Fred Biletnikoff Remembers Good Friend and Former Teammate Ken Stabler


Gold Jacket Fred Biletnikoff couldn’t have been happier walking through the Pro Football Hall of Fame knowing that his former quarterback and close friend Ken Stabler will soon have a bronze bust along his in the Hall of Fame Gallery.

“We’re glad he’s in,” said Biletnikoff. “He’s missing a hell of a party believe me, but I know he’s up there looking down and smiling at everybody.”

The former Oakland Raiders wide receiver was in Canton yesterday to support Stabler’s daughters, Kendra and Marissa, and his long-time partner, Kim Ross-Bush, as they planned for Stabler’s Enshrinement.

Biletnikoff reminisced about the “Snake’s” legacy.

“He was a great leader that really gave off a sense of success all the time – a sense that we were going to win. He had control of the ball game up there, he controlled the team and that’s what a leader has to do. He was that all the way around. No matter what it was Kenny had control over the game, the team, the players, the personnel you had on the field – knew how to use everybody to be successful. He never put anybody in a bad position.  He always called plays that guys were going to look great. And that was one of the big assets Kenny had. He was a great guy.”

The pair also had another great leader while they played in Oakland – Gold Jacket John Madden. Biletnikoff joked about the timeouts Madden would call during games while Stabler was playing quarterback.

“I think John called a timeout just to come over to look to make sure everybody knew who the head coach was,” Biletnikoff said with a smile.

Stabler is only the second left-handed quarterback enshrined in the Hall of Fame (Steve Young is the other). Biletnikoff shared that while it can be difficult for other wide receivers to catch a football from a lefty, it didn’t bother him.

“When you played for Al Davis, you didn’t care if you had a left hander or a right hander out - it didn’t make any difference with the spin. Al expected you to catch it. That’s how I approached playing with Kenny, a left hander. I had to do my job and keep my job,” explained Biletnikoff.

Another former Oakland Raiders player will be in Canton soon. Legendary running back Marcus Allen will be participating in the Gold Jacket Great Day event on April 22 at the Hall of Fame. The event features a dynamic chalk talk with Allen led by the Hall’s historian, Joe Horrigan. Allen will reflect on his journey from the Heisman Trophy to his induction into the Hall of Fame. Fans will also have a chance to ask him questions. The chalk talk will be followed up with a photo op and autograph session. Tickets are selling fast so don't miss out. Purchase your tickets now>>>

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