Tony Gonzalez (American football): Wikis

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Tony Gonzalez

Gonzalez at the 2005 Pro Bowl
No. 88     Atlanta Falcons
Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: February 27, 1976 (1976-02-27) (age 33)
Place of birth: Torrance, California
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 243 lb (110 kg)
Career information
College: California
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13
Debuted in 1997 for the Kansas City Chiefs
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2009
Receptions     994
Receiving Yards     11,760
Touchdowns     82
Stats at NFL.com

Anthony "Tony" David Gonzalez[1] (born February 27, 1976 in Torrance, California) is an American football tight end for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He played college football at Cal.

Gonzalez, a ten-time Pro Bowl selection, currently holds the NFL records for single season receptions (102) by a tight end, career touchdowns by a tight end (79), career receptions by a tight end (921), and reception yards by a tight end (11,940). Kansas City radio announcer and Hall of Fame QB Len Dawson stated that Gonzalez is "the greatest tight end of all time".

Contents

Biography

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Early years

Anthony Gonzalez was born in Torrance, CA and was raised by a single mother, Judy, who worked two jobs to support her sons. Gonzalez attended Huntington Beach High School in Huntington Beach, California, where he lettered in football, baseball, and basketball.

As a senior, he caught 62 passes for 945 yards and 13 touchdowns and was a first-team All America selection at both tight end and linebacker. Playing basketball, he was named Orange County and Sunset League MVP as he averaged 26 points per game. [2]

After his senior year, Gonzalez shared the Orange County High School Athlete of the Year along with golfer Tiger Woods.[3]

College career

Gonzalez chose to attend the University of California Berkeley, where he majored in communications and played both football and basketball. [2]

As a member of the California Golden Bears football team, he played tight end under future NFL coach Steve Mariucci. [2] His junior year was one of the best seasons of all time for a Division I tight end, as he caught 92 passes for 982 yards and 23 touchdowns. Gonzalez was also an All-Pac-10 and All-American selection.

Gonzalez also continued his basketball career at Cal. His junior year he played in 28 games, averaging 6.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as California made it to the Sweet sixteen of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. [2]

Gonzalez decided to forfeit his final year of eligibility at University of California to declare for the NFL Draft

Professional career

1997 NFL draft

Gonzalez was rated as one of the top tight ends in the 1997 NFL Draft, and was considered a top 15 selection. The Chiefs had decided to draft Gonzalez, but were unlikely to be able to draft him with their 18th overall pick. The Chiefs thus traded up with the Houston Oilers to get the number 13 selection and draft Gonzalez.[4 ]

Kansas City Chiefs

Gonzalez at a Chiefs mini camp practice in 2008.

Gonzalez began his career in 1997. He finished his rookie season with 33 receptions, two touchdowns and a blocked punt on special teams, helping the Chiefs to finish with the best record in the American Football Conference (AFC). In the 1998 season, Gonzalez saw dramatic improvements with 59 receptions for 621 yards, and also caught two touchdown passes for the second consecutive year.

In 1999 season saw Gonzalez again improving when he caught 76 passes for 849 yards and a career high 11 touchdown receptions, earning his first Pro Bowl selection. From 2000 to 2006, Gonzalez was the most productive tight end in the NFL. During this time he averaged 79 receptions, 968 yards, and 6.5 touchdowns per season and was elected to the Pro Bowl every year. His best season statistically came in 2004, when he caught an NFL record (for a tight end) 102 passes for 1,258 yards and seven touchdowns.

Starting late in the 2006, Gonzalez began to close in on numerous team and league receiving records. In 2006, Gonzalez broke wide receiver Otis Taylor's Chiefs team receiving yards and touchdowns mark, and also passed running back Priest Holmes for the team yards from scrimmage record.

In 2007, Gonzalez continued his productivity in spite of the generally poor play of the Chiefs' offense. Though the Chiefs finished at or near the bottom in most major offensive categories, Gonzalez led the Chiefs and all NFL tight ends in receptions (99) and receiving yards (1,172) while being named to his ninth straight Pro Bowl.

On October 14, 2007, Gonzalez broke the career touchdown reception record for tight ends previously held by Shannon Sharpe, [5] as well as passing Ozzie Newsome for second in career receiving yards for a tight end. On December 23, 2007, Gonzalez recorded his third season with 1,000 receiving yards, tying him with Kellen Winslow, Todd Christensen and Shannon Sharpe for most ever by a tight end, and on December 30, 2007, Gonzalez passed Shannon Sharpe for most receptions all time by a tight end. [6]

In week 4 of the 2008 season, Gonzalez became NFL all time leader in reception yards for a tight end with 10,064, surpassing Shannon Sharpe. He recorded 96 receptions for 1,058 yards and was also elected to his tenth career Pro Bowl despite Kansas City starting 3 different quarterbacks. In October 2008, Gonzalez asked to be traded to a Super Bowl contending team, but then-general manager Carl Peterson stated that no playoff-contending team made a good enough offer.[7]

During the 2008 offseason Tony again approached Chiefs management about a possible trade. Unlike the previous Chiefs management, new Chiefs' GM Scott Pioli told Gonzalez he would see what he could do.

Atlanta Falcons

External images
Tony Gonzalez meets with the media for the first time as a member of the Falcons.

