- Alan Ameche
Infobox NFL player
Caption=Alan Ameche scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime of the 1958 NFL Championship Game
DateOfDeath=death date and age|1988|8|8|1933|3|1
DraftedRound=1/ Pick 2
NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
Italian American Sports HOF
1955 UPI NFL R.O.Y.
ProBowls=1956, 1957, 1958, 1959
Lino Dante "Alan" Ameche (
March 1, 1933– August 8, 1988), nicknamed "The Horse", was an American footballplayer who played six seasons with the Baltimore Colts in the National Football Leagueafter winning the Heisman Trophyin college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was elected to the Pro Bowlin each of his first four seasons in the league. He is famous for scoring the winning touchdown in the 1958 NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants, labeled "The Greatest Game Ever Played."
After emigrating to the United States in the late 1930s, his family returned for a year to
Italy. The family then returned to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Alan was the cousin of noted actors Don Amecheand Jim Ameche. With colleague (and former Colts teammate) Gino Marchetti, Alan Ameche founded the Gino's Hamburgerschain. However, the Baltimore-based Ameche's Drive-in restaurants were named for him. Ameche died in Houston, Texas.
Ameche earned All-American honors at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he played linebackeras well as fullback in those single-platoon days. In four years as a Badger, he gained 3,212 yards, then the NCAA record, scored 25 touchdowns, and averaged 4.8 yards a carry. He won the Heisman in 1954. Ameche is one of six Wisconsin players whose number (35) has been retired, and one of three whose name and number appears on the Camp Randall Stadiumfaçade (fellow Heisman winner and current career rushing record holder Ron Dayne(No. 33) and Dave Schreiner (No. 80) are the others).
Ameche played fullback for the Baltimore Colts from 1955 until 1960. Named
NFL Rookie of the Yearin 1955, he was a four-time Pro Bowler (1955-58). He averaged 4.2 yard per carry over his career. He held the record for rushing yards in his first three NFL games until Carnell "Cadillac" Williamspassed it in 2005.
Ameche may be best remembered for his role in the
1958 NFL Championship Gameat Yankee Stadium, often cited as "The Greatest Game Ever Played." Ameche scored the winning touchdown for the Colts on a one-yard run in overtime as the Colts beat the Giants, 23-17. It was his second touchdown of the day as he also scored a TD on a 2 yard run in the second quarter.
Ameche finished a relatively short six-season NFL career with 4,045 rushing yards, 101 receptions for 733 yards and 44 touchdowns.
* [http://www.niashf.org/index.cfm?ContentID=58&InducteeID=8 Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Bio]
* [http://archives.library.wisc.edu/exhibits/ameche/ameche.html Bio from University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives]
* [http://www.heisman.com/winners/a-ameche54.html Ameche's page on the Heisman Trophy site]
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