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Remembering the former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler

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Former Oakland Raiders quarterback, Ken Stabler has died due to colon cancer at the age of 69.

The Snake was one of the most famous quarterbacks in the NFL during the 1970s when he led the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl XI against the Minnesota Vikings.

He was also selected as the NFL MVP in 1974, part of the NFL 1970s All-Decade team, and also selected for the Pro Bowl on four occasions (1973, 1974, 1976, 1977).


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The Stabler family announced the passing of The Snake on his Facebook page.

They said: "He was a kind, generous and unselfish man, never turning down an autograph request or an opportunity to help someone in need. A great quarterback, he was an even greater father to his three girls and grandfather to his two 'grand snakes'.

"We are grateful for the tremendous love and support from friends and fans. We ask that you please respect our privacy during this difficult time as we grieve this heartbreaking loss."

Stabler was part of one of the most talked about and controversial games in NFL history. 'The Immaculate Reception' game between the Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff game.

The Snake had just scored a 30-yard touchdown run to put the Raiders ahead 7-6 with 1:17 left on the clock.

Stabler then had to watch from the sidelines as Steelers fullback Franco Harris caught 'The Immaculate Reception' to deny him a trip to the AFC Championship game against the undefeated Miami Dolphins. The Steelers won the game 13-7.

However, some people believe the touchdown never should have stood as they believe the ball had touched the ground before Harris caught it for the touchdown.

Some say if 'The Immaculate Reception' never happened, the Raiders could have defeated the Dolphins in the Championship game and gone on to win the Super Bowl.

The Raiders coach for that game, John Madden, had this to say about his former quarterback on the Oakland Raiders website.

He said: “I was head coach of the Raiders the entire time Kenny was there and he led us to a whole bunch of victories including one in Super Bowl XI. 

"I've often said, If I had one drive to win a game to this day, and I had a quarterback to pick, I would pick Kenny.  Snake was a lot cooler than I was. 

"He was a perfect quarterback and a perfect Raider. When you think about the Raiders you think about Ken Stabler.  Kenny loved life.  It is a sad day for all Raiders.”

The Snake was also part of the 'Holy Roller' game between the Raiders and the San Diego Chargers in September 1978.

The game officially ruled one of the final plays of the game as a forward fumble by Stabler, recovered by Raiders tight end Dave Casper in the end zone for a touchdown, giving the Raiders a 21-20 win.

However, there has been different interpretations of the outcome since and the play remains controversial.

After his time with the Raiders, Stabler went on to play for the Houston Oilers (1980-1981) and the New Orleans Saints (1982-1984) before retiring in the middle of the 1984 season.

Stabler had an impact off the field too. At his request his brain and spinal cord were donated to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center. to help them with brain disease research.

He also had an affect on WWE Superstar Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, as he adapted his nickname 'The Snake' as tribute to Stabler.

Stabler was truly one of the best players ever to grace the silver and black uniform of the Raiders and he knew what it meant to play for that team. He will be missed.

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