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Gary Zimmerman

Gary Zimmerman

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Gary Wayne Zimmerman is a former American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 offensive lineman in the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

. Zimmerman played for the Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

 from 1986
1986 Minnesota Vikings season
-Schedule:-References:* *...

-1992
1992 Minnesota Vikings season
1992 was the 32nd year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings and the 73rd regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a record of eleven wins and five losses.-Staff:-Roster:-Schedule:-Playoffs:-References:...

 and for the Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently members of the West Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 from 1993
1993 NFL season
The 1993 NFL season was the 74th regular season of the National Football League. For the first time in league history, all NFL teams played their 16-game schedule over a span of 18 weeks. After the success of expanding the regular season to a period of 17 weeks in 1990, the league hoped this new...

-1997
1997 Denver Broncos season
The Denver Broncos finished the 1997 NFL season by winning Super Bowl XXXII. They went 12–4 during the regular season. The Broncos were the third team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl but not win the Division Title.- Season summary :...

. He was selected to the Pro Bowl
Pro Bowl
In professional American football, the Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League . Since the merger with the rival American Football League in 1970, it has been officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference against those...

 7 times and was an All-Pro selection 8 times. He attended Walnut High School and the University of Oregon
University of Oregon
-Colleges and schools:The University of Oregon is organized into eight schools and colleges—six professional schools and colleges, an Arts and Sciences College and an Honors College.- School of Architecture and Allied Arts :...

 whereby he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame
Oregon Sports Hall of Fame
The Oregon Sports Hall of Fame honors Oregon athletes, teams, coaches, and others who have made a significant contribution to sports in Oregon. The first class was inducted in 1980, with new inductees added in the fall...

 in 2002.

USFL


In 1984, Zimmerman was drafted in the 2nd round (36th overall) by the Los Angeles Express in the 1984 USFL Draft. He subsequently signed with the Express on February 13, 1984 and went onto play in 17 games that season, starting all 17 at left tackle. His Express teammate was future Pro Football Hall of Famer, QB Steve Young. The Express lost in the USFL Semi-Finals to the Arizona Wranglers
Arizona Wranglers
The Arizona Wranglers were a professional American Football team in the United States Football League in the mid 1980s. They played at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix.-Founding:...

 to end a 10-8 regular season. In 1985, Zimmerman suited up again with the Express, playing in 18 games (starting 17) with a 3-15 club that ended up out of the USFL playoff picture.

After the USFL folded in August 1986, Zimmerman joined the Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

 after they obtained his rights from the NY Giants who drafted him in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players
1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players
The National Football League held a draft of United States Football League and Canadian Football League players on June 5, 1984. In an attempt to head off a bidding war in its own ranks for USFL and CFL players. NFL teams chose 84 players from 224 available during the three-round selection meeting...

 .

NFL career


During his time in the NFL, Zimmerman was famous for his refusal to interact with the media. This disdain for the sports press came about due to an early incident in his NFL career, after comments made by Zimmerman condemning the Vikings offensive players for a loss were made public by the media. Zimmerman claimed that his teammates ostracized him for speaking ill of his teammates performance; this led Zimmerman to decide to boycott the sports media as a result, refusing to do interviews or engage in any sort of interaction with them for the rest of his career.

Denver Broncos and final years


Zimmerman ultimately left the Vikings for the Broncos in 1992, and stay with the team from 1992-1997. He would be part of the team's first Super Bowl squad, winning the game in 1997. Arriving as the veteran player in 1993 to an offense that was made up of mostly rookies, Zimmerman became the de facto leader of the Broncos offensive line; off the field, Zimmerman forced his fellow players to join him in shunning the media, a policy that would remain in effect until his retirement in 1997.

He played in 184 NFL games, starting all of them.

On February 2, 2008 he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

.

Zimmerman joins Reggie White
Reggie White
Reginald Howard "Reggie" White was a professional American football player. He played 15 seasons as a defensive end in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers, becoming one of the most decorated players in NFL history...

, Steve Young, Jim Kelly
Jim Kelly
James Edward Kelly is a former American football quarterback in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills and the USFL's Houston Gamblers....

, Marv Levy
Marv Levy
Marvin Daniel Levy is a former American and Canadian football coach, front office executive and author.He is a former professional football coach, in the CFL as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes , and in the NFL as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills , coaching the Bills...

, and Sid Gillman
Sid Gillman
Sidney "Sid" Gillman was an American football player, coach, executive, and innovator. Gillman's insistence on stretching the football field by throwing deep downfield passes, instead of short passes to running backs or wide receivers at the sides of the line of scrimmage, was instrumental in...

as former USFL league members who are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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