Playing in the National Football LeagueIt takes toughness, gritiness, and sometimes a little bit of both craziness. Lasting a full 16-game (now 17-game) grueling season isn’t for the weak, and many players play through injuries that no one in their right mind should.
The NFL is all that rookie cornerbacks are allowed to practice. Too hard. It’s about winning a Super Bowl, beating cancer then going back to school and Graduating with a degree. And sometimes, it’s about throwing hands on the field like Andre Johnson and Cortland Finegan once did it..
Many players have a certain edge to them and are known as guys you don’t want to mess with. These are the guys who will risk their lives for their team. Literally.
Ronnie LottOne of those guys was he. You need only to see that he once had his pinky amputated because he didn’t want to miss any games.
The former San Francisco 49ersSafety broke his left pinky finger while trying to tackle Timmy Newsome, running back, in a December 1985 game against the Dallas Cowboys. It was the final game of the regular season and the Niners were headed to the playoffs with an 8-6 record.
Ronnie Lott Pinky Injury
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No way Ronnie Lott, the hard-hitting defensive back and staple in San Francisco’s backfield during their four Super Bowl championships in the 1980s, was going to let the hand injury keep him off the field in the Wild Card game against the New York Giants.
Lott was presented with two options by doctors: have a pin placed in Lott’s finger and a cast put over it for eight weeks, or amputate Lott’s tip at the first joint so that he can play right away.
Lott chose option B, which was amputation, and parted with his pinky. Doctors numbed the area, cut it off and placed it in a cast.
One week later, Lott was back in action in the 49ers’ 17-3 loss to the Giants, which eliminated them from the postseason.
Lott finally saw his left smallest finger after the cast was removed two weeks later. He wasn’t happy, according to this Sports Illustrated quote.
“I was trying to laugh it off, but I felt sick,”In 1986, he spoke to the Associated Press. “I tried to stand up, but I broke into a cold sweat. It was just a total shock. I thought, ‘Oh, man, I should have had the pin put in.’… We are losing the compassionate side of sports. We’re becoming gladiators. If I ever become a coach, I hope I never lose sight of the fact that players are people. They feel. They have emotions. I could have all of Eddie DeBartolo’s corporations and it isn’t going to buy me a new finger. It has given me a new perspective on life.”
Imagine a person doing this today. Is this possible in the NFL, NBA NHL, MLB, or NHL? Would they be regarded as heroes or maniacals? I’m gonna take a wild guess and say Tom Brady would never chop off his index finger (nor would Gisele let him). But apparently This Vikings long snapperIn 2018, he was able to play against the Los Angeles Rams without having to touch his pinky.
Heck! Earl Thomas offered a different type fingerPete Carroll and the Seahawks when he tore an ACL. NFL players should never place their team before themselves. Never. Get paid. Make your living. Go feed your family.
Keep your pinky.
Ronnie Lott’s NFL Career
Clearly Ronnie Lott didn’t need his pinky. He was first-team All Pro in five of his six subsequent seasons. The former University of Southern California All-American, 1981 NFL Draft first-round selection, finished his professional football career with 1,146 tackles and 63 interceptions. He also had 10 Pro Bowl selections in his 14 NFL seasons.
Perhaps he was able to spot wide receiver routes because he was one himself in high school in Rialto, California. The two-way football player at USC opted to play defense throughout his college football career. It worked out well for the Hall of Famer.
Lott won four Super Bowls, including back to back titles from 1988-89. He ended his career with the Los Angeles Raiders/New York Jets. He was inducted into a Hall of Fame. Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000 and made the NFL’s All-1980s team along with teammates Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.
Lott is not only considered one of the most reliable safeties, but also one of the most trustworthy. best defensive players in NFL historyAlongside legends such as Lawrence Taylor, linebacker and defensive lineman, Reggie White and Rod Woodson, Ed Reed and defensive backs Rod Woodson. Deion Sanders.
Ronnie Lott was a legend for his bone-crushing hits — like the one he laid on Cincinnati Bengals’ Ickey Woods in the 1989 Super Bowl — and his knack for chasing down defenders, but his best story will be the one where he he amputated his pinky finger because he loved football and winning so much.
This article was originally published August 21, 2019 but Lott’s pinky story is still a wild one.