Analysis. History. Perspective.

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.”
Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
  • Post Categories



↑ Top