Alan Faneca retires after 13 NFL seasons
Nine-time All-Pro retires as one of the best guards in his generation
By RICHARD FISCHER
Tiger Rag Assistant Editor
The collection of former LSU Tigers in the NFL lost a key member Tuesday afternoon when Alan Faneca announced his retirement after 13 seasons.
But one fewer Tiger in the league could mean the school is that much closer to notching its fourth member inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The nine-time Pro Bowler has all the credentials needed to be immortalized in Canton, Ohio, highlighted by his helping the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XL via the dominant running attack of Jerome Bettis and Willie Parker.
Parker, the quicker of the two backs, scored on a 75-yard touchdown scamper early in the third quarter. In quite possibly the zenith of Faneca’s career, that run was and still is the longest run from scrimmage in Super Bowl history, and none other than a pulling Faneca made the jarring block to spring ‘Fast Willie’ loose.
“Playing in the NFL has been a childhood dream come true,” Faneca said in a released statement Thursday afternoon. “Thirteen years later I have decided that it is time to move on.”
The guard would spend ten years (1998-2007) in black and yellow after being selected by the Steelers with the 26th overall selection in the 1998 NFL Draft. For eight years, Faneca blocked for Bettis, and ‘The Bus’ ran for 7,475 of his fifth-best all-time 13,662 rushing yards through holes opened by Faneca and his Steeler teammates.
Faneca then spent two seasons with the New York Jets, reaching the AFC Championship in 2009 with rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Finally, he rounded out his career with the Arizona Cardinals this past season.
“From the dog days of training camp to winning a Super Bowl the memories are endless,” Faneca said. “The greatest memory that I will leave the game with is all of the lifelong friendships I have made.”
Faneca showed the high degree of toughness needed to excel in the trenches, playing in 203 of 208 possible games in his career and starting in 201 of them.
While at LSU, Faneca was a two-time All American (First-Team in 1997) and an Outland Trophy Finalist in 1997. He helped the Tigers lead the SEC in rushing in 1996 and 1997 before leaving the program to enter the NFL Draft after his junior season.
He started all 36 games at right guard for LSU, and the Tigers won bowl games in all three of his seasons in purple and gold.