GEORGE BLANDA

GEORGE BLANDA

Class of 1981
Quarterback-Kicker >>> 6-2, 215
(Kentucky)
1949, 1950-58 Chicago Bears, 1950 Baltimore Colts, 1960-66 Houston Oilers, 1967-1975 Oakland Raiders

George Frederick Blanda ... Famous for last-minute heroics in five straight 1970 games ... Scored then-record 2,002 points ... Held or tied for 21 title game, 16 regular-season marks ... Passed for 7 TDs one game, 36 in season, 1961 ... 1961 AFL, 1970 AFC Player of the Year ... Career passing totals: 4,007 attempts, 26,920 yards, 236 TDs ... 26-season, 340-game career longest ever ... until age 48 ... Born September 17, 1927, in Youngwood, Pennsylvania ... Died September 27, 2010, at age of 83.

George Blanda played pro football for 26 seasons – longer than any other person. However, he’ll probably be remembered best for his 1970 season with the Oakland Raiders. That year, in a five-game period, George provided Oakland with four wins and one tie with last-second touchdown passes or field goals – at age 43.

The string started with a three-touchdown passing and one field goal outburst against Pittsburgh and continued with a 48-yard field goal with three seconds left to tie Kansas City. He threw a scoring pass and added a 52-yard field goal in the last 96 seconds to defeat Cleveland. Next came a winning touchdown toss against Denver and a last-instant field goal to upend San Diego.

During his career, Blanda accumulated impressive credentials. He passed for 236 touchdowns and scored an incredible 2,002 points. In 1970, he became the oldest quarterback to play in a title game. Although the Baltimore Colts won 27-17, Blanda accounted for all of the Raiders' points off two touchdown passes and one field goal. Blanda’s career was divided into three distinct parts, 10 years with the Chicago Bears followed by seven seasons with the Houston Oilers and nine-years with the Oakland Raiders. He was just a month shy of his 49th birthday when he retired before the 1976 season.

Blanda did not become a fulltime starter until his fifth season with the Bears and in 1954 he was shelved by an injury. In 1959, he balked at becoming a kicker-only and retired. But the emergence of the American Football League in 1960 gave Blanda another chance to play. He went on to lead the Oilers to the first two AFL titles and won AFL Player of the Year honors in 1961. In 1967, when Blanda was almost 40, the Oilers decided he was through but the Raiders saw George as a contributing backup passer and a dependable kicker so they picked him up. George handled both jobs with distinction for another nine seasons.

 

Year
Team
G
Att.
Comp.
 
Yds.
TD
Int
Rating
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1949 Chicago Bears
12
21
9
 
