Born on this day in 1938 down in Port Arthur was former Baylor All-Conference player and AFL legend Goose Gonsoulin.
Austin Gonsoulin earned the nickname “Goose” from his position coach Hayden Fry. Gonsoulin captained the 1959 Baylor Bears and made All-Southwest Conference before the Dallas Texans selected him in the 17th Round of the 1960 AFL draft.
He became an Original Denver Bronco shortly thereafter and holds the AFL record for interceptions with 40. Gonsoulin was an Ironman, playing in 61 consecutive games at one point. A physical player, Gonsoulin gained a reputation as one of the game’s first enforcers.
Gonsoulin once famously had a literal run in with former LSU great Billy Cannon. Both players were going full speed when they collided. “When I woke up I was in the hospital, in full uniform,” Gonsoulin said. Gonsoulin took two days off and was back at it.
All that pounding took a toll on Gonsoulin. Gonsoulin suffered from memory loss, crippling headaches, and almost constant pain. As a result, he joined with 4,000 other former players in suing the NFL for damages based on their injuries. They prevailed and were awarded some $765 million.
Gonsoulin passed away in 2014 at the age of 74. Pour one out for one of the hardest hitting players to ever wear the uniform.