Former quarterback Ken Stabler passed away Wednesday at the age of 69 after a courageous fight with cancer.
Stabler was drafted by the Raiders in the second round of the 1968 NFL Draft and guided the franchise to great success during his years as their quarterback (1970-79). He had one of his best seasons in 1976 when he led the team to a victory in Super Bowl XI while losing one game during that season. Only six franchises since the AFL-NFL merger (and fifth since the league adopted a 16-game schedule in 1978) have finished the year with only one mark in the loss column.
"I was head coach of the Raiders the entire time Kenny was there and he led us to a whole bunch of victories including one in Super Bowl XI. I've often said, if I had one drive to win a game to this day, and I had a quarterback to pick, I would pick Kenny. Snake was a lot cooler than I was. He was a perfect quarterback and a perfect Raider. When you think about the Raiders you think about Ken Stabler. Kenny loved life. It is a sad day for all Raiders,” said Gold Jacket John Madden.
Known for being one of the greatest left-handed quarterbacks, “The Snake” finished his career with 3,793 completions for 27,938 yards and 222 touchdowns. He led the league twice in completion percentage and touchdowns. Stabler also at one time held the record for fastest quarterback to win 100 games (150 total games).
Stabler was a part of three famous plays in NFL history that forever changed the rules of football - “The Holy Roller,” “Ghost to the Post” and “Sea of Hands.”
Stabler had a brief stint with the Houston Oilers (1980-81) and then finished his career with the New Orleans Saints (1982-84). He played for Hall of Fame owner and Raiders founder Al Davis and Gold Jacket John Madden. He played with Hall of Famers Elvin Bethea, Curley Culp, Fred Biletnkioff, George Blanda, Willie Brown, Dave Casper, Earl Campbell, Ray Guy, Ted Hendricks, Rickey Jackson, Jim Otto, Art Shell and Gene Upshaw.
"I had the pleasure of producing Ken Stabler for one year as a football analyst for CBS sports in 1992. As legendary as he was on the field, he was the same off the field,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame Executive Vice President, CRO and Executive Producer George Veras. “He was warm, gregarious and generous to a fault - always with a smile and quip. I can honestly say that I never had more fun week to week with anybody than Ken Stabler. Keep smiling Kenny we miss you."
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Lost another great friend and teammate in Ken Stabler aka "The Snake" really going to miss you buddy. We shared so many...
Posted by Earl Campbell on Friday, July 10, 2015