Me and Kenny. Kind words and good advice from a football legend meant a lot to me as a coach, father and man.
I was a Ken Stabler fan long before I ever met him. He was playing at Alabama the same time my dad was at Missouri and he was a big time NFL Quarterback with the Raiders when I collected every Topps football card made for the 1976 season. Along with Terry Bradshaw, Fran Tarkenton and Bob Griese, he was one of my favorite pro QBs. He was a fierce competitor and always seemed to find a way to win. I admired that and still do.
He was a hell of a nice guy. Didn’t put on airs. Was a lot of fun to talk football and life with. I am glad I knew him and will miss him.
My deepest sympathies go out to his family especially his daughter Kendra and grandsons (grandsnakes) Jack and Justin.
Coop D and Papa Snake after beating the Rebels in the semi-final game at La Jolla high school.
UPDATE – IF YOU TOO WERE A FAN AND WOULD LIKE TO DO SOMETHING IN HIS HONOR THEN I SUGGEST THAT YOU CONSIDER SUPPORTING HIS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION. GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS.
UPDATE 2 – A POSTMORTUM EXAMINATION OF KENNYS BRAIN WAS PERFORMED AND IT WAS DETERMINED THAT HE HAD CHRONIC TRAUMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY OR CTE. THIS WAS A LITTLE BIT OF A SURPRISE, TO ME AT LEAST, BECAUSE HE WAS A QB AND PRESUMABLY NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME NUMBER OF REPETITIVE SUBCONCUSSIVE HITS AS SAY A LINEMAN, RUNNING BACK, OR LINEBACKER BUT HE DID HAVE IT. IT REMAINS A MYSTERY AS TO WHY MOST ATHLETES DEVELOP CTE BUT SOME WITH SIMILAR BACKGROUNDS DON’T.
I WILL TELL YOU THAT LOOKING BACK ON A VERY ACTIVE AND PHYSICAL LIFE (I HAVE HAD AT LEAST 10 CONCUSSIONS AND I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY THOUSANDS OF SUBCONCUSSIVE HITS TO THE HEAD) I CAN’T HELP BUT THINK ABOUT MY OWN HEALTH AS I GET OLDER. KNOWING WHAT I KNOW NOW WOULD I CHANGE ANYTING? PROBABLY NOT. I HURT BECAUSE I HAVE PLAYED HARD AND I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF IT, EVEN THE TIMES I GOT MY ASS KICKED. KENNY AND I TALKED ABOUT THIS SUBJECT A NUMBER OF TIMES AND I KNOW HE FELT THE SAME WAY. LIFE IS FOR LIVING AND LOVING HARD, FULL TILT BOOGIE UNTIL YOU CAN’T. I AM GOOD WITH THAT.
UPDATE 3 – IT WAS ANNOUNCED OFFICIALY LAST NIGHT THAT KENNY STABLER WAS VOTED INTO THE NATIONAL FOOTBAL LEAGUE HALL OF FAME. CONGRATUALTIONS TO THE ENTIRE STABLER FAMILY. I THINK THIS WAS WAY OVERDUE. HE WAS A GREAT QUARTERBACK AND HE DESERVED TO BE IN THE HOF A LONG TIME AGO.