Former Arizona QB Enke receiving NFL benefits for health care

2014-01-26T00:00:00Z Former Arizona QB Enke receiving NFL benefits for health careGreg Hansen Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Tucson’s first NFL quarterback, Fred W. Enke, 89, is benefiting from the NFL’s care-giving package for ill and injured former players. He is paid $88,000 a year for in-home care by the league. He was a QB for the Lions, Colts and Eagles from 1948 to 1954. “It’s a lifesaver for us,” his daughter, Debbie Gundy, says. “The plan is modeled after (ex-Colts tight end) John Mackey, who was disabled and needed extensive care late in his life.” Mackey wore No. 88 during his Hall of Fame career, hence the $88,000 per year. Enke required two shoulder replacements, two knee replacements and a hip replacement after his football days. He also had back surgery. NFL statistics indicate he was sacked for 501 yards in losses during his career, all played without a facemask. The former Wildcat has dementia. … Sad to hear of the death of Salpointe’s 1972 state tennis singles champion, Bruce Bueno, who was only 59 when he died last week. Bueno was the first Salpointe tennis player to win a state title, breaking the Catalina dynasty that had produced state champs Mark Hardy, Robb Salant and Eric Evett in the 1960s. … CDO and UA baseball product Brian Anderson is hoping to come out of retirement and play major-league baseball again. Anderson last played 86 games for the White Sox and Red Sox in 2009, then converted to pitching in the minor leagues for parts of three seasons. He was selected No. 15 overall by the White Sox in the 2003 draft. He is 31, and is negotiating to get into spring training with several teams. … The UA will not have the services of former Pima College All-America outfielder Gemma Contreras when the softball season begins next month. She has left the team after hitting .388 with 38 stolen bases for a Pima team that finished No. 3 in the nation last year. The UA, which is not ranked in the coaches’ preseason Top 25 for the first time in 25 years, will play Grand Canyon on Feb. 13. That must mean the boycott of GCU teams, initiated by Arizona State, didn’t catch on. Cal, Utah and Arizona are all playing the Antelopes in softball this season.

Contact sports columnist Greg Hansen at 520-573-4145 or ghansen@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @ghansen711

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