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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

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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