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Former pro football player Sardisco dead at 73

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SHREVEPORT, La. (May 29, 2006) -- Tony Sardisco, the former Tulane lineman who captained the AFL's Boston Patriots in the early 1960s, died May 28. He was 73.

Sardisco died of a massive heart attack at his home in Shreveport, daughter Madeleine Bergeron said.

"Everyone is going to miss him greatly. He was the most wonderful friend, coach, uncle, husband, father, teacher, mentor anyone could ever have," Bergeron said. "He was an inspiration to many."

Bergeron said her mother, Juliana Tutko Sardisco, suffered a mild heart attack, apparently from the stress resulting from her husband's death. Juliana Sardisco, 69, is recovering, Bergeron said.

Sardisco's professional football career lasted four years, and it was interrupted by military service. It included short stints with the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins in 1956, his rookie season. He then served in the Air Force for two years before returning to pro football with Calgary in the Canadian Football League in 1959. He played guard for the Patriots from 1960-62.

"He loved football to the day he died," Bergeron said.

Sardisco was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Funeral arrangements were not complete as of May 29.

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