They Changed the Game

. July 31, 2018.
doug-williams-super-bowl-vs-broncos

Black quarterbacks in the NFL in the 1960s and 1970s were denied opportunities to lead teams and make a living. In 1969 James Harris was an eighth round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. The Bill’s made James Harris the first African American to start a “season” at quarterback in the history of professional football. Marlin Briscoe of the Denver Broncos was the first black quarterback to start a “game.”

In 1973, James Harris, was traded to the LA Rams. During the 1974 season Harris became the Ram’s starter. He led the Ram’s to a division title and Harris became the first African American quarterback to win an NFL play-off game. In 1974 Harris played in the NFL Pro Bowl and was named MVP of the game. With Briscoe and Harris breaking the color barrier at the quarterback position in the NFL, and playing so well, it seemed that elusive door would forever remain open; but it did not. In 1978 Tampa Bay drafted Doug Williams, an African American quarterback, in the first round of the draft. The Bucks, before Williams arrived to play quarterback for them, had won just two games in two years. But under Williams as quarterback Tampa Bay went to the playoffs three times in four years and played in the 1979 championship game.

During this time Doug Williams was the only starting African American quarterback in the NFL. Williams was paid the lowest salary of any quarterback in the NFL, and earned a salary less than twelve back-up quarterbacks in the league.

Williams finally left the NFL, underpaid and under appreciated, for the USFL. But in 1986, Williams returned to the NFL and the Washington Redskins. He led the Redskin’s to a victory in Super Bowl XXII over the Denver Broncos, becoming the first black quarterback to play and win a Super Bowl. In that Super Bowl Doug Williams was fantastic. He was 18 of 29 passing for 340 yards and four TD’s. Doug was also named Super Bowl MVP.

Marlon Briscoe and James Harris were tremendous quarterbacks. They knocked on the NFL door. But Doug Williams kicked the door down. He changed the NFL game from the quarterback position forever.

Trending

Go Digital!

Changing communications with COVID-19 You’ve texted (and occasionally even Face-timed) your friends, children and grandchildren countless times, and perhaps you have participated in an occasional Zoom event. But those modes of communication just don’t replace the face-to-face time and personal contacts that have been removed from our lives due to the pandemic.  But,  technology may

Autumn Adventures within Driving Distance

After a lazy summer soaking in the sun, gardening and afternoon swims, let’s look forward to the joys of changing seasons.  Approaching the time of pumpkin patches and chrysanthemums, cinnamon donuts and cider, changing leaves and crisp air — fall means a trip on the open road to witness the changes across the countryside. We

Mature Living Recipes

PESTO Pesto is the single best use of our huge basil plants!  It is easy, delicious, and easily adapted. We are giving our basic recipe, suggesting changes and mentioning a few uses for Pesto. Recipe 2-3 big handfuls of clean basil leaves ⅓ C. Toasted pine nuts ½ C. Parmesan cheese 1 clove of garlic,

Lifelong Learning: Great places to learn more about your favorite subjects

The desire to learn never really goes away, no matter how old you are. Whether learning and training in a new skill or simply finding out more about a new topic, human curiosity endures. Older adults have a plethora of ways to satisfy that urge— both at home and in the classroom. With a rise