May 27, 2006

Ironhead Dies at Age 39: Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, an 11-year NFL running back best known for his stints with the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons, died today at age 39 after an eight-year battle with a brain tumor.

posted by rcade to football at 09:19 PM - 18 comments

Eight years?! HOLY COW! He certainly went down swinging!

posted by Drood at 10:05 PM on May 27

And, in a journalistic masterstroke, they show a picture of Heyward in a Falcons uni, then use this caption: Craig Heyward runs with the ball as New Orleans Saints running back in 1996. Nice. I remember watching Heyward playing for a horrible Pitt team facing Miami during their heyday, and the 'Canes just couldn't do anything with him. Ironhead ran for over 200 yards that day, if memory serves me, and I remember thinking he had the most badass nickname to go with an out-of-control, battering ram Earl Campbell kind of style. I certainly enjoyed watching him.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:24 PM on May 27

When Ironhead played for the Saints, he used to wear a Falcons uni to throw opponents off.

posted by rcade at 11:36 PM on May 27

R.I.P. Mr. Heyward.

posted by herecometheirish at 11:38 PM on May 27

I was unbeatable as the Saints with Heyward as my running back in Tecmo Super Bowl. Undefeated. Ironhead would have 5000 yards of rushing and about a hundred touchdowns. Poor guy. .

posted by NoMich at 11:44 PM on May 27

Was a connection ever found between his crash test running style and the tumor? RIP Craig Heyward.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 11:52 PM on May 27

r.i.p. mr. heyward

posted by tommytrump at 12:09 AM on May 28

Lol NoMich!! Despite all of the up to date video games nothing beats Tecmo Super Bowl. I used to kill everybody with Bo Jackson!!!!

posted by raiderfan06 at 03:40 AM on May 28

Was just gonna say Bo Jackson was the baddest Tecmo Bowl player, or you could drop the quarterback(insert name here) all the way to yer own goal line and throw the 100 yard bomb(the reciever was probably Tim Brown) for the TD. Remembering Ironhead and hearing of his passing makes me wanna dig out the old nintendo and hook that bitch up and rip it with another guy. RIP homie.

posted by GoBirds at 04:37 AM on May 28

I never heard a single bad thing about Ironhead, either on or off the field. He was a credit the the NFL and humanity in general. RIP, Craig.

posted by jm_mosier at 07:17 AM on May 28

i am shocked. i just now heard he passed. he was a brusier of a running back. R.I.P. play the game up in heaven the way you played the game on earth. he was great. by the way, when did he pass on.

posted by eviltrekker at 09:22 AM on May 28

Craig "Ironhead" Heyward - A Good Man. R.I.P.

posted by tim at 11:37 AM on May 28

Okay, I liked the guy, really enjoyed watching him play, but not's get crazy, he wasn't a saint or anything. Okay, well, he was a Saint, but not that kind. One Two Three Something else: I, like a couple of other posters, had never heard about his tumor. While I was doing some research, I came upon this, dated 11.19.1998.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:44 PM on May 28

I get what you are saying, TBH, but those things happened 10-15 years ago when he was in college. It's not necessarily an accurate picture of the man he who passed away.

posted by bperk at 03:19 PM on May 28

Don't mean to offend, bperk, but it just grates me sometimes how people who (in all probability) never met the man, have no idea who the hell he really was, just saw him play football and do some cute Zest commercials, somehow feel qualified to pass some spiritual judgement on the man. He was a complex human being, just like all of us are, with courage and callousness, strengths and weaknesses. He may have been a selfless, generous, loving, caring man, or he could have been Greg Maddux' right hand man in the American branch of the Yakuza. Unless you knew the man, you're just trivializing his passing with fake platitudes.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:58 PM on May 28

It appears Mr. Heyward lived as violently as he played...... Sounds like he fought his illness pretty hard as well. Had to like his running style. Ironhead was the perfect nickname.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:35 AM on May 29

Well said, TBH. You are a good man.

posted by cl at 11:20 AM on May 29

mjkredliner It appears Mr. Heyward lived as violently as he played. That was moronic you #@$%&# idiot! Hope I saved someone some time! As bperk duly noted, those allegations (?) were quite some time ago, when he was much younger, and I really have no idea of Mr.Heywards version of the incidents, or whether or not he was convicted. It would have been better to have said nothing. I had no idea of his "legal difficulties" until it was pointed out above.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:28 PM on May 29

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