g-dawg Posted July 10, 2015 Share Posted July 10, 2015 I was born in 1966 and we moved to Atlanta are when I was only 4 years old in 1970. I probably became interested in pro football by the time I was 7 years old in 1973. The 1970's were dominated by a handful of teams - Steelers, Cowboys, Dolphins, Vikings and Raiders - it was really a golden age of football as there was not much parity but these teams above and a handful of others were really good - and each team really seemed to have their own style.While I quickly became a Falcon fan, the 70's were mostly forgettable as a Falcon fan except for one year when we had a really boss defense in the Humphrey/Zook days.By 1975, I had adopted the Raiders as my favorite "non-Atlanta" team. They were a collection of misfit toys that were assembled together - guys with swagger, toughness and a willingness to play to the whistle and a little past and a desire to just go out and kick total azz. There were guys like Dave Casper(TE), Fred Bilitenkoff(WR), Cliff Branch(WR), Gene Upshaw(OL), Art Shell(OL), Mark Van Eegan(FB), Ted Hendricks(LB), Phil Villipiano(LB), Otis Sistrunk(DE), Jon Matuzak(DE), Willie Brown(CB), George Atkinson(SS), and Jack Tatum(FS) - these guys were straight nasty!Well the leader of them all was the Quarterback himself - Kenny "The Snake" Stabler. He grew up in the country in Foley, Alabama and played for none other than Bear Bryant at Roll **** Tide Nation - Bear Bryant said he was the best QB he ever had - and that is saying something. Stabler had the long hair, the beard and the confident swagger that seemed out-of-place to go with his country boy southern twang - but make no mistake - Stabler was a competitor through and through and had nerves of steel - with the game on the line, you wanted the ball in #12's hands - he was a riverboat gambler. Stabler was one of the first QBs that called his own plays. While his stats were not prolific, Ken Stabler had a HOF career in an age where QB stats don't stack up to today's game.Stabler led the Oakland Raiders to a SuperBowl victory in the 1976/1977 season where they crushed Fran Tarkenton and the Minnesota Vikings in Superbowl XI. Had it not been for the Steelers and Dolphins excellent teams, Stabler could have had another 2-3 more SB wins - they were always in the mix and a tough out.Stabler passed away yesterday at the age of 69 from colon cancer. He will be missed. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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