A Quick Biopic: Lyle Alzado

MARCH 22, 2007

Note: This entry was originally written on 2/25/07, as part of a larger entry:

Quote of the Day, 3/22/07:

“If me and King Kong went into an alley, only one of us would come out, and it wouldn’t be the monkey.”

Lyle Alzado, NFL Defensive End, 1971-1985

Lyle Alzado was a somewhat celebrated defensive lineman in the NFL through the 1970s and 1980s. Although he had a pretty good career, making two Pro Bowls, and was generally well-liked in the locker room, he bounced around between three different teams (the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, and Los Angelese Raiders) due to contract disputes. He was very popular for his ‘tough guy’ status in the league. He also sported long hair and a beard, making him pretty recognizable. What he is best remembered for today, however, is that he was one of the first professional athletes to admit to using steroids during his career. After his career he railed against steriod use: he died at the age of 43 of brain cancer and was convinced that steroids were the cause of his illness, although most doctors strongly argue that steroid use has nothing to do with brain cancer. His words were heard by the public, however: despite what the doctors said, my high school biology teacher once talked briefly about Lyle Alzado, who “died from steroid use.”

Alzado also had a brief stint as an actor. He starred in “Ernest Goes to Camp” (he’s the bully construction worker), and he also starred in one episode of “The Super Mario Bros. Super Show” in 1989 (straight up…that show was the bomb!). In 1985 he starred in the anti-drug music video called “Stop the Madness” sponsored by the Reagan Administration.

But honestly, the only reason I wanted to write about Alzado is the above quote. I first saw the quote in a book I recieved from my parents as a Christmas gift about ten years ago: the book highlighted the entire history of the NFL. For the most part, the book was pretty boring, although there were some cool sections that I really liked. But every chapter or so, a random quote would appear on a random page. And I remember flipping through and reading it on a whim, and immediately thinking “Damn, Lyle Alzado was the man!”

Honestly, its one of my favorite quotes ever. The guy’s career seemed to be a little blown out of proportion: from his career as a player, where his over-inflated contracts never allowed him to stay in one place for awhile; to his personal life, where it is a common belief that he died from steriod use, when in actuality, he didn’t. But despite all of this, he gave us one of the best quotes ever heard from a football player. Lyle Alzado, you da man!

Until Next Time,



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