Steve Tasker

Discussion in 'Buffalo Bills' started by bigunreal, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. bigunreal

    bigunreal Mentor

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    Just thought I'd share some thoughts about one of the more notable
    victims of the Caste system in recent times. While Steve Tasker was
    recognized as a special teams dynamo, and voted to the Pro Bowl several
    times in that capacity, he was never really given a chance to be a
    contributing WR. I remember very clearly one season, in the early '90s,
    when virtually every Buffalo Bill WR was injured during the final 4
    weeks or so of the regular season, and so Tasker was forced into duty
    as a starting WR. He went nuts, putting up great numbers every week he
    played. QB Jim Kelly was quoted as saying how Tasker's performance
    didn't surprise him at all, because the team had never had a defensive
    back who could cover him in practice. This amazing statement went over
    the heads of the sports "journalists," but it provides a glaring
    example of the discrimination that exists in the NFL. Think about this;
    Tasker could not be covered in pracice by any Bill DB the team had
    during his years he played there, and during his one stint as a regular
    WR, he performed like a real star. Yet despite this, the team never
    thought to put a WR on the field whom none of its defensive backs could
    cover in practice? And even after that great 4 week performance at WR,
    Tasker was sent right back to his "place" as a special teams leader,
    without anyone questioning it? We all know the reason behind this, and
    it had nothing to do with Tasker's ability or lack thereof. Finally,
    and few of you will remember this, but during Tasker's last home game
    in Buffalo before he retired, the team honored him with a Steve Tasker
    Day celebration. Nice gesture, huh? Well, yes, but what happened in the
    early part of the game was absolutely unbelievable and was not
    commented upon at all by anyone in the media, to my knowledge. During
    the opening kickoff (I think it was the opening, might have been
    another kickoff, but very early in the game), Tasker protested, in a
    very mild way, to the officials about something. HE WAS EJECTED FROM
    THE GAME! That's right- on Steve Tasker Day, when he was supposed to be
    honored by the organization and the fans, this hapless white player was
    thrown out of the game during its very early stages. I was watching the
    game, and neither of the idiotic announcers protested one bit. There
    was no mention of how rare it is for any NFL player to be ejected from
    any game, let alone the player being honored during his final home
    game. I have seen many players do a whole lot more than Tasker did in
    mouthing off very briefly, and in a very non-threatening manner,
    without even being penalized, let alone ejected. Anyhow, I found it
    incredible, and wondered if anyone else remembers it.
     
  2. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't remember the incident during Steve Tasker Day, but do know you're spot on about how Tasker was treated. I remember Kelly's remark well. Wonder what would have happened if Kelly and Tasker had been aggressive in lobbying for playing time for Steve rather than Kelly making a single remark near the end of Tasker's career.

    I looked up Tasker's stats and he never had more than two catches in a season until his 11th season! He had 20 receptions in '95 and 21 in '96, and then none in his final season of '97.

    To put it in even more perspective, during Tasker's career the Bills usually had more white players on their roster than any other team. They had five white starters on defense and generally seven on offense during their Super Bowl years. Yet whites were still shut out at the "skill" positions on Buffalo, the least anti-white team in the league! Tasker was really shafted, but Don Beebe had world class speed and should have been a starting WR rather than a backup his entire career.
     
  3. Colonel Callan

    Colonel Callan Guru

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    I remember Tasker's brief - and amazing - stint as a receiver during
    that (fortunate for him) period. Even when he garnered some press
    for his amazing all-around play, it was as if the public (white public)
    were being thrown a bone.

    Don Beebe? Remember when he went to Green Bay and began
    returning kicks? He was like Houdini. But it was too much for the
    folks in charge to bear. Can't make the bruthas look foolish.
     
  4. Colonel_Reb

    Colonel_Reb Hall of Famer

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    Tasker and Beebe, along with Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas, were my favorite Bills. Anyone remember their TE Pete Metzelaars? He was another good one too. In 1993, he had 68 catches for 609 yards. The Bills were my favorite team after Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys and fired Tom Landry.
     
  5. White Shogun

    White Shogun Hall of Famer

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    The Bills went to four Super Bowls in a row. I don't care that they lost every one, it is an incredible achievement and will likely never be accomplished again.

    The Patriots are the closest team in today's era to the Bills, and surprise surprise, they are also one of the whitest teams to play the game.

    Things that make you scratch your head and say, "hmmm..."
     
