A video tribute to Ken Stabler, including the Sea of Hands, Ghost to the Post & more.
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) July 10, 2015
I love the Oakland Raiders.
They are my team – the first team I ever cheered for. I like to joke that I came out of the womb saying RAAAAAAIIIIIIIII-DERS, instead of crying like most babies.
I was born in Oakland but raised in Arizona. There was no NFL team at the time, so I went with the team of my birthplace. Silver-and-black. No other team had silver-and-black. For whatever reason, I found that cool as a kid.
The Raiders became part of my identity. I was a good kid (at least I think so), but the Raiders weren’t. They were rebellious and did things their own way, led by owner Al Davis. They played hard. On and off the field, not that I would have known that when I was a kid. But, they were gritty and tough and they represented everything I thought of Oakland to be.
And Kenny Stabler represented the Raiders.
Stabler’s #12 was the only “jersey” I owned as a kid. I loved Cliff Branch too, but Stabler was “The Snake”. He was one of those quarterbacks that knew when to be elusive and knew when to hang tough in the pocket. His scrambling ability, well, I just thought that was so awesome. I didn’t see anyone else like him in the NFL.
Not that I paid attention, mind you (notable exception: Fran Tarkenton). Stabler was my guy. He was the quarterback on my team. He was special to watch:
He should be in the Hall of Fame, but he’s not. Longtime NFL writer, Russell Baxter, had this to say when asked about Stabler as a hall of famer: “I think he is. There was always the thing about him “reading the playbook by the light of the jukebox”. He was a magician. He was something to watch. The two guys I thought were the best were Staubach and Stabler.”
And I am not saying this because he has died but Stabler is a Hall of Famer. Passes every qualifier you want to raise.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) July 9, 2015
When we did "Top 100 QB Seasons" in PFP 2005, Kenny Stabler's 1976 was No. 7. He had 67% comp rate and 9.4 yd/att when NFL avg was 52%/6.6.
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@FO_ASchatz) July 9, 2015
Baxter continued, “They (Raiders) were phenomenal teams in a conference where there were two other phenomenal teams: Dolphins, Steelers. There was nothing better in the 70’s than the Raiders-Steelers. It started with the Immaculate Reception and just kept getting better.” Stabler was a key part of that rivalry. Bradshaw gets the notoriety because of the Super Bowl victories and broadcast career, but Stabler was every bit the quarterback and more.
“He was a model of consistency,” says Baxter. “I know people will go over the numbers. Before the rules changed, 70’s quarterbacks were nothing about the numbers. They were all about controlling the game. Stabler was a great player on a great team that was unfortunately overshadowed by greater teams.”
I’m sad today knowing Snake is gone. Almost to the point of tears, which isn’t normal for me. But, he was part of my childhood. I saw Stabler as the heart and soul of my Raiders. Whatever the Raiders were about, you saw it in Stabler.
— Peter Hartlaub (@peterhartlaub) July 10, 2015
He was the epitome of my team, on and off the field. I didn’t know anything about his partying ways when I was a kid. I probably wouldn’t have cared. I just wanted him to win.
— WAITING ON OCPG (@HunterLJohnson) July 9, 2015
And winning he did.
More Madden: "I’ve always said if I had to win a game, I’d want him as a quarterback."
— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) July 10, 2015
If you grew up as a Raiders fan, you loved Stabler. There was no one else you wanted as your quarterback. I’m glad I got the chance to see him, albeit never in person. I’m glad he was my quarterback.
RIP Kenny Stabler. RIP Snake.
TWEETS ON THE SNAKE
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) July 10, 2015
So sorry to hear about the passing of a true Raider legend Ken Stabler, the original #12. It was a pleasure to know him and wear his number!
— Rich Gannon (@RichGannon12) July 9, 2015
Ken Stabler's family says he passed away peacefully listening to 'Sweet Home Alabama': http://t.co/iB7REDhasc
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) July 10, 2015
A hole in my heart w/the loss of Kenny Stabler. This pic from my 1st Snake Tournament in Point Clear. We Loved him! pic.twitter.com/iQX5TtLZa0
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) July 10, 2015
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) July 10, 2015
— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) July 10, 2015
— Rally Plantain (@RallyPlantain) July 9, 2015