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Sports in The 1970s: The Best of The Decade

Updated on August 28, 2016

Sports in The 70s

Sports continued a steady growth in America during the 70s and below is a review of some of the top sports and biggest sporting moments that occurred during the decade.

Roberto Duran

Roberto Duran is a legendary Boxer who has won championships in 4 different weight divisions.
Roberto Duran is a legendary Boxer who has won championships in 4 different weight divisions. | Source

Boxing

The 1970s are known as the golden era for Boxing's heavyweights as some of the best ever competed in this era. Muhammad Ali ruled the decade with wins over fellow Hall of Famers George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Kenny Norton.

The best boxer of the decade belonged to "Hands of Stone" Roberto Duran who is considered by many to be the greatest lightweight champion in boxing history. Duran won the 135 pound championship and defended it 12 times before moving up in weight.

Other top fighters during the 70s were Carlos Monzon (Middleweight great), Bob Foster (Light Heavyweight), Wilfredo Gomez (Jr. Featherweight Knockout Artist), and Jr. Lightweight legend Alexis Arguello.

The 70s produced many memorable title reigns and even more memorable bouts such as Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier 1, 2 and 3. Ali vs George Foreman and Foreman destroying Joe Frazier. Also, The decade let us see the lightweight beast known as Roberto Duran terrorize Ken Buchanan for the lightweight title and then defended it 12 times.

Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson  was a great baseball player during his prime. He not only played great but he motivated and raised the level of play out of his teammates as well.
Reggie Jackson was a great baseball player during his prime. He not only played great but he motivated and raised the level of play out of his teammates as well. | Source

Baseball

Baseball has always been a huge sport in the United States and it's often been called America's past time. Below is a list of the World Series winners for the 1970s decade. No one team was completely dominant ford the decade although the Oakland A's captured three championships in a row.

1970- Baltimore Orioles

1971- Pittsburgh Pirates

1972- Oakland Athletics

1973- Oakland Athletics

1974- Oakland Athletics

1975- Cincinnati Reds

1976- Cincinnati Reds

1977- New York Yankees

1978- New York Yankees

1979- Pittsburgh Pirates

Major League Baseball had lots of superstars in the 70s. The best of the decade were: Reggie Jackson (Yankees), Joe Morgan (Reds), Tom Seaver (Mets), Mike Schmidt (Phillies), and Steve Carlton (Phillies).

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is one of the best L.A. Lakers to ever play the game. His sky hook is hard to defend against and it's helped win several games for the Lakers.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar is one of the best L.A. Lakers to ever play the game. His sky hook is hard to defend against and it's helped win several games for the Lakers. | Source

Who?

Who was the best sporting Athlete during the 1970s?

See results

Basketball

Below are the NBA Champions from 1970-1979.

1970: New York Knicks

1971: Milwaukee Bucks

1972: Los Angeles Lakers

1973: New York Knicks

1974: Boston Celtics

1975: Golden State Warriors

1976: Boston Celtics

1977: Portland Trailblazers

1978: Washington Bullets

1979: Seattle Supersonics

This is when the NBA really started to experience a huge growth in popularity. Some great players emerged in this era. The top players were: Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Lakers), Bill Walton (Trailblazers), Moses Malone (Rockets) and Dave Cowens (Celtics) just to name a few.


Kareem Abdul Jabbar's Top 10 Plays

Pittsburgh Steelers

Terry Bradshaw and the Steel Curtain were one of the best football dynasty's in history.
Terry Bradshaw and the Steel Curtain were one of the best football dynasty's in history. | Source

NFL SuperBowl Champions From 1970-1979

K.C. Chiefs
Baltimore Colts
Dallas Cowboys (Twice)
Miami Dolphins (Twice)
Pittsburgh Steelers (Three Times)
Oakland Raiders
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Steelers came the closest to dominating the decade by winning three Super Bowls.

Football

The Pittsburgh Steelers were easily the team of the decade as they not only won 3 Super Bowls but were one of the top teams every other time as well. Terry Bradshaw was a tough and accurate quarterback and the steel curtain defense was brutal.

The decade was ruled by: Bradshaw, Roger Staiback (Cowboys), and Kenny Stabler (Raiders), Walter Peyton (Bears), Earl Campbell (Oilers), O.J. Simpson (Bills), Lynn Sawnn (Steelers), Joe Greene (Steelers), Dick Butkus (Bears) and Jack Lambert (Steelers) among many others.

Safety was starting to become a hot topic during the late 70s which led to more padding, stricter rules,etc. in the 1980s. Having said that, The 1970s was a great time to be a football fan as many classic plays and good games were played during this period.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Horse Racing

Horse Racings golden age was the 70s and the sport hit it's peak in this decade before it's slow decline started. Seattle Slew in '77 and Affirmed in '78 were allowed to compete at the top level at the unheard of age of four. Aside from those legendary horses America also had Secretariat who won in '74.

Outside the U.S. Horse Racing was doing just fine with England and Ireland winning the Triple Crown once each. Mexico took a win home with a terrific horse called Grand Zar.

Horse Racing which is a hugely betted on sport started a small decline during this period of time.

Birthplace of Muhammad Ali (Louisville, Kentucky)

Sporting Legends

Jimmy Conners is a tennis great who was in his prime during the 70's. He had a great overall game which featured speed, footwork and a terrific serve.
Jimmy Conners is a tennis great who was in his prime during the 70's. He had a great overall game which featured speed, footwork and a terrific serve. | Source
Lee Trevino was an overachiever and his golf game was excellent on the green or on the fairway.
Lee Trevino was an overachiever and his golf game was excellent on the green or on the fairway. | Source

Tennis and Golf

Tennis

Jimmy Conners, John Newcombe, Bjorn Borg, Arthur Ashe and John McEnroe ruled the decade and commanded center attention in the 70s while tennis was experiencing a growth spurt.

Tennis was finally becoming a major sport for women as well. Margaret Court completed a Grand Slam of tournament wins.

Golf
The best Golfers during the 70s were Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player among many others. Many of these great players went on to become hall of fame inductees and some had careers that lasted over 50 years in the pro ranks.

Golf takes patience, hard work, skills and a little bit of luck to become the best but some do exactly that.

Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman Highlights

Soccer

Soccer or Futballl outside of America is the number one sport in the entire world and it's in the top five in the United States. Below is a list of the World Cup winners from 1970-1979.

1970: Brazil

1974: West Germany

1978: Argentina

The best players of the decade are: Pele, Eusebio, and Johan Cruyff.

Soccer takes immense stamina and at the highest levels immense skill and talent to achieve greatness. The number one sport in the world is played in over 200 countries and spectators flock to stadiums and television sets on a regular basis to witness it.



© 2014 Buster Johnson

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