The list of NFL players stricken with ALS is startling (see September 8 blog entry). Perhaps the NFL Players Association would help raise the question as to whether there is a football connection to ALS.
Vikings great Wally Hilgenberg dies
MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Wally Hilgenberg has died after a two-year battle with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 66 years old.
The former University of Iowa All-American died Tuesday morning at his Lakeville, Minn., home surrounded by family members.
Hilgenberg was a fourth-round pick by the Detroit Lions in the 1964 NFL draft, but his best
playing days were from 1968-79 with the Vikings' "Purple People Eaters" defensive line.
He played in all four Vikings Super Bowl appearances and before he retired in 1979, and also played for Pittsburgh Steelers.
"As good as a football player as he was, he was even a better guy," said one-time teammate and longtime friend Stu Voigt. "I can honestly say that I was better as a football player and am better as a man for knowing (him)." "He was a great guy in every respect," said former Vikings coach Jerry Burns. "Everything about him was first class."
Saturday, September 27, 2008
NFL's Wally Hilgenberg Dies from ALS
From the UPI story --