PFHOF Profile: Kenny Stabler

maxresdefaultEvery team in the NFL has their own personality that they have developed through the years, both on and off of the field.

There are the golden children of the NFL, those teams that make the most money and continue to win championships.

There are the old school favourites who have been around forever and tend to do things in an old school way even to this day.

Then there is the Oakland Raiders who have consistently been the team that bucks the trend and fights for what they believe is right even if that fight is against the NFL.

That entire attitude started with Al Davis who was a founding member of the AFL, the NFL’s only real competitor since 1921.

Davis helped to start the AFL as an alternative to the NFL and everything they did was to challenge the mainstream league.

When the NFL and AFL merged a few of the founding members took their teams to the old league and for Al Davis that meant being a thorn in the side of the NFL.

From drafting a punter first overall to suing the league, Davis was the owner that set out to be the rebels.

The owner’s views translated to the field where the Raiders had a group of players that didn’t really belong anywhere.

They were a group that had personality and in the NFL personality often translates into trouble maker which no team wants to deal with.

Yet all of these individuals got together on one team and had success just being themselves as the Raiders were the anti-NFL team and yet they continued to win.

A big part of those successful teams and someone who fit in perfectly with the cast of individuals was Kenny Stabler.

Nicknamed “The Snake” for his ability to move outside of the pocket and wind through defenders, Stabler was a Raider through-and-through.

After starting his career in the Continental Football League, Stabler joined the Raiders who had drafted him the second round out of Alabama.

Stabler was a talented quarterback who is still the second most accurate passer in NFL history.

He made four pro bowls and guided the Raiders to a Super Bowl ring as one of the few quarterbacks who was successful both outside and inside the pocket.

Off of the field Stabler truly did fill the archetype of a Raider as he is famous for stating “there’s nothing wrong with reading the playbook by the light of the jukebox.”

He was famous for staying out most of the night at bars, he certainly wasn’t alone with the group that Davis had assembled.Ken-Stabler-Raiders-Quarterback-14

He was the quintessential Raider but that might have been why it took the senior committee to put “The Snake” into the hall of fame.

He was not necessarily the picture of what the NFL wanted a quarterback to be as he partied hard and played a different type of game.

Not to mention that the Raiders were not the favourites of the league or many of the writers who vote for election.

It took a group of his peers to put him into the hall where he rightfully belongs.

Many might see his stats and disagree but there is another key question to answer when selecting a hall of famer.

That question being whether or not the history of the league can be written without that player.

In the case of Stabler he might not be the player with the best stats but he certainly has made his impact on the league.

Now he will get his bust in the Hall of Fame but he will not be in attendance as he passed away after a battle with cancer last year.

Later it was revealed that he had also suffered from CTE when his brain was studied after his death.

Although he won’t be able to see his bust go into the Hall of Fame Ken Stabler’s legacy will last for multiple reasons.

He will be another face of the growing concern over concussions while also being a face for cancer research.

Meanwhile, he will always be known to the Black Hole as one of their greatest quarterbacks and a man who represented the true attitude of the Raiders.


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