Oakland Raiders Hall of Famer George Blanda leaves to play in the BIG GAME at 83
September 27, 2010
One shirt that I have in my collection is a shirt of Charles Barkley with the quotation, “I am not a role model…” His professional stature should not be the reason to look up to him. You measure a man by what he has done for the good of society, not what he can score. With George Blanda, I took away his incredible work ethic. the lottery of birth failed him somewhat, because if he had been born fourty years later, he would be rich, and not just spiritually or emotionally, but paper rich. ESPN records the loss of one of the greats…
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders say Hall of Fame quarterback George Blanda has died. He was 83.
A Raiders’ spokesman confirmed the death Monday.
Blanda spent 26 seasons in the NFL as a quarterback and kicker while playing for three different teams. He spent 10 seasons with Chicago, seven with the Houston Oilers and nine with the Raiders before retiring in 1976 at the age of 48.
Blanda was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 1, 1981.
Blanda is remembered most for his heroics in the 1970 season when at age 43, he threw three touchdown passes and kicked a field goal in the Raiders’ comeback victory over thePittsburgh Steelers.
In that same season, Blanda also kicked a 52-yard field goal to defeat the Cleveland Browns, threw a winning touchdown pass against the Denver Broncos and booted a last-minute field goal to defeat the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders ended up losing to the Baltimore Colts in the 1970 AFC title game, but Blanda became the oldest player ever in a title game.
Blanda played 340 games over his 26 seasons (1949-75) in pro football. Despite having an offseason job for 22 years of his pro career as the sales manager of a trucking company, he found time for aerobics, handball, racquetball and jogging on a daily basis. He also did countless push-ups and sit-ups.
A private funeral service will be held for the family and a memorial service is being arranged, according to the Raiders.
Think about all the records he held or currently holds. He epitomized hard work, and the never say die attitude.
Blanda finished his 26 Professional Football seasons having completed 1,911 of 4,007 pass attempts for 26,920 yards and 236 touchdowns. Blanda also held the NFL record for most interceptions thrown with 277, until Brett Favre broke it on October 14, 2007. He rushed for 344 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground, kicked 335 of 641 field goals, and 943 of 959 extra points, giving him 2,002 total points. Additional stats include 1 interception, 2 kickoff returns for 19 yards, 22 punts for 809 yards, and 23 fumble recoveries.
Blanda holds the following Professional Football records:
- Passing TD’s in a game: 7 (Tied with 4 others) November 19, 1961 vs. New York Titans
- Most seasons played: 26 (1949-58, 1960-75)
- Most seasons scoring a point: 26
- One of two players to play in 4 different decades: (40s, 50s, 60s, 70s) – Jeff Feagles being the other
- Most PATs made (943) and attempted (959)
- Most interceptions thrown, single season: 42 (1962)
- Held record of most pass attempts in a single game: 68 (37 completions, vs. New York Titans on 11/1/1961) until 1994 when Drew Bledsoe had 70
- Oldest person to play in an NFL game: 48 years, 109 days
- First player ever to score over 2,000 points
- Oldest quarterback to start a title game
- 3rd Fewest receiving yards in a career: -16
- Most total points accounted for (including TD passes) in a career: 3,418 (not an official stat)
He is the placekicker on the All-Time All-AFL Team, and was one of only 20 players to play all ten years of the AFL, as well as one of only three who were in every AFL game their teams played. Blanda was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981, his first year of eligibility, and also was inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame.