Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Snake is dead

I didn't even know he was sick, but Ken "The Snake" Stabler, who led the Oakland Raiders to victory over the Minnesota Vikings in 1979 in Super Bowl XI, died today of colon cancer at age 69. The Snake was easily the coolest player of his day, and maybe any day. He had a reputation for wildness and studying the playbook by the light of a barroom jukebox, if he studied it at all, but while he was famous for winging it, he also was among the most accurate quarterbacks in the league while he was playing. He was the starting quarterback of the Raiders for 9 of his 10 seasons there, playing a couple years in Houston after that and ending his 15-year career with a stint in New Orleans.

His passing statistics were fairly pedestrian by today's standards, but he was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, and NFL MVP in 1974. Plus, anybody who beats the Vikings in a Super Bowl is OK by me.

Stabler is the animal on the right who looks more like a lineman. RIP, Snake.

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