Rest in peace, Orlando Bobo

OWINGS MILLS -- Former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Orlando Bobo has died from heart and liver failure, according to his family. Bobo, who was only 33 years old, was a popular backup guard on the Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV championship team.

He played in the NFL for five seasons, including stints with the Ravens, Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns.

Bobo was scheduled to have his spleen removed, but passed away in a Dallas hospital due to complications during surgery.

"It seems to me like my child is not gone," Bobo's mother, Debra Bobo Mason, told the Commercial Dispatch (Miss.). "It really hasn't sunk in yet. He was a wonderful son. He was real respectful to his elders.

"I'm going to miss my baby, I'm going to miss him. I've got three sons, and to me, all three of them are my babies."

The 6-foot-3, 320-pounder played with the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2004, but didn't return due to a contract dispute and had been out of football ever since.

"We are all extremely saddened at the news of Orlando Bobo's passing," Blue Bombers president/CEO Lyle Bauer said in a prepared statement. "Orlando was an outstanding football player, and more importantly, an outstanding person. The whole Bomber family is in mourning over his death."

Bobo, who played at West Point (Miss.) High School and Northeast Louisiana, was selected by the Browns in the 1999 expansion draft before moving on to a stint in Baltimore.

Bobo played for Ravens coach Brian Billick as a rookie free agent in 1997 with Minnesota when Billick was the Vikings' offensive coordinator. He was released by Baltimore on Sept. 5, 2001.

Funeral services were scheduled for Monday in Starkville, Miss. Bobo is survived by a wife and four children.

"Our condolences go out to his family," Bombers general manager Brendan Taman said in a statement. "It's a tremendous loss for them and for everyone who knew Orlando."

Orlando was often mistaken for larger-than-life offensive tackle Orlando "Zeus" Brown because they played on the same team and both played on the offensive line. I remember interviewing Bobo and finding him to be very nice, approachable person. He was an extremely well-liked guy in the Ravens' locker room, and he will definitely be missed.

My deepest condolences go out to the Bobo family.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

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