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Old 11-01-2007, 09:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

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Originally Posted by Lord Stiller View Post
Colts/Pats today is a good rivalry, reminds me of a pussier version of the Raiders/Steelers

Speaking of Raiders vs Steelers, one of my all-time favorite highlights is one of Mel Blount total jacking up a Raiders reciever (maybe Cliff Branch?) Anyhow, he pretty much DDT's the Raiders player. Anyone else remember the play I'm talking about?
If you are referring to where Mel pretty much flips Branch and spikes him helmet first into the ground I definitely remember it - I do not recall if that was in the 1974 AFC Championship or the 1976 regular season opener (the "criminal element" game where Atkinson clubbed Swann in the back of the head) - Blount's play pretty much reflected how those games were played - those were the days.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

according to sports illustrated last year, steelers-bengals is the biggest rivalry in the nfl
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

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If you are referring to where Mel pretty much flips Branch and spikes him helmet first into the ground I definitely remember it - I do not recall if that was in the 1974 AFC Championship or the 1976 regular season opener (the "criminal element" game where Atkinson clubbed Swann in the back of the head) - Blount's play pretty much reflected how those games were played - those were the days.
Yep, that's the one. I dont recall what the hit on Swann looked like but Blount's retaliation was brutal, probably the most vicious play I've ever seen (that's what you get when you mess with the Steelers )

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September 12, 1976 at Oakland Raiders, Season Opener

In what was becoming a heated rivalry for dominance of the AFC in the 1970s, this game brought tensions to a boiling point. Coming off of a freshly minted dynasty, the Steelers opened the quest for three championships in a row at the home of the eventual Super Bowl XI Champion Oakland Raiders. Pittsburgh was up late 28-14, but the Raiders came back with a vengeance. George Atkinson got in a cheap shot against Super Bowl MVP Swann with a blow to the head. Mel Blount retaliated later by driving Raider Cliff Branch head-first into the turf. Chuck Noll later fumed that Atkinson's hit on Swann was part of the "criminal element of the NFL" prompting the Raider to sue Noll in California court. Oakland won the slugfest 31-28.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

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Yep, that's the one. I dont recall what the hit on Swann looked like but Blount's retaliation was brutal, probably the most vicious play I've ever seen (that's what you get when you mess with the Steelers )
4 weeks later Turkey Jones spiked Bradshaw into the turf at Cleveland in a manner similar to how Blount drilled Branch - for those of us old enough to remember watching those games there were vicious shots like that all the time in the 70s.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

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Nice read, Dan. Thanks.

Ahhhhhh - that article brings back a lot of memories of the Steelers/Raiders hate filled rivalry. I was just a young teenager when the rivalry began, but it's something as a Steelers fan, I've never forgotten. Sitting in our seats at TRS, you could just feel the intensity even before the opening coin toss. I loathed that Raiders team even more than I loathe the Bungles and Pats of today. Dirty, rotten scoundrels or - as Coach Noll called them - a criminal element.
Thats great! Thats why I come here! I feel the same way about the Steelers... in a good way, if that makes sense?

I have always said that there has never been a rivalry that was so equal on both sides of the ball, or filled with so much desire by both teams to beat the living s**t out of each other, before or since... I would love to see that rekindled some day!
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

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Originally Posted by Lord Stiller View Post
Colts/Pats today is a good rivalry, reminds me of a pussier version of the Raiders/Steelers

Speaking of Raiders vs Steelers, one of my all-time favorite highlights is one of Mel Blount total jacking up a Raiders reciever (maybe Cliff Branch?) Anyhow, he pretty much DDT's the Raiders player. Anyone else remember the play I'm talking about?
Yep, it was Cliff Branch. Drove his head into the ground. That was football!
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

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4 weeks later Turkey Jones spiked Bradshaw into the turf at Cleveland in a manner similar to how Blount drilled Branch - for those of us old enough to remember watching those games there were vicious shots like that all the time in the 70s.
Yes sir, that was typical 70's football. I remember the Turkey Jones play too. I really miss the 70's...
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Old 11-03-2007, 07:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

I'd like to see a "Turkey Jones" during the Patsie game tomorrow
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:02 AM   #19
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

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I'd like to see a "Turkey Jones" during the Patsie game tomorrow
If anyone does that to Peyton or Brady today they will be banned for life by Goodell

If you ever have a chance to see the NFL Films "America's Game" for the 1975 Steelers and look at the hits with no flags in the Raiders-AFC championship game that year (Lambert takes Branch's helmet off with one tackle, Atkinson knocks Swann out of the game with a clothesline tackle (this is the game before the infamous "criminal element" game), Marv Hubbard smashes Wagner's face into the ice 5 yards out of bounds after Wagner returns an INT)) you will get a flavor as to how much leeway players were given back then - as Silver & Black said, that was football.

And the Steelers-Raiders rivalry went up to the owners. The P-G has this story from Dan Rooney's new book:

He makes no secret of the fact he detests fellow Pro Football Hall of Fame member Al Davis. He writes of Davis' antics several times, including one from 1977 when he believed Davis was behind Oakland defensive back George Atkinson's disruptive lawsuit against Noll.

But the best Davis story spun by Rooney occurred when the NFL merged with the AFL, and then realigned when Cleveland, Baltimore and the Steelers moved to the AFC and divisions were formed.

The negotiations were long, hard and often contentious, but after they finally agreed on alignment, Al Davis tried to challenge the AFC Central makeup of the Browns, Steelers, Bengals and Oilers. Rooney told him it was "untouchable.'' Davis shot back, "No, it isn't.''

Finally, Davis walked out of the room, where he was confronted by Vince Lombardi.

"In the hallway, Vince grabbed Al by the collar, lifted him up, and pressed him against the wall, hard. 'If you're going to cause people trouble,' he warned, 'you'll be run out of here. You're getting the best teams. Dan Rooney came a long way for this, so settle down or we'll throw you out. We don't need you!' "


I would love to have a photo of Saint Vince putting Oakland Al up against the wall

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07308/830795-66.stm

Last edited by Atlanta Dan; 11-04-2007 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:35 AM   #20
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Default Re: ESPN - Top 5 NFL Rivalries

Does anyone know where I can get a pic of the Blount hit?
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