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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Steve Tasker

     (Born April 10, 1962) -- Steve Tasker's story of football success is an unlikely one. After all, how many NFL standouts began play at Dodge City Community College? 

    The Kansas native got his start there, and then transferred to Northwestern. As a Wildcat he ever played a little rugby for the first time in his life, and was the most valuable player in the Big Ten's conference tournament.

     Tasker was drafted in the ninth round by the Houston Oilers in 1985. He spent almost two seasons there, but was placed on waivers at that point. His football future looked, um, limited.

     Enter the Bills. Coach Marv Levy grabbed him, and installed Tasker as a key member of Buffalo's special teams. He was a sensation. Tasker participated in seven Pro Bowls and was a key member of the great Bills' teams of the 1990's.

     Tasker played in his last game in pro football in 1997, and got thrown out of the contest on the first play. He moved into the broadcast booth almost seemlessly from there. Tasker is on the Bills' Wall of Fame.

     There are those who think Tasker influenced more games with big plays than practically anyone else in his era, and that he deserves to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It hasn't happened yet, but just being in the argument is proof of his outstanding work.

--- Budd Bailey  

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