197
0
5
37.3
2
9
4.5
1
1950 Baltimore/Chicago Bears
12
1
0
 
0
0
0
39.6
0
0
0.0
0
1951 Chicago Bears
12
0
0
 
0
0
0
0.0
0
0
0.0
0
1952 Chicago Bears
12
131
47
 
664
8
11
38.5
20
104
5.2
1
1953 Chicago Bears
12
362
169
 
2164
14
23
52.3
24
62
2.6
0
1954 Chicago Bears
8
281
131
 
1929
15
17
62.1
19
41
2.2
0
1955 Chicago Bears
12
97
42
 
459
4
7
41.6
15
54
3.6
2
1956 Chicago Bears
12
69
37
 
439
7
4
82.9
6
47
7.8
0
1957 Chicago Bears
12
19
8
 
65
0
3
11.8
5
-5
-1.0
1
1958 Chicago Bears
12
7
2
 
19
0
0
39.6
0
0
0.0
0
1960 Houston
14
363
169
 
2413
24
22
65.4
16
16
1.0
4
1961 Houston
14
362
187
 
3330
36
22
91.3
7
12
1.7
0
1962 Houston
14
418
197
 
2810
27
42
51.3
3
6
2.0
0
1963 Houston
14
423
224
 
3003
24
25
70.1
4
1
0.3
0
1964 Houston
14
505
262
 
3287
17
27
61.4
4
-2
-0.5
0
1965 Houston
14
442
186
 
2542
20
30
47.9
4
-6
-1.5
0
1966 Houston
14
271
122
 
1764
17
21
55.3
3
1
0.3
0
1967 Oakland
14
38
15
 
285
3
3
59.6
0
0
0.0
0
1968 Oakland
14
49
30
 
522
6
2
120.1
0
0
0.0
0
1969 Oakland
14
13
6
 
73
2
1
71.5
1
0
0.0
0
1970 Oakland
14
55
29
 
461
6
5
79.4
2
4
2.0
0
1971 Oakland
14
58
32
 
378
4
6
58.6
0
0
0.0
0
1972 Oakland
14
15
5
 
77
1
0
73.5
0
0
0.0
0
1973 Oakland
14
0
0
 
0
0
0
0.0
0
0
0.0
0
1974 Oakland
14
4
1
 
28
1
0
95.8
0
0
0.0
0
1975 Oakland
14
3
1
 
11
0
1
5.6
0
0
0.0
0
Career Total
340
4,007
1,911
 
26,920
236
277
60.6
135
344
2.5
9
 
           
Year
Team
G
FG
FGA
XK
XKA
Pts.
           
1949 Chicago Bears
12
7
15
0
0
27
1950 Baltimore/Chicago Bears
12
6
15
0
0
18
1951 Chicago Bears
12
6
17
26
26
44
1952 Chicago Bears
12
6
25
30
30
54
1953 Chicago Bears
12
7
20
27
27
48
1954 Chicago Bears
8
8
16
23
23
47
1955 Chicago Bears
12
11
16
37
37
82
1956 Chicago Bears
12
12
28
45
47
81
1957 Chicago Bears
12
14
26
23
23
71
1958 Chicago Bears
12
11
23
36
37
69
1960 Houston
14
15
32
46
47
115
1961 Houston
14
16
29
64
65
112
1962 Houston
14
11
26
48
49
81
1963 Houston
14
9
24
39
39
66
1964 Houston
14
13
29
37
38
76
1965 Houston
14
11
21
28
28
61
1966 Houston
14
16
30
39
40
87
           
1967 Oakland
14
20
30
56
57
116
           
1968 Oakland
14
21
34
54
54
117
           
1969 Oakland
14
20
37
45
45
105
           
1970 Oakland
14
16
29
36
36
84
           
1971 Oakland
14
15
22
41
42
86
           
1972 Oakland
14
17
26
44
44
95
           
1973 Oakland
14
23
33
31
31
100
           
1974 Oakland
14
11
17
44
46
77
           
1975 Oakland
14
13
21
44
48
83
           
Career Total
340
335
641
943
959
2,002
           
Additional Career Statistics: Receiving: 1- -16; Scoring: 9 TDs; Kickoff Returns: 2-19; Interceptions: 1-13; Punting: 22-809; Fumble Recoveries: 23- -4
 

 


Championship Games

1956 NFL – New York Giants 47, Chicago Bears 7
Blanda backed up starting quarterback Ed Brown. He kicked one PAT.

1960 AFL Houston Oilers 24, Los Angeles Chargers 16
Blanda started at quarterback. He completed 16 of 31 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns. He also kicked extra points and an 18-yard field.

1961 AFL Houston Oilers 10, San Diego Chargers 3
Blanda started at quarterback. He completed 18 of 40 passes for 160 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. He also kicked one extra point and a 46-yard field goal.

1962 AFL – Dallas Texans 20, Houston Oilers 17 (Double OT)
Blanda started at quarterback. He completed 23 of 46 passes for 261 yards and one touchdown and five interceptions. He also kicked two PATs and a 31-yard field goal.

1967 AFL Oakland Raiders 40, Houston Oilers 7
Blanda played at quarterback but did not start. He came in late in the game and completed 0 of two passes for 0 yards. He also kicked four field goals (17. 40, 42, and 36 yards.) and four PATs.

