By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

Steve Tasker – Signed by the Bills in 1986

Pro sports teams are involved in endless transactions over the course of the year. Most of them are forgettable. Sometimes, though, they turn out to have a huge amount of significance.

That’s Steve Tasker’s story, a 5-foot-9 receiver who debuted with the Houston Oilers in 1985. For technical reasons, the Oilers had to put him on waivers during the 1986 season. They figured he’d go unclaimed, and they could put him back on the roster. However, Bills’ coach Marv Levy must have noticed Tasker’s work on special teams with the Oilers. Buffalo claimed Tasker.

He became the best special teams player in pro football history, making countless big plays for the Bills during their great run in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was so good in that role that Levy didn’t want to use him as a wide receiver, even though he could play that spot very well when needed. Tasker was picked for the Pro Bowl seven times, including six years in a row, and was picked as the game’s MVP in 1993. He retired at the end of the 1997 season, memorably getting ejected from his last game in Green Bay.

Tasker moved easily into broadcasting, and worked on national broadcasts for about 20 years. He’s still in Buffalo, still doing some local TV work, and still a beloved player for his contributions to a great era of football.

Here’s the long version of his career:

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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