Tag Archives: nfl 1970’s all decade team

Stabler, Ken “The Snake” (1945-2015)

to81 stabler to82 stabler

Cards: Topps 1981, Topps 1982
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o XoXo Foundation*
Sent:  2/25    Received:  5/11    (75 days)
*Donation suggested of $10 per flat.

Okay, so I’m fine with paying a small signers fee for an autograph or two. I’ve gotten to that point in TTM collecting that I’ll indulge myself from time to time on that, but there are two things that get on my nerves. First and foremost, I expect it to be an authentic signature from the player- not an autopen or ghost signer. (I heard OJ Simpson had done this during one of his many legal battles. He will take your money, however much or little it is, and then hand it off to a ghost signer.) It’s got to be legit and consistent from piece to piece (see Ottis Anderson).  Second and finally, when you cash my check, it tells me: “I acknowledge I have received your item and I have completed my end of the transaction,” – namely signing my cards. Having me wait an additional 2 months after that? That’s a bit egregious. I understand if a player has personal problems they are dealing with; That is no problem, but really, the whole turnaround should be more like 2 weeks tops. Anyway, case in point, on the second peeve is right here in Kenny Stabler.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to have the autograph, but out of fear of the ‘mail gods’ voracious appetite, I had to consider cancelling the check and getting new cards to send. Much more hassle than what it was worth, especially if I just wanted to take a chance that he’d sign it without a donation.

Kenny Stabler followed in the footsteps of Broadway Joe Namath at Alabama during the mid-60s, where Stabler carved his own legacy into the Crimson Tide leader books, posting a 28-3-2 record as a starter. He finished 180/303 for 2196 yards, 18  TDs to 18 int, 838 yards on the ground, and 9 touchdowns, all in a little over 2 years as a starter.  The gruff quarterback was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1968 NFL draft (- the second such common pooling of players between the rival NFL and AFL that has now become the norm,) by the Oakland Raiders. Unable to crack the lineup, he found himself playing in the Continental Football League for the Spokane Shockers to pass the time. Things started off slowly for the West Coast rock star QB, as he had to unseat incumbent Darryle Lamonica first. By 1973 however, The Snake was in charge full time for the Raiders, and in 1977, the Silver and Black won its first Super Bowl. During this period the renegade qb flirted with the idea of joining the fledgling WFL and the Birmingham Americans (but the league suffered serious financial setbacks and was unable to last past the 1975 season).  Stabler reached a point in his career where he was basically the West Coast version of Joe Namath- except The Snake was considered a rock star. Things were at their zenith for the Raiders after their Super Bowl win, as Stabler became the fastest quarterback to 100 wins with his penchant for miracle plays and comebacks that were legendary. A prolonged holdout and subpar play doomed his tenure in Oakland, so in 1980, he was traded straight up for Dan Pastorini to the Oilers.

From the Raiders to the Oilers wasn’t such a bad leap for Stabler. Working with Earl Campbell and coach Bum Philips wasn’t such a bad thing either, but the Oilers failed to advance in the playoffs that year, so owner Bud Adams, (who couldn’t keep a good party going if it hit him in the mouth,) fired Philips after the season. The Oilers stumbled into mediocrity under embattled head coach Ed Biles so the Snake took his game after the 1981 season to the New Orleans Saints, where he was reunited with Philips, for the final 3 injury plagued seasons of his career before he retired in 1984.

Stabler has remained popular in football circles, both as a Raider and as a member of the Crimson Tide. He’s spent time in the broadcasting booth and done a lot of charity work through the XOXO Stabler Foundation. He’s had some legal run-ins with the law over back taxes, and besides having his own drink briefly (called Snake Venom,) Stabler has also dabbled in wine making.

One can make an argument for Kenny Stabler needing to be in the HoF, based on his accolades as the 1974 NFL MVP, a Super Bowl champ, 4 time Pro Bowler,  2 time AP, part of the NFL All 1970s team, and for basically owning all the Raiders record book after he left the team, but at this time, injustice remains done, and the honor has escaped the renegade Snake.