1968 AFL – New York Jets 27, Oakland Raiders 23
Blanda appeared only as a placekicker. He connected on three of four field goal attempts (26, 9 and 20 yards) and two PATs.

1969 AFL – Kansas City Chiefs 17, Oakland Raiders 7
Blanda played at quarterback but did not start. He replaced the injured Darryl Lamonica and completed two of six passes for 24 yards and one interception. Blanda also kicked one PAT and was 0 for 2 on field goals.

1970 AFC – Baltimore Colts 27, Oakland Raiders 17
Blanda played at quarterback but did not start. He replaced the injured Darryl Lamonica in the second period. He completed 17 of 32 attempts for 271 yards and two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also kicked two extra points and a 48-yard field goal had three passes intercepted.

1973 AFC – Miami Dolphins 27, Oakland Raiders 10
Blanda appeared only as a placekicker. He kicked a 21-yard field goal and one PAT.

1974 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Oakland Raiders 13
Blanda appeared only as a placekicker. He kicked two field goals (40 and 24 yards) and one PAT.

1975 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Oakland Raiders 10
Blanda appeared only as a placekicker. He kicked a 41-yard field goal and one PAT.

 

Super Bowls

Super Bowl II – Green Bay Packers 33, Oakland Raiders 14
Blanda appeared only as a placekicker. He missed a 47-yard field goal attempt and converted two PATs.
 

All-NFL Second Team: 1970K (PFWA)

All-AFL: 1961 (AP, UPI, OL, SN, NY), 1967K (SN)

All-AFL Second Team: 1962 (AP, UPI), 1963 (AP, NEA, NY), 1966K (OL)

All-AFC: 1973K (SN)

K Honored as a kicker All other honors as a quarterback

(4) – 1962, 1963, 1964, 1968

(at time of his retirement following 1975 season)


• [1st] Most Seasons – 26
• [1st] Most Games Played, Career – 340
• [1st] Most Consecutive Games Played, Career – 224 (1960-1975)
• [1st] Most Points Scored, Career – 2,002
• [1st] Most Season Leading League in PATs – 8 (1956, 1961-62, 1967-69, 1972, 1974)
• [1st] Most PAT Attempts, Career – 959
• [1st] Most PAT Attempts, Season – 65 (1961)
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Career – 943
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Season – 64 (1961)
• [1st] Most Field Goal Attempts, Career – 638
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Career – 335
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Game – 68 (vs. Buffalo, Nov. 1, 1964)
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Game – 37 (vs. Buffalo, Nov. 1, 1964)
• [1st] Most Pass Interceptions, Career – 277
• [1st] Most Pass Interceptions, Season – 42 (1962)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Passing Touchdowns, Season – 36 (1961)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Passing Touchdowns, Game – 7 (vs. N.Y. Titans, Nov. 19, 1961)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Seasons, 100 or More Points – 6 (1960-61, 1967-69, 1973)
• [2nd] Highest PATs Conversion Percentage, Career – 98.3
• [2nd] Most Pass Attempts, Season – 505 (1964)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most PATs Converted, Season – 56 (1967)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most PATs Converted with no Misses, Season – 54 (1968)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Seasons, 3,000 or More Passing Yards – 3 (1961, 1963-64)
• [3rd] Most Consecutive PATs Converted – 201 (1967-1971)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most PAT Attempts, Season – 57 (1967)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most PATs Converted, Season – 54 (1968)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Pass Attempts, Game – 60 (vs. Oakland, Nov. 7, 1965)

Post Season Records
• [1st] Most Games – 19
• [1st] Most Points Scored, Career – 115
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Career – 49
• [1st] Most Field Goal Attempts, Career – 39
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Career – 22
• [1st] Most Pass Interceptions, Career – 17
• [Tied for 1st] Most PATs Converted, Game – 8 (vs. Houston, 1969)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Field Goals Attempted, Game – 6 (vs. Houston, 1967)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Game – 4 (vs. Houston, 1967; vs. Pittsburgh, 1973)

