Tragically, Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti died at the age of 78 on Tuesday, July 30. Upon hearing the news, former teammates and organizations came out in droves to lament the loss. Not the least of which was former Dolphins wide receiver Nat Moore, who is the team’s Senior Vice President of special projects and alumni relations.
"More than just a football player" #Dolphins great Nat Moore on the passing of his friend and former agent, Fins @ProFootballHOF Nick Buoniconti. We'll have much more on the life of the Fins legend on @nbc6 pic.twitter.com/AHi6s7QaPF
— Chris Fischer NBC6 (@FischerNBC6) July 31, 2019
“It’s a real sad day for the Dolphins and our alumni.” He said. “We lost one of our greats with the passing of Nick Buoniconti. He was a great football player, a true Hall of Famer, but he was much more than that. He was a lawyer and a successful business leader. Most of all he was a family man. The work he did with the Miami Project following the tragic accident with Marc will never be matched. My thoughts are with his wife, Lynn, and children, Marc, Nick and Gina. He will be missed and always in our hearts.”
Of course, Moore was not the only one to reach out. Other legends came out to express their sadness over the loss of a teammate and friend.
“I’m deeply saddened by the news of Nick’s passing. He was the consummate team captain, the heartbeat of our team. I’ll miss Nick, his wisdom and class. Because of Nick, the world’s a much better place. My sincerest condolences to Lynn and family. RIP brother, #85.”
“The main thing I always remember about Nick is that we were both traded to the Dolphins the same year (1969) and were bonded ever since then. He came from Boston and I was with San Diego. We had a great relationship and always kidded each other. We were both captains of the 1972 team and he would always call the coin toss and got it right every time. One time I asked to do it and I got it wrong. He never let me forget that! He was a great guy and a great person, he was always a fierce competitor. It’s really a sad day for me.”
“It’s a difficult day. Nick was the leader of our defense and another coach on the field. You combine him with our defense coach, Bill Arnsparger, and you know why he always bragged that we made just 11 mental errors on defense during the entire prefect season of 1972. We just had to go where they told us to go and make the play. As great a player as he was on the field, and he was a Hall of Famer, he was even more impactful off the field with all the work he did with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after the injury to his, Marc. He helped raised $200-300 million and made the Project one of the world’s leading neurological research centers.”
“Maybe they were the no name defense but they were probably the no mistake defense [as well] and Nick was kind of the leader of that. He wouldn’t put up with guys that didn’t know what their job was, didn’t know where they were supposed to line up or didn’t play with the maximum effort. He kind of spearheaded that defense and really gave them the image of what they were but more importantly, gave them the heart that he brought to the table each and every week.”
“I am sad to hear of Nick’s passing. Nick was special to me in every way. He was someone I greatly admired. His love for his wife, Lynn, his children, grandchildren, friends, teammates, family and the community was evident. His groundbreaking work with The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has made a huge difference in the lives of so many people. I am thankful to have had Nick in my life. I will miss him.”
New England Patriots
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Nick Buoniconti. pic.twitter.com/xif4HjsDXr
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) July 31, 2019
Off the field
There are still more individuals who were touched by the passing of Nick Buoniconti, and they also offered their condolences.
“My dad has been my hero and represents what I have always aspired to be; a leader, a mentor and a champion.” said son Marc Buoniconti. “He selflessly gave all to football, to his family and to those who are less fortunate. He made a promise to me that turned into a revolution in paralysis research. We can best honor his dedication and endless commitment by continuing with our work until that promise is fulfilled and a cure is found.”
“Nick Buoniconti was a true hero of the game,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker said in a statement. “His inspiring Hall of Fame journey that started as a 13th round draft choice to leading the Dolphins ‘No Name’ defense is one filled with grit, determination, courage and compassion. Nick’s contributions off the field were even greater than what he did on it. He lived a life of honor and nobility and his legacy will live forever through his Bronzed Bust in Canton, Ohio. The entire Hall of Fame family mourns Nick’s passing and we will keep his wife Lynn and his entire family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Needless to say, Buoniconti leaves a void in the hearts of many with his departure. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Buoniconti family during their time of need.