Quite possibly the most moving response in the Gratitude to Greats project came on August 1, 2019, when I heard from Cliff Branch… just two days before his untimely passing.
Branch was without a doubt one of the fastest, greatest, deep threats in the 70s NFL. In 1974, Branch had an average of 24.2 yards per reception, which was unheard of for that period, and accomplished receiving numbers that were on par even with today’s inflated numbers of the current standouts. Branch was a receiver on all three of the Raiders’ championship teams.
I will forever be grateful to Mr. Branch, not only for responding to my letter, but for all the years he went out of his way for us great NFL fans. Rest in Peace, Cliff!
UPDATE: On August 1, 2020, what would have been Cliff’s 71st Birthday, I did a Facebook fundraiser for one of Cliff’s favorite charities, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston, in his memory. I would like to thank Adriana-Anna Giacomelli for taking the time to donate $100 to this great group. It’s what Cliff would have wanted.
Anyone who may be interested in donating a few dollars to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston in Cliff’s memory, I invite you to do so at their web site at https://www.bgclubs-houston.org/donate