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Sports Then and Now



Classic Rewind: Raiders Top Steelers in High Scoring Affair 4

Posted on December 05, 2009 by Dean Hybl

There was a time when the rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders was the most competitive in the NFL. When these titans met on the gridiron there was no question it was going to be a battle and often with a lot on the line.

Between 1972 and 1983, the Steelers and Raiders met in the playoffs six times, including three straight times in the AFC Championship Game. The winner of each of those three games (Pittsburgh in 1974 and 1975 and Oakland in 1976) went on to win the Super Bowl.

With classic moments including the Immaculate Reception by Franco Harris and a big hit on Lynn Swann by George Atkinson that resulted in a lawsuit, the Steelers and Raiders did not like each other and were ready for a war whenever they met on the field.

Our Classic Rewind is not one of their playoff meetings, but instead a Monday Night Football encounter from 1980 that featured the defending Super Bowl Champion Steelers against an Oakland team that was destined to succeed the Steelers as champions.

Surprisingly, despite the fact that both teams were known for their defense, this game was a high scoring affair that featured a number of big plays both on offense and defense.

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Best Players Not In the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Wide Receivers 10

Posted on July 08, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Cliff Branch

Cliff Branch

Our position-by-position look at the best eligible players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame continues with a spotlight on the position where HOF voters have arguably displayed the most inconsistency in their choices: wide receiver.

Perhaps more than any other position, the role and statistics associated with wide receiver has changed dramatically over the last fifty years as the NFL record books have gone from no players with 500 career receptions in 1960 and only four in 1970 to 106 today, including 85 who have joined the club since 1990.

For that reason, the Hall of Fame selectors seem to be in a constant struggle with history to try and deduce which former pass catchers belong in Canton.
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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

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