The late Kenny Stabler finally got into the Pro Football Hall of Fame via video by his Hall of Fame coach John Madden.
It took stabler 27 years to enter the HOF, but his coach Madden has always said he would take Stabler over any quarterback for one game winning drive.
The Snake helped the 1970 Raiders win their first Super Bowl. Stabler also won the 1974 league MVP. He also helped Oakland make four conference Championships in five years. Stabler is still the Raiders’ career leader in passing yards and touchdowns. Best of all, he registered a 96-49-1 record as a starter.
Instead of a speech, the crowd simply cheered as Stabler got inducted. It brought family members tears as they lost the QB to colon cancer only a year ago.
“He were are. His final drive. And there’s a Snake in the Hall,” his daughter, Kendra Stabler Moyes, said later, fighting back emotion.
Brett Favre shared a great memory about attending a Saints game, where Stabler played after the Raiders.
“As I stood, I saw this long-, gray-haired, scruffy-beard player emerging from the tunnel, and I knew then and there, as goosebumps ran up my arm and the hair on the back of my neck stood up, that that was what I was destined to do and be. I wanted to be that player. Well, that player happened to be none other than Kenny Stabler. Of course, I didn’t have many choices. It was football, baseball or bust for me. But I knew then and there that I wanted to be and feel what Kenny Stabler was feeling. What an exciting moment for me.” Farve said.
Further, Stabler is only the second lefty quarterback in the HOF, after Steve Young was inducted in 2005.
As a young fan, I always love reading about Stabler and how he embodied the image of the Raiders.
Here are some good quotes from his teammates:
“Even if you’re covered by a guy he can only cover half of you. Stabler would hit the other half.” Dave Casper once said.
“I hope not,” Fred Biletnikoff said about Stabler getting a sympathy vote. “I’ve asked why he wasn’t in and nobody could give me an answer. Without reservation, a lot of people in the Hall of Fame wonder why it didn’t happen earlier.”
“He was the master,” George Atkinson said, “and he knew every weak link and how to expose it.”
“People talk about Joe Montana; Kenny was doing it before Joe Montana — and he was doing it calling all his own plays,” Cliff Branch said about Stabler’s late game reputation.
“I kept hitting him, and he just looked at me and said, ‘Ted, how come you’re hitting me so hard?’ And I told him it was because he was wearing the wrong color uniform. There are just so many memories I have of him, the good times we had, the smile on his face. Never any envy — always cool, calm and collected.” Ted Hendricks said about facing his former teammate.
Those quotes are from Raiders insider Gerry McDonald. You can find more and some of Stabler’s other nicknames in this great piece.
Check out info on Stabler’s display here.