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Remembering The Great Pass Receiver, Cliff Branch

August 7, 2019

The great receiver, Cliff Branch, a part of all three Raiders’ title teams,(his Raiders’ teams were (3-0) in Super Bowl games), died last week at age 71, which is far too soon.

In 1971, Branch was a senior on the University of Colorado football team that finished third in the final Associated Press poll. Only the two juggernauts, Nebraska which won the crown and Oklahoma, both also from the Big 8 Conference, finished ahead of Colorado.

Branch was great in the professional ranks, yet died without reaching the Football Hall.

He gathered in 3 Jim Plunkett touchdown passes, two in the ’80 season tilt and the other in ’83, all significant ones, the one in ’80 opened the scoring.

It took so long for “them” to put truly great receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth in while Chuck Howley is still not in.

All that bothers me, but Cliff’s death puts it in perspective. It also magnifies the injustice of him not being in.

In a truly great Oakland (28-26) win vs the two time defending champion Miami Dolphins in a 1974 divisional playoff game, Cliff Branch got up and ran for a long touchdown.

Maybe he and some of us figuratively, “get up” now!


Click above to view Branch’s second touchdown catch in the ’80 season Super Bowl vs the Philadelphia Eagles. Richard “Dick” Enberg calls it, Merlin Olsen adds comments.

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