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Mike Fanning
No. 79, 74
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1953-02-02) February 2, 1953 (age 69)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
College:Notre Dame
NFL Draft:1975 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • All-America (1974)
  • All-Rookie (1975)
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at

Michael LaVern Fanning (born February 2, 1953 in Mount Clemens, Michigan) is a retired American football player. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame. He was a defensive tackle for 10 seasons in the National Football League. He started in Super Bowl XIV for the Los Angeles Rams.


At Notre Dame, Fanning accounted for 164 tackles. He was a starter at defensive tackle in 1973 and 1974, and was a 1974 All-America selection by the Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News, Newspaper Enterprise Association, and Time and was a second-team All-America selection by the Associated Press. In his years at Notre Dame, he shared the practice field with Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, whose saga was made into a Hollywood film, "Rudy."

Notre Dame ranked second in the nation in total defense in 1973 and the Irish claimed the National Championship with an 11-0 record. In 1974, the defense ranked first in the nation, allowing only 195.2 yards per game and were ranked sixth in the nation in the final AP poll.


Fanning was drafted on the first round (9th selection) of the 1975 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He was touted to be the successor to Merlin Olsen, who was entering his 14th season in 1975. In 1976, in spot duty for Olsen, Fanning recorded four sacks.

Fanning took over as the starter at left tackle in 1979 after an injury to Cody Jones. Fanning had eight sacks in 1979 and 10 sacks in 1980. He led the Rams in sacks in the strike-shortened 1982 season with five.

Prior to the 1983 season, Fanning was traded to the Detroit Lions. He played one season with the Lions and was signed as a free agent by the Seattle Seahawks in 1984. He had seven sacks in 1984 as a pass-rush specialist for the Seahawks.

On January 18, 2000, the a cappella group Da Vinci's Notebook released a studio album entitled The Life And Times Of Mike Fanning.[citation needed]