Ken Stabler passed away quietly at the age of 69, surrounded by friends and family on July 9th, 2015.

G/Gs  184       Att 3793       Comp 2270      Yds  27938      Pct  59.8     Td   194     Int 222    Rat 75.3   |
Rush 118   Yds 93    Avg  .8    Td 4     Lg 18

Pearson, Drew “Mr. Clutch”

Cards: Topps 1978, Topps 1981, Autograph Memorablila
Acquired: In Person 1992, 1993.  Lenscrafters Opening, Barton Creek Mall. South Austin Card Convention
See Also: Drew Pearson (2)

I’ve gotten Drew’s autograph twice during the heyday of the Dallas Cowboys involvement with Austin, Texas. The first time he appeared with Ed Jones at a Lenscrafters opening at Barton Creek Mall. My friend Josh and I would get their autographs after waiting about 2 hours in line, and then get lost trying to leave the mall. The second time we’d hear about a card convention in South Austin and pay 5 bucks for an autograph. We also got Harvey Martin‘s signature as well.

After graduating from Tulsa University in 1972, Pearson would sign a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 1973. After a typical rookie season with 22 receptions for 388 yards,  Drew’s career would take off in 1974 as he’d make his first 1000 yard season on 62 receptions.  He’d make at least 700 yards the next 4 seasons, and again break the 1000 yard barrier in 1979 tying his career high with 8 touchdowns receiving. As the 80s rolled around Pearson’s statistics would slowly spiral down until his retirement after the 1983 season.  Among his accomplishments are 3 SuperBowl appearances and one victory. Known to fans as “Mr. Clutch” for his ability to make big plays when they counted, Pearson also caught the infamous ‘hail mary’ in the 1975 playoffs against the Vikings. A 3 time Pro Bowl and AP, Pearson is a member of the NFL 1970s All Decade Team.

Drew briefly served as the General Manager of the XFL New York/ New Jersey Hitmen during the 2001 season and has worked as a sports broadcaster since retirement and is CEO of his own company that manufactures sports hats. He’s been quite successful off the field and has won the NFL Alumni Career Achievement Award for this.

Dallas fans will always claim that Pearson not being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is an injustice and while I do see some merit to the argument, if you base it off of SuperBowl appearances- his statistics do not. There are many NFL wide receivers who have not made it into the HoF who had bigger numbers and a Super Bowl appearance or two. Despite this Pearson should at least be in the Cowboys Ring of Honor however as of this date he has not been enshrined due to a public feud with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over the Cowboys logo and Pearson’s athletic gear.

G/Gs 156/ n/a     Rec  489      Yds  7822    Avg  16.0       Td  48     Lg  67

UPDATE: 8/19/2011- Jerry Jones today announced that Drew Pearson, along with Charles Haley, and Larry Allen, would be inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor this year.

Shell, Art

amad90 ar shell pset91 shell

Cards: Pro Set AP 1991, Action Packed All Madden 1991
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1992.

Art Shell was drafted out of Maryland Eastern Shore College in 1968 by then the AFL Oakland Raiders. An incredible offensive tackle, Shell would be named to 8 Pro Bowls, 3 All Pros and part of the NFLs 1970s all-decade team.  Equally adept against the pass and the run, he starred in two Super Bowls, played in 207 contests and 23 post season games. He currently holds the odd record of being the NFL player who has played the most games with diabetes.

After retirement, Shell went right into coaching working for the Silver and Black from 1983-1989 before being named head coach of the organization where he served from 1990-1994.  Art Shell was the first black head coach in the modern era of the NFL, and in 1990 was named coach of the year in when the Raiders went 12-4 and advanced to the AFC Championship Game. Controversially he was fired in 1994 after posting a 9-7 record. At that time Shell’s record was 54-38. He’d then serve as an assistant in different capacities for the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, and the NFL offices before returning to the Raiders for one season in 2006. Since coaching retirement he has continued to work with the NFL and also hosts an annual golf tournament. He was also named into the South Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.