Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Bubba Smith Sometimes Seemed Larger Than Life 7

Posted on August 03, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Bubba Smith was a towering figure as a member of the Baltimore Colts.

There are some athletes whose persona is greater than reality. For anyone who followed the NFL in the 1960s and 70s and movies over the following decades, Charles “Bubba” Smith was one such individual as his size and character made him a recognizable figure and a star beyond his performance on the field. Smith passed away on Wednesday, reportedly of natural causes, at the age of 66.

A towering figure at 6-foot-7 and 265 pounds, Smith came onto the national scene as a two-time All-American defensive lineman at Michigan State. In 1966 he was part of a Spartan’s squad that faced Notre Dame in the “Game of the Century.” The game ended in a 10-10 tie and MSU finished second in the final rankings.

Drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the first pick in the 1967 NFL Draft, Smith spent five seasons terrorizing quarterbacks on some premier Baltimore squads. The Colts went 11-1-2 during his rookie season and then in 1968 posted a 13-1 record and reached Super Bowl III.

In 1970, Smith was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time as the Colts went 11-2-1 and won Super Bowl V. The following year, Smith earned first team All-Pro honors and a second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
  • Post Categories



↑ Top