The preternaturally tough Lott is regarded as one of the hardest hitters in NFL history. Lott attended the University of Southern California , where he was a consensus All-American safety in his senior year. Shifting from safety to cornerback, Lott started for the 49ers from the first game of his rookie year. He was named to both the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams in his first year in the league as he helped the 49ers to their first Super Bowl title. During the regular season Lott switched to free safety, where his aggressive tackling and nose for the ball were put to better use. At the end of that year he endured an injury that became a part of NFL lore and established his tough-guy reputation: after crushing a finger while making a tackle, he opted to have the top of the digit amputated rather than miss playing time in order to have reconstructive surgery.
Defense & Fumbles
Ronald Mandel Lott born May 8, is an American former professional football player who was a cornerback , free safety , and strong safety in the National Football League NFL for 14 seasons during the s and s. Lott was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in , and is widely considered to be one of the best of all time at the safety position in NFL history and one of the best players in NFL history. Lott graduated from the University of Southern California in with a degree in public administration. As a sophomore in , he helped the Trojans to a share of the national championship with a win in the Rose Bowl ; they finished second in the polls in and again won the Rose Bowl. After much consideration, head coach John Robinson asked Lott to play defense because he was a better tackler than Allen. The level of skill demonstrated by the 6-foot, pound standout was instantly recognized, and from the very beginning of training camp he had the job as the 49ers' starting left cornerback. In his rookie season in , he recorded seven interceptions, helped the 49ers to win Super Bowl XVI , and also became only the second rookie in NFL history to return three interceptions for touchdowns.
Former San Francisco 49ers great Ronnie Lott was asked Wednesday if he is worried about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE, and said, per Jimmy Durkin and Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News , "Everyone should think they have it and then work to slow it down by working to have a better life. As far as symptoms, I don't have anything. But if you know me, I refuse to accept that, because I believe in all of us, we have the capacity to do whatever we want, despite having concussions. God knows it. We were able to discover this disease, now we have to combat it. To me, that's the next step and the next evolution of football. Hopefully in Super Bowl 60, we're talking about the things that people are doing [to combat the symptoms of CTE] and hopefully at that point it will allow us to be even better athletes and better human beings. Concussions around the NFL actually dropped for three straight seasons before the one-year spike. Between the increase in concussions this season, the movie Concussion , which stars Will Smith, and more reports of CTE among players who have died, head trauma is still making worrisome headlines in the NFL.
Playing in the National Football League takes toughness, grittiness and sometimes a little craziness. The NFL is about rookie cornerbacks being booted from practice for hitting too hard. You know, guys who would risk life and limb for their team. Ronnie Lott was one of those guys. All the proof you need is that he once amputated his pinky because he wanted to avoid missing games. The former San Francisco 49ers safety broke his left pinky finger trying to tackle running back Timmy Newsome in a game against the Dallas Cowboys in December of So, Lott faced a decision from doctors: put a pin in his finger and a cast over it and wait eight weeks for it to heal, or amputate it from the first joint up and be able to play right away. Sure enough, Lott picked option B and parted ways with his pinky. Doctors numbed it, sliced it off and put it in a cast. In Ronnie Lott cut the tip of his pinky off to finish the game pic.