Yard Dawgs coach". The Oklahoman. Retrieved September 5, 2020.

External links[edit]