George Blanda, who played 26-seasons (1949-’75), the most of anyone in pro football history, died Monday at age 83.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of the great George Blanda,” the Oakland Raiders stated in a release. “George was a brave Raider and a close personal friend of Raiders owner Al Davis.”
At his retirement, Blanda was a month shy of his 49th birthday before the start of the 1976 campaign. Blanda played 10-years with the Chicago Bears, had a slight stint with the Baltimore Colts, seven campaigns with the Houston Oilers and his final nine with the Silver & Black.
“Football lost one of it’s all-time greats,” Hall of Fame coach John Madden commented. “He was the best competitor and clutchest player that I ever coached and I don’t know if there was anyone better that anyone else coached. George Blanda was a Hall of Famer in every way.”
Jon Becker took a look back at Blanda’s miracle 1970 season – a five-week stretch of heroics that added to his lore:
Jerry McDonald remembered Blanda on his blog, with some links about the historic figure:
“George Blanda will always be remembered as a legend of our game,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement, “including his amazing career longevity of 26 seasons in four different decades. George’s multi-talented flair for the dramatic highlighted the excitement of pro football during an important period of growth for our sport.”
Contact Author: Victor Cotto – SB Report Columnist