FOOTBALL; The best of the 1970s
The National Football League recently came out with a list of its best players and games of the past decade, and to no one's surprise Pittsburgh is well represented on both lists.
The voters (members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee) placed four Steelers on the all-decade first team and a like number of Pittsburgh games among the period's of 10 most memorable.
With 13 votes, Terry Bradshaw easily got the nod at quarterback over Roger Staubach and Ken Stabler with three apiece. Lynn Swann was a shoo-in at a wide receiver slot, and on defense Joe Greene landed a spot at tackle and Jack Ham one at outside line-backer. Rounding out the offensive selections were running backs O. J. Simpson and Walter Payton; wide receiver Drew Pearson; tight end Daver Casper; and linemen Art Shell, Ron Yary, Larry Little, Joe DeLamielleure, and Jim Langer. The defense was completed with linemen Jack Youngblood, Carl Eller, and Bob Lilly; linebackers Dick Butkus and Ted Hendricks; and backs Willie Brown, Jim Johnson, Ken. Houston, and Cliff Harris. A first-team selection on 24 to 25 ballots, Oakland punter Ray Guy was the top overall vote-getter.
The best game of the '70s? Pittsburgh's 1972 playoff victory over Oakland in which Franco Harris caught a deflected pass and raced 42 yards for the winning TD with five seconds to play. No. 2 on the list was football's longest game, Miami's 27-24 overtime defeat of Kansas City in the 1971 playoffs. Pittsburgh's last two Super Bowl victories, over Los Angeles and Dallas, came next.
Steeler Coach Chuck Noll, however, was edged by Miami's Don Shula for the top spot in that category.