AFL/AFC-NFL/NFC Championship Game Records • [1st] Most Games – 11
• [1st] Most Points Scored, Career – 64
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Career – 184
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Career – 88
• [1st] Most Pass Interceptions, Career – 15

AFL/AFC Championship Game Records

• [1st] Most Games – 10
• [1st] Most Points Scored, Career – 63
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Career – 18
• [1st] Most Field Goal Attempts, Career – 27
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Career – 15
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Game – 4 (vs. Houston, 1967)
• [1st] Longest Field Goal Converted – 48 (vs. Baltimore, 1970)
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Career – 157
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Career – 76
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Game – 23 (vs. Dallas, 1962)
• [1st] Most Passing Yards, Career – 1,017
• [1st] Longest Pass Completion – 88 (to Billy Cannon, vs. Los Angeles, 1960)
• [1st] Most Passing Touchdowns, Career – 7
• [1st] Most Pass Interceptions, Career – 14
• [1st] Most Pass Interceptions, Game – 5 (vs. San Diego, 1961; vs. Dallas, 1962)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Passing Touchdowns, Game – 3 (vs. Los Angeles, 1960)

AFL/AFC Divisional Playoff Game Records

• [1st] Most Points Scored, Career – 49
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Career – 28
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Game – 8 (vs. Houston, 1969)
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Career – 7
• [Tied for 1st] Most Games, Winning Team – 6
• [Tied for 1st] Most Field Goal Attempts, Game – 5 (vs. Pittsburgh, 1973)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Game – 4 (vs. Pittsburgh, 1973)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Games – 7

 

Bears’ records held by Blanda
(Records through the 1958 season, Blanda’s final season with Chicago)


• [1st] Most Points Scored, Career – 541
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Career – 247
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Career – 88
• [1st] Most Consecutive PATs Converted – 156 (1951-56)
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Season – 14 (1957)
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Season – 45 (1956)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Pass Completions, Game – 29 (vs. San Francisco, Nov. 1, 1953)
• [2nd] Most Pass Completions, Season – 169 (1953)

Oilers’ records held by Blanda
(Records through the 1966 season, Blanda’s final season with Houston)

