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TOFN “5 Games” podcast: Stars QB Chuck Fusina recalls the last title and last USFL season

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TOFN “5 Games” podcast: Stars QB Chuck Fusina recalls Philly’s first USFL championship

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TOFN Network “5 Games” podcast: Chuck Fusina recalls the first USFL title game

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Hall-of-Fame quarterback John Elway, now the Broncos’ GM, details on this week’s Talk of Fame Network podcast why owner Pat Bowlen should be chosen as one of the two contributor candidates for Canton in 2019

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Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Lance Alworth makes a Hall-of-Fame case for former Kansas City Chiefs’ star safety Johnny Robinson.

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The USFL failed in a lawsuit against the NFL and never got to a fall season in 1986. But the legacy of the Stars – and the USFL – lived on. Players like Reggie White, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Anthony Carter, Bobby Hebert and Fusina’s Philadelphia teammates Kelvin Bryant, Sam Mills, Bart Oates and Irv Eatman all went on to have long and distinguished careers in the NFL.

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Chuck Fusina won the USFL passing title that season over future Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Steve Young and past NFL stars Greg Landry, Brian Sipe and Doug Williams. He completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,837 yards with 31 touchdowns and only nine interceptions – a quantum leap from his first USFL season.

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After putting up 44 points in that victory over the Chicago Blitz, the Stars could manage only three points in the opening three quarters of the USFL title game against the Michigan Panthers.

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Hall of Fame coach George Allen said it would go down as “one of the best games in history.” But that isn’t how quarterback Chuck Fusina recalled that 1983 USFL semifinal game between his Philadelphia Stars and Allen’s Chicago Blitz – not after his four turnovers in the first half on three interceptions and a …

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Carl Peterson had been the director of personnel for the 1980 Philadelphia Eagles that won the NFC championship and would play in the franchise’s first Super Bowl. Peterson had a couple future NFL general managers on his Philadelphia Stars personnel staff, Bill Kuharich and Terry Bradway.

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Harris arrived in the NFL as an eighth-round pick in 1969. But what he was able to accomplish on the football field at that position on Sundays cracked the door for other African-American quarterbacks.

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James Harris was the first black to open a pro football season as a starter in 1969, the first to quarterback an NFL team to the playoffs, the first to quarterback a team to a conference title game, the first voted to a Pro Bowl, the first selected MVP of a Pro Bowl and the first to win a conference passing championship.

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Over the next three seasons Harris would quarterback the Rams to three NFC West titles and an NFC title game. He would win an NFC passing title and go to a Pro Bowl. He also became the first African-American quarterback named MVP of a Pro Bowl.

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James Harris led Grambling to four consecutive SWAC championships but the NFL considered him only the 192nd best player in that draft and the seventh-best quarterback.

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James Harris started all four of his seasons at Grambling and won four SWAC championships. He won his only national title with that 28-25 victory over Florida A&M in the 1967 Orange Blossom Classic in the Orange Bowl.

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There were 22 positions players selected to the 1970s NFL all-decade first team and 20 have been enshrined in Canton. The two that haven’t? Cowboys Cliff Harris and Drew Pearson.

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Former Dallas and Denver star DeMarcus Ware, now a pass-rush consultant with the Broncos, explains why Denver rookie Bradley Chubb could be the next … well, the next DeMarcus Ware.

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Steve Atwater’s second straight appearance in the Super Bowl on January 31, 1999 should have been a moment of triumph. Instead it was a stinging farewell. In today’s Talk of Fame Network “5 Games’’ podcast, the Broncos’ former All-Decade safety recalls the joy of winning his second straight Super Bowl ring and the bittersweet nature …

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