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Sports Then and Now



Craig Heyward: A Man Called “Ironhead” 14

Posted on September 26, 2011 by Blaine Spence
Craig "Ironhead" Heyward began his NFL career as a first round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1988.

Craig "Ironhead" Heyward began his NFL career as a first round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1988.

Writer’s Note: Craig Heyward would have been 45 on Sept. 26, 2011.

The name “Ironhead” Heyward used to invoke fear into the hearts of NFL defenders. Hell, Heyward used to invoke fear into the hearts of anyone who crossed his path, or him. This is how Len Pasquarelli from ESPN.com described Heyward:

“He was one of the toughest, nastiest SOBs that I have encountered in 28 years of covering the NFL, a man whose menacing scowl could seemingly strip paint from a wall, and who reveled in his own brute physicality and took glee from imposing his strength on others.”

But is that really all Craig “Ironhead” Heyward was about?

There is no doubt that Heyward relished the moniker he had been given at New Jersey’s Passaic High School (the same high school, incidentally, whose halls had been previously haunted by Jack “Call Me Assassin” Tatum).

Whether it was because of his eight-and-three-quarter-inch hat size or his propensity for using his head as a battering ram, it cannot be disputed that Heyward loved to spread the gospel of his “Ironhead.”
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