• [1st] Longest Pass Completion – 95 (to Dick Compton, vs. Buffalo, Dec. 5, 1965)
• [1st] Most Points Scored, Career – 596
• [1st] Most Points Scored, Season – 115 (1960)
• [1st] Most Rushing Touchdowns Rushing, Game – 3 (vs. Los Angeles, Sept. 18, 1960)
• [1st] Longest Field Goal – 55 (vs. San Diego, Dec. 3, 1961)
• [1st] Most Passing Attempts, Game – 68 (at Buffalo, Nov. 1, 1964)
• [1st] Most Passing Completions, Game – 37 (at Buffalo, Nov. 1, 1964)
• [1st] Most Pass Interceptions, Game – 6 (vs. Denver, Nov. 14, 1965; at Buffalo, Sept. 9, 1962)
• [1st] Most Yards Passing, Game – 464 (at Buffalo Oct. 29, 1961)
• [1st] Most Passing Touchdowns, Game – 7 (vs. N.Y. Titans, Nov. 19, 1961)
• [1st] Most Plays in One Game, Rushing and Passing – 68 (at Buffalo, Nov. 1, 1964)
• [1st] Most Total Yards Rushing and Passing, Game – 467 (at Buffalo Oct. 29, 1961)
• [1st] Most Field Goals Attempted, Game – 6 (vs. New York, Oct. 9, 1960; vs. Denver, Sept. 14, 1963)
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Game – 4 (at Buffalo, Oct. 31, 1965)
• [1st] Most PAT Attempts, Game – 8 (vs. New York, Oct. 14, 1962)
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Career – 2,789
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Season – 505 (1964)
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Career – 1,347
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Season – 262 (1964)
• [1st] Most Yards Passing, Career – 19,149
• [1st] Most Yards Passing, Season – 3,330 (1961)
• [1st] Most Field Goal Attempts, Career – 189
• [1st] Most Field Goal Attempts, Season – 34 (1960)
• [1st] Most Field Goals Made, Career – 91
• [1st] Most Field Goals Made, Season – 16 (1961, 1962)
• [1st] Most PAT Attempts, Career – 304
• [1st] Most PAT Attempts, Season – 65 (1961)
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Career – 299
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Season – 64 (1961)
• [1st] Most Passing Touchdowns, Career – 165
• [1st] Most Passing Touchdowns, Season – 36 (1961)
• [1st] Most Passing Interceptions, Career – 189
• [1st] Most Passing Interceptions, Season – 42 (1962)
• [2nd] Most Pass Attempts, Season – 362 (1953)
• [2nd] Longest Field Goal – 54 (vs. Oakland, Nov. 12, 1962)
• [2nd] Most Passing Attempts, Game – 60 (vs. Oakland, Nov. 7, 1965)
• [2nd] Most Passing Completions, Game – 31 (at Los Angeles, Nov. 13, 1960)
• [2nd] Most Pass Interceptions, Game – 5 (at San Diego, Dec. 24, 1961; vs. Denver, Dec. 2, 1962; vs. Dallas, Dec. 23, 1962; at Kansas City, Oct. 4, 1964; at Denver, Oct. 17, 1965)
• [2nd] Most Passing Touchdowns, Game – 6 (vs. New York, Oct. 14, 1961)
• [2nd] Most Plays in One Game, Rushing and Passing – 60 (vs. Oakland, Nov. 7, 1965)
• [2nd] Most Field Goals Attempted, Game – 5 (vs. San Diego, Nov. 25, 1962)
• [2nd] Most Field Goals Converted, Game – 3 (vs. Boston, Dec. 18, 1960; vs. San Diego, Nov. 25, 1962)
• [2nd] Most Points Scored, Season – 112 (1961)
• [2nd] Most Points Scored, Game – 26 (vs. Los Angeles, Sept. 18, 1960)
• [2nd] Most PAT Attempts, Game – 7 (at Denver, Nov. 5, 1961; vs. New York, Nov. 16, 1961; at Oakland, Dec. 22, 1963)
• [2nd] Best Passing Completion Percentage, Career – 48.9
• [2nd] Best Passing Completion Percentage, Season – 52.9 (1963)
• [2nd] Best Average Gain Per Pass Completion, Career – 14.2
• [2nd] Best Average Gain Per Pass Completion, Season – 17.8 (1961)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdowns, Game – 3 (vs. Los Angeles, Sept. 18, 1960)
• [3rd] Longest Field Goal – 53 (vs. Dallas, Oct. 22, 1961; vs. Buffalo, Dec. 11, 1960; vs. Buffalo, Oct. 14, 1962)
• [3rd] Most Passing Attempts, Game – 55 (at Los Angeles, Nov. 13, 1960)
• [3rd] Most Passing Completions, Game – 29 (at San Diego, Sept. 12, 1964)
• [3rd] Most Yards Passing, Game – 418 (vs. New York, Nov. 19, 1961)
• [3rd] Most Passing Touchdowns, Game – 5 (at Oakland, Dec. 22, 1963; vs. Kansas City, Oct. 24, 1965; at Denver, Oct. 2, 1966)
• [3rd] Most Plays in One Game, Rushing and Passing – 59 (at Los Angeles, Nov. 13, 1960)
• [3rd] Most Total Yards Rushing and Passing, Game – 418 (vs. New York, Nov. 19, 1961)

Raiders’ records held by Blanda
(Records through the 1975 season, Blanda’s final season with Oakland)

• [1st] Most Points Scored, Career – 863
• [1st] Longest Pass Completion – 94 (to Warren Wells, at Denver, Nov. 10, 1968)
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Career – 395
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Career – 156
• [1st] Most Field Goal Attempts, Career – 249
• [1st] Most Points Scored, Season – 117 (1968)
• [1st] Most PATs Converted, Season – 56 (1967)
• [1st] Most Field Goals Converted, Season – 23 (1973)
• [1st] Most Field Goals Attempted, Season – 37 (1969)
• [2nd] Most Points Scored, Season – 116 (1967)
• [2nd] Most PATs Converted, Season – 54 (1968)
• [2nd] Most Field Goals Converted, Season – 21 (1968)
• [2nd] Most Field Goals Attempted, Season – 34 (1968)
• [Tied for 2nd] Best Pass Completion Percentage, Career – 50.6

