Roberto Garza (born March 26, 1979) is a former American football center. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft, and in 2005, joined the Chicago Bears, spending ten seasons with the team.

Roberto Garza
refer to caption
Garza with the Chicago Bears in 2008
No. 63
Position:Center / Guard
Personal information
Born: (1979-03-26) March 26, 1979 (age 40)
Rio Hondo, Texas
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:310 lb (141 kg)
Career information
High school:Rio Hondo (TX)
College:Texas A&M–Kingsville
NFL Draft:2001 / Round: 4 / Pick: 99
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games Played:206
Games Started:176
Fumbles Recovered:3
Player stats at NFL.com

High school yearsEdit

Garza attended Rio Hondo High School in Rio Hondo, Texas and was a letterman in football and track and field. He was also a member the school's National Honor Society.

Post-high schoolEdit

The son of Roberto Garza Sr., and Ofelia Garza from Mexico, Garza was encouraged to join the Marines after high school. A Marine recruiter interested in Garza ridiculed his desire to play professional football, allegedly stating that, "Mexicans do not play in the NFL". Roberto was not discouraged, and worked toward his goal by being encouraged by his younger cousin Payton Garza. He ended up playing for the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelinas as a "walk-on". In addition to playing football, Roberto worked to pay for school. Garza's hometown of Rio Hondo, Texas established December 2 as "Roberto Garza, Jr. Day", and subsequently named a street after him. He is fluent in Spanish.

Professional careerEdit

He was originally selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 99th overall pick of 2001 NFL Draft from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Garza played with the Falcons up until the 2004 season when his contract was up. He signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears in 2005, and he signed a six-year contract extension in 2006. In that season, the Bears reached a 39–14 victory over the New Orleans Saints, which allowed them to claim the NFC Championship and advance to Super Bowl XLI.[1] However, they fell short of the championship, losing 29–17 to the Indianapolis Colts. Among the almost 1,700 National Football League players in the 2006 season, Garza was one of only 19 Hispanics.[2] Garza became a free agent after the 2013 season, but was resigned to a 1-year contract on February 27, 2014.[3]

On April 2, 2015, Garza was released by the Bears, ending a ten-year tenure.[4]

In the mediaEdit

He was chosen to be the cover athlete of the Spanish version of Madden 09 En Español.[5]

In 2012, Garza, along with teammate and defensive end Henry Melton were named to the USA Today 2012 All-Joe Team.[6]

He also served as sideline reporter for Fox Deportes' broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII.[7] Garza later served as a commentator for ESPN Deportes' broadcast of Super Bowl 50.[8]

He was also featured in a Modelo Beer commercial alongside fellow former Hispanic football players Tony Gonzalez and Anthony Munoz.

Charitable workEdit

Garza is a supporter and member of the United Way, a group of charitable organizations dedicated to helping less fortunate children and elderly. In 2006, Garza was named the Chicago Bears' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. He has previously worked with the Empty Stocking Fund, the Atlanta Falcons' Feed The Homeless Campaign, and the Hall County Boys & Girls Club. He also supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "GameCenter: Recap — Superbowl.com". Superbowl.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2007. Retrieved January 21, 2007.
  2. ^ Perfection punched senseless - Los Angeles Times[dead link]
  3. ^ Smith, Michael David (February 27, 2014). "Bears sign Roberto Garza to one-year contract". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ Mayer, Larry (April 2, 2015). "Bears release Garza, sign Montgomery". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on April 6, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  5. ^ "Random Topics for Today". pastapadre.com. August 4, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  6. ^ "Garza, Melton land on "All-Joe" team". Chicago Bears. February 9, 2012. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  7. ^ Mayer, Larry (February 1, 2014). "Garza to be part of historic broadcast". Chicago Bears. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  8. ^ "Gould celebrates his brother's title win". Chicago Bears. February 8, 2016. Archived from the original on February 9, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2016.

External linksEdit