Former NFL defensive tackle dies at 37

05_0314_92.jpgNorman Hand, a defensive tackle who spent 10 years in the NFL playing for five different teams, has died, according to WCSC-TV (via the New Orleans Times-Picayune).

He was 37 years old.

Officially listed at six-foot-three and 310 pounds, the Queens native was a fifth-round pick of the Dolphins in 1995.  He played college football at Mississippi.

After two years of spot duty in Miami, Hand was cut.  The Chargers claimed him via waivers, and he spent three seasons in San Diego, the last two as a full-time starter.  He then signed with the Saints as a free agent, and he was a fixture in the starting lineup for three seasons,  next to Pro Bowler La’Roi Glover.  Traded to Seattle in 2003, Hand ended his career with one season as a Seahawk and one with the Giants.  He last played in the NFL in 2004.

His family issued the following statement:  “Our beloved Norman was brought to the hospital earlier today.  He was
unresponsive and resuscitation not successful.  He passed away early this
afternoon surrounded by his family.  Respect for our family will be
greatly appreciated as we mourn this incomprehensible loss.  We ask that
you focus on Norman’s life and the contributions he made rather than
on his untimely death.”

The cause of death has not been released. 

We send our condolences to Hand’s family, friends, and former teammates.

48 responses to “Former NFL defensive tackle dies at 37

  1. Makes me immediatley think of Reggie White and his passing due to Sleep Apnea.
    It effects middle aged men that are overweight or who have excess tissue in the neck area causing choking and gasping during sleep.
    Prayers are with his family.

  2. RIP Norman Hand. Always loved the guys name for some reason.
    Cant believe this thread it just titled Former NFL lineman. I think most football fans know who Norman Hand was.

  3. 1/2 of the “Heavy Lunch Bunch” in New Orleans when nobody could run the ball up the middle. Grady Jackson was the other guy. Hand was a solid football player.
    RIP

  4. RIP Norman.
    So sad… After giving his life to football, he does not get to live a long, happy and comfortable retirement basking in the glory of a hero. My thoughts and prayers go his family.

  5. RIP Norman, you were a very good player and one of the guys that i definitely paid attention to in free agency because i knew you were a competitor. you helped turn that thing around down there in new orleans. what he left on the field, his family should be very proud of (and my condolenses with them)

  6. Why the hell isn’t this titled with his name?? Any half-assed football fan knows who norman hand is.
    RIP BIG GUY!!! Very good run stopper for the Gmen.

  7. Another sad story of a former athlete gone too soon. Condolences to the family. Same thoughts as Grkboiler, sleep apnea came right to mind. A problem seen much more frequently then needed. An avoidable situation that can be deterred via surgery in many instances but carries the social stigma men like Rex Ryan undertake. RIP Mr. Hand

  8. Defensive tackle, one of the least healthy positions in the NFL. Coaches encourage these guys to put on a ridiculous amount of fat so they’re hard to move.
    6’3″ and 310 lbs?
    You do the math.
    Sad.

  9. I seem to remember, a few years back, Sports Illustrated or ESPN did a story about the health effects of carrying all that extra weight, and they specifically mentioned Norman Hand as a prime example. I think he was already having health problems. Does anyone else remember?

  10. 6’3 310? Maybe when he came into the league… Hand was a big DT, a massive guy. I wonder if his weight got out of control and his passive was due to congestive heart failure or some other weigh related reason.
    I’ve been saying with gusto that teams should be wary of Terrence Cody not only because he’s going to eat himself out of the league but also because he is a prime candidate for early death. If these big linemen want to continue living they need to do a complete 180 when they retire and focus on slimming down.

  11. RIP Big Guy. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family. Your in a much better place now. You dont need big tv’s to watch your favorite game on sundays anymore, you can just look down and catch every game. As for all of you D’bags, have a little respect..

  12. Norman,
    As a Charger fan, I thank you for your time, hard work and dedication to my SoCal team. 37 is definitely way too young to pass on my friend. My heart goes out to your family sir.
    RIP my friend.

  13. So sad when someone so young passes. But still I see chicks on Biggest Loser who are 5’5″ and 330lbs and they survive. How can a healthy strong man die so young? We’ve all seen the Discovery shows of men at 500+ pounds and they live. Just wondering what killed such a young athletic man.
    RIP Norman.

  14. Mike Florio,
    Thank you for removing Ethan Robert/Robert Ethan’s posts……it’d be nice to have a troll-free zone in here!!!
    It’s great to see the site prosper…..but, as with any increase in population, it comes at a price….prosperity tends to bring an unwanted element into a community……..

  15. yep.. “the big wiggle” now.. this guy was a dancer.. loved u with my saints, baby.. my prayers to the hand family..

  16. I met Norman at Giants training camp in 2004. He was extremely nice and took the time to chat with me, as a fan.
    R.I.P. Norman. Thanks.

  17. My Prayers are with your Family and friends Norman , Go to God.
    All you big young guys out there ..Please stay away from Salt, Processed food, and Fast food.
    Its Poison!!

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