AFL Statistical Championships:
Passing Titles: 1961
Passing Touchdown Titles: 1961
Scoring Titles: 1967

 

Team Statistical Championships:
Passing Titles: 1953Chi, 1960Hou, 1961Hou, 1962Hou, 1963Hou, 1964Hou, 1965Hou, 1966Hou,
Scoring Titles: 1952Chi, 1953Chi, 1957Chi, 1960Hou, 1961Hou, 1962Hou, 1963Hou, 1964Hou, 1965Hou, 1966Hou, 1967Oak, 1968Oak, 1969Oak, 1970Oak, 1971Oak, 1972Oak, 1973Oak

Chi Chicago Hou Houston Oak Oakland

• All-Time AFL Team
• 1961 AFL Player of the Year (UPI, SN)
• 1970 Player of the Year (MX)
• 1970 AFC Player of the Year (UPI, SN)

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1949 Chicago Bears 9 3 0 (2nd)
1950 Baltimore Colts 1 11 0 (7th*)
1950 Chicago Bears 9 3 0 (2nd)
1951 Chicago Bears 7 5 0 (4th)
1952 Chicago Bears 5 7 0 (5th)
1953 Chicago Bears 3 8 1 (4th)
1954 Chicago Bears 8 4 0 (2nd)
1955 Chicago Bears 8 4 0 (2nd)
1956 Chicago Bears 9 2 1 (1st)
1957 Chicago Bears 5 7 0 (5th)
1958 Chicago Bears 8 4 0 (2nd)
1959 DID NOT PLAY
1960 Houston Oilers 10 4 0 (1st)
1961 Houston Oilers 10 3 1 (1st)
1962 Houston Oilers 11 3 0 (1st)
1963 Houston Oilers 6 8 0 (3rd)
1964 Houston Oilers 4 10 0 (4th)
1965 Houston Oilers 4 10 0 (4th)
1966 Houston Oilers 3 11 0 (4th)
1967 Oakland Raiders 13 1 0 (1st)
1968 Oakland Raiders 12 2 0 (1st)
1969 Oakland Raiders 12 1 1 (1st)
1970 Oakland Raiders 8 4 2 (1st)
1971 Oakland Raiders 8 4 2 (2nd)
1972 Oakland Raiders 10 3 1 (1st)
1973 Oakland Raiders 9 4 1 (1st)
1974 Oakland Raiders 12 2 0 (1st)
1975 Oakland Raiders 11 3 0 (1st)
*Blanda played one game with the Baltimore Colts



 

 

Full Name: George Frederick Blanda

Birthdate: September 17, 1927

Birthplace: Youngwood, Pennsylvania

High School: Youngwood (PA)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 24, 1981

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 1, 1981

Presenter: Al Davis, Managing Partner, Oakland Raiders

Other Members of Class of 1981: Morris "Red" Badgro, Willie Davis, Jim Ringo

Pro Career: 26 Seasons, 340 games

Drafted: 12th round (119th player overall) in 1949 by Chicago Bears. Also selected in 2nd round (9th player overall) in 1949 AAFC Draft by Chicago Hornets.

Transactions: Sept. 5, 1950 – Blanda along with four other players (B Bob Perina, B Ernie Zalejski, G Jim Crawford and E Bob Jensen) traded by Chicago Bears to Baltimore Colts. (Sept. 7, 1950 – Bears receive G Dick Barwegan and rights to retired T Dub Garrett.) | Sept. 20, 1950 – Chicago Bears purchased Blanda from Baltimore Colts. | Feb. 19, 1960 – Blanda signed by Houston Oilers. | Mar. 18, 1967 – Blanda released by Houston Oilers. | Jul. 28, 1967 – Blanda signed by Oakland Raiders. | Aug. 25, 1976 – Blanda waived by Oakland Raiders.

