HOF Artifact of the Week

HOF Artifact of the Week

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This jersey was worn by Mark Gastineau of the New York Jets in 1984 when he set what was then an NFL single season record of 22 sacks. The sack was a term coined by Pro Football Hall of Famer David “Deacon” Jones back in the 1960s but the sack did not become an official statistic until 1982. Gastineau’s 22 sacks in 1984 broke his previous NFL record of 19 sacks in 1983. Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan would eventually break Gastineau’s record with 22 ½ in the 2001 NFL Season. Strahan’s record still stands.

Gastineau was a member of the famed “New York Sack Exchange” which consisted of Jets defensive linemen Marty Lyons, Joe Klecko and Abdul Salaam. Gastineau was the most vocal of the group and became famous for his “Sack Dance” after tackling a quarterback in the backfield.

The nickname “New York Sack Exchange” originated in 1981 from a fan contest in the Jet Report magazine. That season the Jets made the playoffs for the first time since 1969 when Hall of Famer Joe Namath was the quarterback. That year Gastineau and Klecko were named to the Pro Bowl with Klecko also receiving All-Pro Honors.

Our weekly artifacts and other unique items are featured daily in our docent presentations for visitors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Plan your visit to the Hall to learn more about the collection in our archives.

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