Sports fans hate to hear about their heroes dying before their time, and that is what Denver Broncos fans are feeling today.
Former Denver Broncos defensive lineman Harald Hasselbach died after a bout with cancer at the age of 56.
His fight with that ugly disease did not last long, as he had only been diagnosed six months ago.
Gone Too Soon
The only solace in this announcement was that according to his family, Hasselbach is finally “free of pain” after having been diagnosed with metastatic mucinous adenocarcinoma earlier this year.
His family stated, "He's had an overwhelming amount of support over the last week, including past teammates, coaches, and family that've flown in from around the world.
"We learned he had the illness less than six months ago, and he fought as hard any human possibly could, with incredible strength."
You may not know Hasselbach’s name unless you are a Broncos fan, but make no mistake about the fact he was an anchor on that defensive line for many years.
In all, he was on the roster for seven seasons games, never missing a game, accumulating an impressive 154 tackles, 17.5 career sacks, and four forced fumbles… not bad for the guy that came in to give the starter a quick blow.
He won two Super Bowls with the Broncos, Super Bowl XXXII, and the repeat in Super Bowl XXXIII.
His route to the NFL was a longer one, having been drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, then convincing the team not to pursue him because he had already signed a deal with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.
He was a CFL All-Star in 1993, his final season with the Stampeders, and also won the Grey Cup in 1992, making him part of a very elite club of players that have won both the Grey Cup and the Super Bowl.
Rest in peace, sir, and thanks for the gridiron memories.