Uniform Number: 16 (also wore #22 and #64)
 

Pro Football Hall of Fame
August 1, 1981
 

George Blanda: 
Well, actually I'm not nervous. I'm just waiting for the clock to wind down to two seconds and then I am going to start.  First of all, I want to thank Al Davis (presenter) for those kind words and I think what is said here today will soon be forgotten but what is being done here will be remembered here forever in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

I guess I will start my talk out by saying if I had one word to describe how I feel, it is proud.  Being proud to be here and being enshrined with the other athletes who had the good fortune to make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  I'm also proud of the fact that I grew up in a very, very small town with a great morn and dad who raised 11 kids and part of that tradition of playing football in Western Pennsylvania.  Proud I grew up in a little town called Youngwood, which was in the heart of football in Western Pennsylvania. I was very proud of my heritage and I developed a lot of character in the early days and learned that hard work, dedication and discipline and tenacity and never giving up, you can succeed in proving your life.

I never aspired to being a professional football player.  All I wanted to be was to go to college, get an education and better my life and I had the good fortune to attend the University of Kentucky and had the great pleasure of playing under the great legendary Coach Bear Bryant who was still coaching at the University of Alabama.  And he reinforced my spirit of hard work, dedication and discipline and never giving up.  I received my education and my degree and never really aspired to be a professional player but it happened and I was drafted by the great Chicago Bears and the great George Halas.  George gave me the opportunity to play 10 years and gave me 10 good years of training in what I called the minor leagues at that time so I could stay out one year and get prepared for the great AFL that was coming into existence in the 1960s.

I am proud to be here and be the fourth AFL player to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Long time in coming the recognition that we the founders of the league, the players, the original players.  Jim Otto and I who played in every game of the AFL in its 10 years.  We were ridiculed, we were maligned.  We weren’t recognized. We tried hard and we played hard.   We gave it 110%.  I would never have fulfilled the honor of being here today if it hadn't been for Al Davis, who at my age of 39 thought that I could still kick and throw the football a little bit.  And when Al called me up in July of 1967 to come back and try out my third season, my third career with the Oakland Raiders, I was supposed to jump at it.  Without Al and without the Raiders, without that team spirit out there with the pride and poise the winning attitude and playing about 85% of the games in the nine years we won with the Raiders, certainly that attitude was very, very helpful to me.  And without Al Davis and without this guidance at the top managing that club, I would not be here today.  I want to thank two great coaches I had at Oakland, Johnny Rausch who was my coach in 1967 and 1968.  He helped me, he also coached my brother at Army at quarterback coach.  I also want to thank John Madden, who is here, who put on a great show yesterday and without John and his leadership, I might not have been there for the seven years I played for John.

I also want to say in closing that the way I feel today and that this is family.  I am so proud that my family will always be remembered in that Hall when they come through and see my bust along with Willie, Red & Jim and the other greats there and they will take pride and say that their
Dad played 26 years of football, gave it 110% effort every time he was out there and tried to win when it was against all odds and was trying to win every football game.

I am proud that my wife, Betty, married 31 years. She has put up with me for 31 years, can you believe that.  Without her and my two lovely children, I could have been retired many, many years before I did, but they encouraged me to continue to play to do what I wanted to do.  They sacrificed; I sacrificed an awful lot with the kids growing up because I was out playing that silly game, having fun, enjoying myself.  In the last five years, I have tried to take the time to fulfill some of the things I didn't do in those days.  With that I would say that I am certainly proud to be in the Hall of Fame.  I am very fortunate that I got to play 26 years of professional football, more than any player that has ever played.  And the thrill was competing week after week, year after year.  I really feel proud and honored that the good Lord gave me the power and the strength, the upbringing to continue on with the game I sincerely loved and enjoyed playing. Thank you very much.

 

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