The passing last week of former Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler prompted curiosity about the numbers put up by the ‘Snake’ during his 15-year career. Many believe the left-hander should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His statistics, compared with 1985 enshrinee Joe Namath’s, support that belief.
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Namath was known as “Broadway Joe” because he played for the New York Jets. Stabler was known as “The Snake” since making a long, winding run in high school.
Namath wore white shoes when the rest of the NFL wore black. Stabler once sported a smiley face sticker on his helmet.
Namath loved the night life in New York and led a rock star’s life with the Jets. Stabler famously said there was nothing wrong with reading the playbook by the light of a jukebox.
Namath and Stabler both played three seasons at Alabama, spanning 1962 through 1967.
Namath led the Jets to a Super Bowl III win over the Colts in possibly the biggest upset in sports history. Stabler was part of three unforgettable NFL plays: the “Sea of Hands,” “Ghost to the Post” and “Holy Roller.” And if not for the “Immaculate Reception,” his 30-yard touchdown run would have given the Raiders a win over the Steelers in a 1972 AFC playoff game.