Nick Lassa
Date of birth: (1898-07-11)July 11, 1898
Place of birth: Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana
Date of death: September 4, 1964(1964-09-04) (aged 66)
Career information
Position(s): Tackle, center, guard, end
Career highlights and awards
Playing stats at

Nicholas Anthony Lassa, (July 11, 1898 – September 4, 1964) more popularly referred to as Long Time Sleep, was a professional American football player from the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana.


Born on July 11, 1898, Lassa was Native American and a member of the Blackfoot tribe,[1] however some sources have him listed as a Cherokee or a Flathead.[2] He was given the name, Long Time Sleep, by his teammates because he was so hard to wake up in the morning.[citation needed]

Lassa attended and played college football at the Carlisle Indian School and Haskell Indian Nations University.[3] Lassa eventually played in the National Football League in 1922 with the Oorang Indians.

The Oorang Indians were an all-Native American football team based in La Rue, Ohio and formed by Walter Lingo in 1922 to help promote his Airedale kennel. The team was organized by Jim Thorpe, who served the team as a player-coach.[2] When the team formed, Lassa was the first player to arrive in La Rue.[1]

Aside from football, Lassa enjoyed wrestling. He would make up to $50.00 for wrestling matches throughout the area. In fact he is most remembered for wrestling a bear as part of a halftime show of one of the Indians' games. Lassa would usually win between 10-20 dollars per match and that money would allow the whole team to go out partying all night.[2]

After the team folded in 1923, Lassa stayed near LaRue, earning his living as a professional wrestler and strongman. He also stayed on working for Lingo and several of the other farmers in the area. He finally left the area in the early 1930s. He reportedly gave up drinking, raised a family, and became a respected member of his community.[1] Lassa died on September 4, 1964.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Willis, Chris. "Remembering the Oorang Indians". Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 24 (3): 1–3. Archived from the original on 2012-02-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Braunwart, Bob; Bob Carroll; Joe Horrigan (1981). "The Oorang Indians". Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 3 (1): 1–17. Archived from the original on 2010-11-27.
  3. "NFL Players who attended Haskell Indian Nations University". Retrieved January 30, 2014.
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