Oakland Raiders Legend George Blanda has passed. The son of a Czech-born Pittsburgh-area coal miner, Blanda was a true Raider who epitomized the blue-collar Oakland teams of his era. As a diehard Raider fan and former kicker, he holds a special place in my early Silver and Black memories. This amazing and goosebump inducing call from Bill King (reprinted courtesy of Jerry Mcdonald, Ibabuzz.com) says it all perfectly…
“Waiting for the snap . . . fourth down . . . here it is . . .snap! spotted down! It’s kicked. That’s got a chance. That is — good! It’s good — Holy Toledo! Holy Toledo! This place has gone wild. I don’t believe it! I do not believe it! There are three seconds left in the game. If you can hear me, this place has gone wild . . . the Oakland Raiders 23! . . . the Cleveland Browns 20!
“George Blanda has just been elected king of the world! I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it! Holy Toledo! It went 53 . . . no 52 yards! George Blanda has just been elected king of the world!”
George Blanda Bio: George Frederick Blanda (“The Grand Old Man”) (September 17, 1927 – September 27, 2010) was a collegiate and professional football quarterback and placekicker. The son of a Czech-born Pittsburgh-area coal miner, Blanda has the distinction of having played 26 seasons of professional football, the most in the sport’s history, and had scored more points than anyone in history at the time of his retirement. Blanda retired from pro football in 1976. He was only one of two players to play in four different decades, and he holds the record for most extra points kicked. He was married from December 17, 1949 until his death to Betty Harris and had 2 children. Blanda died on September 27, 2010
Rest in peace George, your place in Raiders history is assured.