View Full Version : Arena football player dies

04-13-2005, 02:11 PM
I didn`t realize that he actually came in the league with the Steelers. This was tragic no matter who he played for.

Steelers unsettled by player's death
Some played with Arena League DL
Tuesday, April 12, 2005

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Al Lucas spent only four months with the Steelers in 2000, but his good humor is how defensive end Aaron Smith best remembered him.

"He was a high-energy guy, always pretty upbeat, pretty active," Smith said yesterday. "I remember sitting in the cold tub and he was always making jokes. He was a good guy. He didn't rub anyone the wrong way or say anything wrong."

Lucas, a rookie nose tackle released on the Steelers' final cut, went on to play that season and the next for the Carolina Panthers. Sunday, he died on a pro football field while covering a kickoff for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League.

04-13-2005, 03:58 PM
By Jill Painter
Staff Writer

Tragedy struck the Avengers' Arena Football League game Sunday at Staples Center when lineman Al Lucas died from injuries suffered on a tackle during the New York Dragons' first-quarter kickoff return.
In a statement released by the team, Dr. Luga Podesta, the Avengers' team doctor, said Lucas's death is presumed to have been caused by a spinal cord injury.

"I came out and saw him on the ground unresponsive and at that point I just started praying right then and there," New York quarterback Aaron Garcia said.

Avengers receiver Tony Locke said Lucas was the first person he met when he signed with the Avengers this year.

"I wish it was a bad dream," Locke said. "I'm hoping. He was the most giving guy. He was our moral leader. He cared more about this game than anybody I know."

Lucas, 26, apparently was hit in the head by the knee of a New York blocker during a tackle on the kickoff return. Lucas lay motionless on the field and was carried out on a stretcher and taken to California Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 1:28 p.m., according to the release, which was during the game.

Hodgkiss told players of the tragedy in a locker room meeting after the game.

"We knew it was a serious situation but we didn't know how serious it was," Locke said.

Television replays showed Lucas bending down to make a tackle. The Dragons' ball carrier and a blocker tumbled over his head and back, with the blocker's leg appearing to hit Lucas in the head. Lucas did not move after falling to the ground.

04-14-2005, 05:26 PM
Makes you think they aren't that greedy for wanting guaranteed money. Bless him and his family.

04-14-2005, 05:57 PM
RIP warrior of the gridiron!!!

04-14-2005, 07:18 PM
I agree R.I.P. God Bless