  6. Bart

    Bart Hall of Famer

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    http://www.packers.com/news/stories/1999/05/27/1/index.phtml ?printable=1


    He only played in Green Bay for two seasons, but Don Beebe left his mark on football in Titletown.

    After failing to reach the ultimate goal - a Super Bowl victory - four times with the Buffalo Bills, Beebe finally won the big one with the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI.

    Along the way, Beebe had some memorable moments.
    <UL>
    <LI>A 220-yard receiving performance against the 49ers on Monday Night Football - a game he didn't even start, but was pressed into service when Robert Brooks went down with an injury on the first play of the game.
    <LI>A 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Chicago a week earlier in 1996 in a 37-6 win over the Bears.
    <LI>Received NFC 'Player of the Week' honors in consecutive weeks for contributions in the Bears and 49ers games.
    <LI>Received the game ball from Brett favre after the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI, a moment Beebe calls one of his greatest memories - "To be able to share that with my wife, and kids, and family...I wish every player could experience that."
    </LI>[/list]Edited by: Bart
     
  7. backrow

    backrow Hall of Famer

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    isn't it ironic that Beebe housed the "House of Speed" camp? that's gotta rattle the media and caste system supporters...
     
  8. reclaimsocal

    reclaimsocal Guru

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    I remember the Vikings had a guy that suffered from the Steve Tasker syndrome, Chris Walsh. He was a special teams guy who excelled every time he was given a shot as a WR and yet the team would always go find some black scrub to play ahead of him. Granted he was behind some greats, but he should have been a solid #3, something that was never allowed.
     
  9. Kaptain

    Kaptain Master

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    Chris Walsh lead the team in recieving nearly every preseason, but was not even considered good enough to be the number three reciever. He got a reputation for laying out defensive backs and also for was a great special teams performer. Sound familar?
     
  10. speedster

    speedster Mentor

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    I enjoyed watching Don Beebe,but didn't he take the nastiest hits you've ever seen.There was one game against Cleveland in the playoffs,I think,where he landed on his head.That made hi-lite reels and football's best of for years.As far as Tom Landry goes,Reb,he had to go.As a head coach he was fried.
     
  11. surfsider

    surfsider Guru

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    Saw a show several years ago and a Bill's coach said that Tasker was the best athlete he'd seen. He said there was nothing he couldn't do. Among several examples he gave was that the 5 foot 7(?) Tasker, in golf, could out drive everyone on the Bills.

    You are so right Speedster about Beebe taking some wicked blows. His body always seemed to be flying through space in an awkward, thats gotta hurt, type way.Edited by: surfsider
     
  12. Colonel_Reb

    Colonel_Reb Hall of Famer

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    Speedster, you may be right, but Tom Landry was too good a man to get dumped like that. I have always thought of Jerry Jones as little more than pond scum.
     
  13. Sean Carlisle

    Sean Carlisle Guru

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    I could not stand Jerry Jones either Reb and I always pulled for the Bills in their two (dallas-buffalo) super bowl match ups not to mention the other two as well.

    The Vikings' Walsh was nickmaned Mr. August due to his great pre-season performances. Travis Gervais had similar pre-season success with GB. I always enjoyed pre-season because I got to actually see white skill players get pt.

    I one time saw Tasker run a kick off back almost a hundred yards in a playoff game against Oakland. He got hit a few times and stayed on his feet all the way down to about the two and the Bills scored on the next play. They use to even run the reverse for him to great success I might add. Andre Reed was their bread and butter but he even seemed underated in a way compared to the likes of Michael Irvin etc.
     
  14. devans

    devans Mentor

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    Tasker was quite short 5-8 and was behind some talented receivers such as Reed, Lofton and Beebe. I think it is hard to be too critical of Marv Levy and the Bills. They drafted Chris Walsh, mentioned above in this thread. They had Mark Kelso start for about 8 years despite fierce and scornful media criticism, which I don't think any other team would have stood up to. I saw them in a pre-season game (1992 I think) have three white receivers on the field at the same time. Their 1992 roster included white receivers Tasker, Beebe, Walsh, Brad Lamb and Barry Rose (although I think Rose was cut pre-season) and safeties Kelso and Kurt Shulz. Tsker was cut by the Oilers and picked up for nothing by the Bills who knew a player when they saw one. Although I agree with teh overall sentiment of this thread that he could have been a starter or number 3 receiver in some other teams at that time. The Oilers for example!
     

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