Gonzalez was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft on April 23, 2009.[8] In his first regular season game with Atlanta against Miami Dolphins, Gonzalez caught a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan and became the 21st player in NFL history with 11,000 receiving yards[9]. He finished the game leading the Falcons in receiving with five receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown, his 20-yard touchdown reception marked only the third time he scored on the opening game of the season.

Records

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Career receptions (916 as of December 30, 2008)
  • Career receiving yards (10,940 as of December 30, 2008)
  • Career receiving touchdowns (76 as of December 30, 2008)
  • Career yards from scrimmage (10,954 as of December 30, 2008)
  • Consecutive games with a reception (130 as of December 30, 2008)

NFL

  • Receptions in a single season for a tight end (102, 2004 season)
  • Career receiving yards for a tight end (11,760 as of December 21, 2009)
  • Career receptions for a tight end (994 as of December 21, 2009)
  • Career receiving touchdowns for a tight end (82 as of December 21, 2009)
  • Most seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards by a tight end (4)
  • 11,000 receiving yards

Career statistics

Year Team G Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FD
1997 Kansas City 16 33 368 11.2 30 2 21
1998 Kansas City 16 59 621 10.5 32 2 33
1999 Kansas City 15 76 849 11.2 73 11 47
2000 Kansas City 16 93 1,203 12.9 39 9 66
2001 Kansas City 16 73 917 12.6 36 6 49
2002 Kansas City 16 63 773 12.3 42 7 39
2003 Kansas City 16 71 916 12.9 67 10 48
2004 Kansas City 16 102 1,258 12.3 32 7 69
2005 Kansas City 16 78 905 11.6 39 2 45
2006 Kansas City 15 73 900 12.3 57 5 54
2007 Kansas City 16 99 1,172 11.8 31 5 59
2008 Kansas City 16 96 1,058 11.0 35 10 67
2009 Atlanta 16 83 867 10.4 27 6 28
Total 206 999 11,807 11.8 73 82 625

Personal

In early 2007, Gonzalez suffered a bout of facial paralysis known as Bell's Palsy. Gonzalez subsequently experimented with veganism after reading The China Study, by Cornell professor and nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell, but he and his nutritionist, Mitzi Dulan, ultimately decided that eating meat occasionally would be best for his performance,[10] though he avoids red meat. Tony is very active with the Kidney Foundation because his best friend is recovering from kidney disease.

On July 3, 2008, while dining with his family at Capone's Restaurant in Huntington Beach, California, Gonzalez noticed fellow diner Ken Hunter choking on a piece of meat at a nearby table, unable to breathe. Gonzalez successfully administered the Heimlich Maneuver to Hunter, saving his life. After the incident, it was revealed that Hunter was a San Diego Chargers fan, which is a rival team of the Chiefs in the AFC West. [11]

Gonzalez had a commitment ceremony in July 2007 with his girlfriend, October, and considers himself married. He and his wife have a daughter, Malia.[12 ] His son, Nikko (born in 2001), is from a previous relationship with entertainment reporter Lauren Sanchez.

He campaigned for Barack Obama in the 2008 Election, saying "this is the first time in my life that I've ever been political about anything."[13]

Acting credits

References

  1. ^ "Gonzalez on Pro-Football-Reference". rbref.com. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/G/GonzTo00.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-21.  
  2. ^ a b c d "Tony Gonzalez, #88, Tight End, Kansas City Chiefs". http://www.kcchiefs.com/player/tony_gonzalez/. Retrieved 2008-08-21.  
  3. ^ "Tony Gonzalez". NFL.com. http://www.nflplayers.com/players/player.aspx?id=25050. Retrieved 2007-10-22.  
  4. ^ Tucker, Doug (1997-04-19). "Chiefs grab Gonzalez with first pick". http://www.cjonline.com/stories/041997/chiefs.html. Retrieved 2008-08-20.  
  5. ^ Weiberg, Steve (2007-10-14). "Gonzalez grabs TD record as Chiefs get back to .500". USA TODAY. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2007-10-14-bengals-chiefs_N.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-21.  
  6. ^ "Gonzalez breaks tight ends record for most catches". Associated Press. 2007-12-30. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3174064. Retrieved 2008-08-21.  
  7. ^ Gonzalez requested trade in October of 2008
  8. ^ "Chiefs trade Tony Gonzalez to Falcons". USA Today. April 22, 2009. http://blogs.usatoday.com/thehuddle/2009/04/tony-gonzalez-a-goner-in-kansas-city.html. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  
  9. ^ Falcons-Dolphins Game Notes
  10. ^ "New Information about NFL’s Tony Gonzalez". Christian Vegetarian Association website. http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/th-20080215-n.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-30.  
  11. ^ "Chiefs' Gonzalez saves man from choking to death". Associated Press. 2008-07-08. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3477130. Retrieved 2008-08-20.  
  12. ^ Dean, Rick (2008-06-09). "Newborn gives KC star new outlook". http://www.cjonline.com/stories/060908/chi_288131204.shtml. Retrieved 2008-12-18.  
  13. ^ Tiger Woods, Magic Johnson Among Stars at Inaguration SI.com, January 21, 2009

External links


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