Gastineau, Lord of the Dance

Updated: October 9, 2003, 3:49 PM ET
By Mike Puma | Special to

Signature Game
Sept. 25, 1983 - Mark Gastineau's sack dance after nailing Los Angeles Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo wasn't appreciated by Rams offensive tackle Jackie Slater, who rushed over and shoved Gastineau from behind.

The teams brawled and 37 players were ejected, leading to $15,750 in fines. Gastineau, who received a $1,000 fine, said he appreciated the show of support by his teammates. "There were guys on our bench who might not have liked me much, but they all came out on the field," Gastineau said. "It was a good feeling to see them come out for me during the fight."

But Rams offensive tackle Bill Bain said he thought many of the Jets were hoping to see Gastineau get pounded. "I loved it," Bain said. "I almost fell down on the field laughing."

In large part because of Gastineau's sack-dance antics, the NFL adopted a rule the following March banning such celebrations.

Odds 'N' Ends

  • Gastineau majored in Spanish in college.

  • In his two seasons at East Central Unviersity, he had 27 sacks.

  • Jets teammate Marty Lyons introduced Gastineau to his first wife, Lisa.

  • In his first 100 career starts, Gastineau had 100 quarterback sacks.

  • In 1981, New York's Christian Youth Organization voted him the most popular Jets player.

  • Gastineau had 4 sacks in three playoff games in 1982.

  • He would sometimes drive to practice in a Rolls Royce convertible.

  • During the 1982 players' strike, Gastineau trained to be a professional boxer. The following summer, he worked out for a month with heavyweight Gerry Cooney.

  • Gastineau underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in 1986.

  • At his peak, Gastineau earned $200,000 per year in endorsements.

  • Gastineau's fame extended to opportunities for his parents. His mother appeared in Norelco commercials and his father was hired as an underwear salesman.

  • In the mid-1980s, Gastineau had a personal weight room with $45,000 worth of equipment.

  • Gastineau's base salary in his final season was $775,000.

  • On Oct. 2, 1988, Gastineau served as a game captain for the first time and had his first three-sack game in four years in a tie against the Chiefs.

  • Gastineau twice recorded four sacks in a game.

  • He appeared on the cover of People and on the pages of Playgirl.

  • During his Jets career, Gastineau was chairman of the Tomorrow Children's Fund at Mt. Sinai hospital in New York and worked with children stricken with cancer.

  • Gastineau's CFL contract called for him to make $100,000 in 1990.

  • Gastineau's 15 victories as a professional boxer came by knockout, nine in the first round.

  • Boxer Tim Anderson said Gastineau and a promoter asked Anderson to throw a fight against Gastineau in 1992. Anderson said he was offered $500,000 - money Gastineau envisioned earning as part of a big payday against George Foreman. Anderson refused and beat Gastineau.

  • Some of the Indian artifacts Gastineau has discovered are more than 1,200 years old.

  • Gastineau has a daughter, Brittny, from his first marriage and a son, Marcus, from his relationship with Brigitte Nielsen.