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Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Former Giants great Van Pelt dies of heart attack

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Former New York Giants linebacker Brad Van Pelt has died of an apparent heart attack at age 57, according to the New York Daily News. He joined Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson and Brian Kelley to form the Crunch Bunch in the early '80s and went to five Pro Bowls.

According to Carson and Kelley, Van Pelt was found sitting in his chair at home in Owosso, Mich., by his fiancée Tuesday. The former teammates were stunned by Van Pelt's death. Kelley said he called Taylor on Tuesday night and all the Hall of Famer could say was, "No, no, no."

"[Van Pelt's fiancée] Deanna walked into the house," Kelley told the News on Wednesday. "He was sitting up in the chair smiling, but he wasn't moving. She called 911 but he'd been gone for a couple of hours. I called her this morning. She said he was smiling so obviously he went peacefully."

Van Pelt played football, baseball and basketball at Michigan State before becoming the Giants' first draft pick in 1973. He played 11 of his 14 seasons with the Giants and was voted player of the decade for the '70s.

Van Pelt's son, Bradlee, was a backup quarterback for both the Broncos and Texans.