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The Grave of Buzz Nutter

by Randy Snow

Original to www.theworldoffootball.com, Friday, April 7, 2017

Madison Moore “Buzz” Nutter was a center in the NFL and played in a game that is considered to be the greatest game ever played. That game was the 1958 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants. The game went into overtime and was televised live across the country.   

Nutter played college football at Virginia Polytechnic Institute which, today, is simply known as Virginia Tech. He was selected in the 12th round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. However, Nutter failed to make the Redskins team.

He signed with the Colts in 1955, spent a year as the backup center, then became the starting center in 1956. He was undersized for his position, weighing barely 200 pounds. By the 1958 season, the Colts were one of the best teams in the NFL thanks to their future Hall of Fame quarterback, Johnny Unitas.

In the 1958 title game, Nutter not only protected Untias on passing plays but he also opened up holes for running backs Alan Ameche and Lenny Moore. When Ameche scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime to seal the victory, many fans rushed onto the field. One fan grabbed the ball that Ameche had just scored with and took off with it. Nutter chased the fan down, tackled him and recovered the ball, taking it to the locker room.

The Colts, and Nutter, repeated as NFL champs in 1959, again beating the Giants.

Nutter played for the Colts for seven seasons, 1954-1960, before being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played in Pittsburgh for four seasons, 1961-1964, and returned to finish his playing career with the Colts in 1965.

After he retired from the NFL, Nutter started a beer and soft drink distribution company in Maryland called Center Distributors. The name comes from the position he played in football.

Nutter passed away on April 12, 2008 at the age of 77, but the business he founded is still in business today and is run by Nutter’s son, David.

Buzz Nutter was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. He was also the first player from Virginia Tech to ever be drafted by an NFL team.

Finding His Grave

I wanted to visit the grave of Buzz Nutter because I recently wrote a chapter about him for an upcoming book. The Professional Football Researchers Association, of which I am a member, is working on a book about the 1958 Baltimore Colts season and team. That book is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2018. In the summer of 2016, the PFRA released its first book in a series titled Great Teams in Pro Football History. That book was about the 1966 Green Bay Packers. I was fortunate enough to contribute to that book as well.

Buzz Nutter and his wife, Carole, are buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery in La Plata, Maryland. There is a Catholic monastery at the end of the drive leading onto the property. There you will find a handful of graves located along a wooden fence that runs to the left of the monastery, including the Nutters. The flat marker contains a small Baltimore Colts helmet under Buzz’s name.



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