“Defensive end” for the New York Jets from 1979 to 1988, Marcus Dell Gastineau was born on November 20, 1956. One of the greatest pass rushers of all time, he was a five-time Pro Bowler. NFL Network’s list of the Top 10 All-Time NFL Pass Rushers put Gastineau eighth among all-time greats.
Gastineau was a standout defensive lineman during his time. His ten-year career was marked by 74 sacks and five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances (1981–1985). From 1982 to 1984, he was a unanimous All-AFC selection and a member of the NFL’s first team.
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Mark Gastineau’s Early Life
As a young boy growing up in Oklahoma, Gastineau’s parents Ernie and Lou acquired a ranch and moved the family there when Gastineau was just seven. Doctors predicted that Mark would never walk again when he shattered his leg as a toddler in such a horrible manner. Ernie built a rodeo ring for his son, and Mark began competing in team roping competitions at the age of 12.
In the White Mountains of Arizona, Mark also had a fascination for collecting Native American artifacts. Gastineau had to be persuaded by his father to join the football team at Round Valley High School. Major universities weren’t interested in Gastineau despite his promise.
Mark Gastineau’s Personal Life
A married man, Gastineau has had three marriages. Reality !’s show The Gastineau Girls featured Lisa Gastineau and their daughter, Brittny Gastineau. Killian Marcus, Gastineau’s son from his relationship with actress Brigitte Nielsen, was born in 2007. In 2010 he was no longer in contact with both of his children.
Gastineau, who was released from jail in 2001, claims that he has put his troubled past behind him after making a religious commitment to Jesus Christ. On shows like The 700 Club, Gastineau has shared his story. In 2007, Gastineau married JoAnn, his third wife, in the choir at Times Square Church, where he is a member.
Mark Gastineau’s Net Worth
Former professional American football player Mark Gastineau had a fortune of $3.5 million. After attending Eastern Arizona Junior College and Arizona State University before transferring to East Central University as a defensive end, Mark Gastineau, who was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in 1956, began his athletic career. Gastineau had 27 sacks in college and was a member of the 1979 Senior Bowl team.
The New York Jets selected him in the second round of the 1979 NFL Draft, making him the school’s first-ever NFL draught pick. “New York Sack Exchange” included him and Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam, and Joe Klecko, all of whom were Pro Bowlers. Gastineau achieved a team record of 107 sacks over the course of ten years, and he became known for his sack dance, which was subsequently deemed unprofessional by the league.
Mark Gastineau’s Career
It was a rocky start to the 1983 season for the Jets as Gastineau and rookie quarterback Ken O’Brien were both jailed for assault at Studio 54. Gastineau led the NFL in sacks for the first time despite this off-the-field transgression. After a successful sack of an opposing quarterback, Gastineau became a household name because of his characteristic “Sack Dance.”
In March 1984, the NFL fined players for “unsportsmanlike taunting” and he was forced to cease. On September 25, 1983, after the New York Giants 27–24 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Rams at Shea Stadium, the team’s right tackle, Jackie Slater, shoved Gastineau from behind, leading to a bench-clearing altercation. Gastineau had just sacked Rams’ sack leader Vince Ferragamo.
For the second year in a row, Gastineau led the NFL in sacks with 22, led the league in tackles with 69, and had one fumble recovery for a touchdown in 1984. He was named the UPI AFC Defensive Player of the Year, and he was also selected MVP of the Pro Bowl after racking up four sacks and a safety in that season’s competition. For 17 years, Gastineau had the sack record, but in 2001, Michael Strahan shattered it.
For the 1985 season, new defensive coordinator Bud Carson implemented a 3-4 scheme. Gastineau switched from the left to the right defensive end, but he did so to create mismatches with the other team’s defensive line. Although Gastineau suffered a season-ending hand injury early on, he still ended second in the league with 1312 sacks and was named to the NEA All-Pro team.
A wildcard slot in the playoffs was earned by the Jets and New England Patriots in 1985 after both teams ended the season 11-5. The New York Jets lost 26–14 to the New England Patriots at the Meadowlands thanks to a sack from Gastineau.
Mark Gastineau’s Retirement
Sacks-wise, Gastineau was the AFC’s top performer after seven weeks in 1988. After Brigitte Nielsen, to whom he had previously announced his engagement, claimed to be suffering from cancer of the uterus, he abruptly declared his retirement. Immediately following the statement, a local New York newspaper launched an investigation into whether Gastineau was speaking the truth, reflecting the widespread distrust of Gastineau in the city. Gastineau was the NFL’s all-time sacks leader when he retired.
A comeback attempt with the BC Lions of the CFL in 1990 was cut short after just four games. On October 8, 2012, Gastineau was enshrined in the New York Jets Ring of Honor. Seven weeks into the 1988 season, Gastineau was leading the AFC in sacks. After Brigitte Nielsen, to whom he had previously announced his engagement, claimed to be suffering from uterine cancer, he abruptly declared his retirement.
Gastineau’s declaration sparked a flurry of inquiries from New York’s local media about whether she was telling the truth. Gastineau had the most sacks in the NFL’s history when he retired. When the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League signed Gastineau in 1990, he was dismissed after just four games. On October 8, 2012, Gastineau was enshrined in the New York Jets Ring of Honor.
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