Greatest Athlete in Connecticut History Tournament: Andy Robustelli vs. Bill Toomey

(AP Photo)

It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for another SportzEdge ® Bracket-style, 64-team tournament! Feel the excitement!!!

Last year, we changed the course of modern human civilization with the Coolest NCAA Logo Tournament, which became a national phenomenon along the lines of a presidential election, Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY speech, or DeAndre Jordan changing his mind about where he wants to play basketball.

This year, we decided to take on a question scholars have been debating since the 1800’s, maybe.

Who is the greatest athlete in Connecticut history?

There are plenty of outstanding candidates, from Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, to four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, to all-time great featherweight boxer Willie Pep.

The athletes we considered must have grown up in Connecticut, and we counted only their prowess on the playing field, so coaches, executives and contributors like Walter Camp were not considered.




4. Andy Robustelli

NFL tackle: 1951-1964


1st Round: Defeated 13. Brad Ausmus 59.49% to 44.51%

A graduate of tiny Arnold College in Milford (now part of the University of Bridgeport), the Stamford native spent 13 years in the NFL with the L.A. Rams and New York Giants. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, and even won the Bert Bell Award as the NFL’s Player of the Year in 1962. Robustelli won championships with the Rams (1951) and Giants (’56) and was inducted into the Pro Football of Fame in 1971. He was honored with the Walter Camp Man of the Year Award in 1988 for his contribution to the community.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

5. Bill Toomey

Trach and Field

New Canaan

1st Round: Defeated 12. Charles Smith 65.57% to 34.33%

The former 1968 ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year won 23 of the 38 decathlons he competed in. One of those decathlon wins was in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

In 1969, Toomey set the world record in the decathlon and received the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States.

VOTE ON OTHER SECOND ROUND MATCHUPS!!! provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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