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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

    • 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.

      Read more »

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