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Sports Then and Now



Former Philadelphia Eagles Great Steve Van Buren Passes Away at Age 91 2

Posted on August 24, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Steve Van Buren led the Philadelphia Eagles to back-to-back NFL titles.

Sorry to hear of the passing of one of the greatest football players of his generation, former Philadelphia Eagles great Steve Van Buren, at the age of 91.

The first Eagles player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Van Buren was was a four-time NFL rushing champion and led his team to consecutive NFL Championships.

After leading the nation in points and touchdowns as a senior at LSU, he was drafted in the first round of the 1944 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and over the next eight seasons would become the transcendent rusher of his era .

As a rookie for the Eagles, Van Buren showed glimpses of his future brilliance by rushing for 444 yards in nine games and leading the league with an average of 5.6 yards per carry. He also returned both a kickoff and punt for a touchdown and earned All-Pro honors as a defensive player with five interceptions.

The following season, Van Buren led the NFL in rushing with 832 yards on the ground in 10 games. He scored 18 total touchdowns and led the NFL in scoring with 110 points.

In 1947 he led the Eagles to a spot in the NFL Championship game while eclipsing the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time with an NFL best 1,008 yards, 13 rushing touchdowns and 1,087 yards from scrimmage. After defeating Pittsburgh in the opening round of the playoffs, the Eagles lost to the Chicago Cardinals 28-21 in the NFL title game as Van Buren was limited to 26 yards on the ground while scoring a touchdown in the loss.

The following season, Van Buren gained 945 yards rushing to again top the league. The Eagles again faced Chicago in the NFL Championship Game and this time despite a major snowstorm, Van Buren rushed for 98 yards and scored the only touchdown of the game as the Eagles won 7-0 to claim their first NFL Championship. Read the rest of this entry →

Steve Van Buren: Legendary NFL Halfback 3

Posted on December 04, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Steve Van Buren

The December Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a four-time NFL rushing champion and led his team to consecutive NFL Championships.

After leading the nation in points and touchdowns as a senior at LSU, Steve Van Buren was drafted in the first round of the 1944 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and over the next eight seasons would become the transcendent rusher of his era . Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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