Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 May 2010

Norman Hand Passes Away

Former NFL defensive tackle Norman Hand passed away today at the age of 37. No word yet on the cause of death.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 14 May 2010

18 comments, Last at 17 May 2010, 2:58pm by Will Allen


by prophetik (not verified) :: Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:30pm

surprisingly young. why'd he stop playing after 2004? might give a clue as to how he died.

by Temo :: Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:50pm

No word yet on the cause of death.

I'm going go ahead, jump the gun and say "Football".

by tuluse :: Sat, 05/15/2010 - 12:47am

It's pretty rare for football to cause people to die at 37.

by zlionsfan :: Sat, 05/15/2010 - 9:20pm

I'd guess it's pretty common for former football players to die 20, 30, 40 years early from complications related to their playing days.

by tuluse :: Sat, 05/15/2010 - 9:53pm

I would like to see a list of people 37 and younger who have died from football related circumstances.

To borrow from Will Allen, I would wager a large some of money it's not even 1% of people who played football.

by Def Jam (not verified) :: Sun, 05/16/2010 - 9:39am

But if it is a rate that is say, 800% higher than the rest of the population at that age, it's a valid contributing factor.

by Sophandros :: Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:57pm

Let's look at linemen in particular, and let's really wait a few more years, since there were few 300+ pound guys in the league until the 90s. I'm willing to wager that those guys, like The Big Wiggle (BTW, Norman Hand was one of my favorite Saints of all time, which is saying a lot) have a higher rate of dying younger than the regular populace, primarily because being 300+ pounds is, in general, not very healthy.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by tuluse :: Sun, 05/16/2010 - 6:41pm

I'm just saying even among football players, 37 is a outlier.

by Adam B. :: Mon, 05/17/2010 - 9:25am

And far lower than the percentage of pro wrestlers who've died young.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 05/17/2010 - 2:58pm

Surely I wrote "sum", did I not? Egads, I've been possessed by raiderjoe!

by Sophandros :: Sat, 05/15/2010 - 1:08pm

He was at least 360 pounds after retiring, in addition to battling bipolar disorder.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 05/16/2010 - 11:47am

Hand was a very good player. He was at his best whem playing in the heart of that very good Saints defense under Jim Haslett. Back then the 'Greatest Show on Turf' dominated the NFC and only two defenses in teh conference could slow them down, both of which had dominant front fours. One was the Giants, led by Strahan in his prime and the Saints were the other. However, it was Hand that was the key for the New Orleans D, which was demonstrated when he missed most of two consecutive decembers and the defense fell to pieces while he was out. Great player, not a HOFer, but a great player nonetheless.

by Sophandros :: Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:53pm

Excellent synopsis.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by exdeadguy :: Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:58pm

The 1999 Bucs would like you to increase that number of defenses to 3.

I always liked Hand, was sorry to hear of his retirement, and moreso of this news.

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 05/16/2010 - 2:48pm

You are entirely correct, my bad.

by Theo :: Sun, 05/16/2010 - 6:28pm

He played his last years at the Raiders I remember and he was good. He was good, I noticed that in some games. I remember a big guy in a Raiders jersey with HAND on it and he played DT very well.

by Independent George :: Mon, 05/17/2010 - 2:19pm

I remember him because he played for the Giants, and because he had an awesome name, but this was before I paid much attention to the interior line.

by Feagles - King ... :: Mon, 05/17/2010 - 2:44pm