13 Wild Images from 70s-Era Sports Stars

RealClear Staff


The 1970s era -- which really includes the late '60s and early '80s -- was a time when the clothes were as colorful as the characters, and the athletes who lived them took the awesomest photos. No. 7 is crazy!

1. The Biggest Afro in Sports

That's how baseball star Oscar Gamble proudly described his look, and who can blame him? Gamble fully embraced the '70s; he even owned a discotheque called "Oscar Gamble's Players Club"!

2. No One Could Pimp Out Like Broadway Joe Namath

The New York Jets quarterback was so charismatic you couldn't stop watching him -- even when he wasn't playing!

3. Then There's Johnny Bench ...

At the opposite end of the sartorial spectrum was the Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds catcher, who won two World Series titles and appeared on "Hee Haw."

4. ... And Al McGuire

The Marquette basketball coach won an NCAA title in 1977, so I dare you to make fun of his pink outfit. 

5. Back in the Day, Athletes Would Endorse Anything

Muhammad Ali proudly pimped roach traps, among many other things. "I think they're beautiful. 'Specially since my picture's on the box!"

6. Not Even Nike, However, Could Make Bowling Cool

Isn't this the dude who played Napoleon Dynamite's brother?

7. Don't Have Words for This

The guy in the middle is NBA star Artis Gilmore. Don't know why he's dunking on two giraffes ...

8. Back When All You Needed Was Balsa Wood and Some Paint to Have a TV Set

Ahhhh, the early Days of ESPN and anchor Bob Ley (right).

9. And Graphics Looked Like This

Name, batting average, home runs and RBIs. Perfect! What more do you need?

10. John Elway Tells You to Get High!

Nice T-shirt, bro...

11. Halftime Ritual, 70s Style

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson calms the nerves at halftime with a cigarette and a bottle of Fresca!

12. Stardom Makes for Strange Bedfellows ...

The good news for Raiders' Ken Stabler (left) and Vikings' Fran Tarkenton: The quarterbacks led their teams to the Super Bowl in 1976. The bad news: They danced on national TV with Robert Hegyes, the dude who played Epstein on "Welcome Back Kotter"! 

13. A Final Image That's so '70s

New York Yankees star Reggie Jackson hangs out with "Diff'rent Strokes" star Gary Coleman. We have no context to add. Just enjoy.



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