Nicholas Anthony Buoniconti (December 15, 1940 - July 30, 2019) was considered too small for the NFL and was passed over by numerous teams who felt he could not cut the rigors of the National Football league. Buoniconti proved them all wrong as he played middle linebacker for 14 seasons in the AFL/NFL with the Boston Patriots (1962-1968) and the Miami Dolphins (1969-1976). The patriots selected Buoniconti in the 13th round of the 1962 American Football League Draft and converted him to middle linebacker. Nick’s combination of speed, strength, agility and toughness forced the opposition to take notice, as he “played bigger than his size.” Buoniconti roamed behind the line of scrimmage allowing him to anticipate plays and giving him the freedom to attack as running backs came through the line or quarterbacks attempted passes over the middle. He missed only 13 games during his 14-year career, played in two AFL Pro Bowls and was named to six AFL All-Pro First Teams. Nick helped lead his team to four AFL/NFL championship games and was a member of the Super Bowls VII and VIII Champion Miami Dolphins. Buoniconti was a key figure in the success of the NFL only undefeated team; the 1972 Miami Dolphins who capped of their extraordinary season (14-0-0) with a Super Bowl VII victory over the Washington Redskins. Nick Buoniconti intercepted 32 passes and returned them for 312 yards and no touchdowns. He did scored two touchdowns, however, on fumble recoveries, of which he had six. He also scored two points on a safety for a total of 14 career points in 183 games. Nick Buoniconti was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.