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HOW DOES IT REALLY FEEL?
Roy Blount Jr.
August 12, 1974
The pain and glory of pro football are exemplified by the players' hands, so brutally exposed to injury, so vital to victory
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August 12, 1974

How Does It Really Feel?

The pain and glory of pro football are exemplified by the players' hands, so brutally exposed to injury, so vital to victory

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Bradshaw threw a touchdown pass, but he also threw three interceptions and the final score was 33-14 Oakland. Bradshaw dressed hurriedly and left. He didn't go back to Pittsburgh. Joe Greene sat in the dressing room. On the floor around his feet were scattered jockstraps, dirty towels and battered empty tape husks that had been cut away from hands and still looked grasping. "We're one of the best teams in the country with one of the best coaching staffs," he said. "But something was missing. Today that special ingredient was missing."

Then he sagged. "Now I got to go out and probably fight. 'Cause somebody's going to say something I don't agree with. You gonna help me?" he asked me.

I told him I'd be somewhere behind him, but all the bellicose fans seemed to have gone home. On the plane back, Ham and Wagner jocularly blamed various teammates. "It was your fault."

"It's a game of inches," Ham said.

"Sometimes it's a game of feet," said Wagner.

Rocky Bleier did his chicken imitation. He brushed his hair up like a comb and hunched down with his chest out huge and walked like a hen and clucked.

Sam Davis looked pent-up and desolate. I asked him a dumb scribe's question: How did he feel now compared to the way he felt after the last game in '72?

"Same," he said.

"Does it always feel the same after you lose the last one?"

"It does. To me."

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