|Born:||May 25, 1925|
Paterson, New Jersey
|Died:||March 26, 2012 86) (aged|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||237 lb (108 kg)|
|High school:||Paterson (NJ)|
|NFL Draft:||1951 / Round: 30 / Pick: 362|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Sisto Joseph Averno (May 12, 1925 – March 26, 2012) was an American football guard and linebacker who played in the National Football League for the original Baltimore Colts (1950), the New York Yanks (1951), Dallas Texans (1952) and the Baltimore Colts (1953–1954). He was the final pick of the 1951 NFL Draft, serving as that draft's Mr. Irrelevant. Sisto's college football career also earned him recognition as a member of the Muhlenberg College Athletic Hall of Fame.
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
A linebacker is a playing position in American football and Canadian football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line". Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance".
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.
In his five years with the Colts, Averno's starting pay was $4,000. The most he ever made in one season was $9,500. Sisto would usually play the whole game as a member of the offensive line, linebacker, kickoff and punt teams.
In American and Canadian football, a punt is a kick performed by dropping the ball from the hands and then kicking the ball before it hits the ground. The most common use of this tactic is to punt the ball downfield to the opposing team, usually on the final down, with the hope of giving the receiving team a field position that is more advantageous to the kicking team when possession changes. The result of a typical punt, barring any penalties or extraordinary circumstances, is a first down for the receiving team. A punt is not to be confused with a drop kick, a kick after the ball hits the ground, now rare in both American and Canadian football.
He also had a reputation for playing while injured. According to Sisto: "One time, I separated my shoulder," Averno said. "I told the coach, Clem Crowe. He said, 'Block with the other one.'"
Clem F. Crowe was an American gridiron football and basketball player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Saint Vincent College (1926–1931), Xavier University (1936–1943), and the University of Iowa (1945), compiling a career college football record of 71–66–5. Crowe was also the head basketball coach at Saint Vincent College (1928–1932), Xavier (1933–1943), and the University of Notre Dame (1944–1945), tallying a career college basketball mark of 152–115. He later coached professional football for the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), and the Ottawa Rough Riders and BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
In his later years, Sisto suffered a stroke, had his knee and a hip replaced, and he also required the use of a walker to get around. These conditions are thought to be linked to injuries he suffered during his playing years. Because of these health conditions, Averno became an advocate for better benefits to retired NFL players.
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