Friday, October 1, 2010

RIP - George Blanda

Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts. – Dan Gable

I only knew him as a Raider, but guts he had and plenty of ‘em. I was too young to watch his exploits with the Oilers or Bears. However, even as an old guy, Blanda was anything but bland. He was a player, a winner, an original AFL’er, a Raider, a Hall of Famer, and more. He had true grit and he wanted to win – which is a hell of a lot more than I can say about many players today.

I’ll never forget watching the Raiders on Monday night with my Grandfather in the early 70s. He reveled in the notion that a tough old guy like Blanda still had what it took to take the field with the pros. He would delight my brother and I with tales of the earlier days and how great Blanda was with the Oilers.

George Blanda was the epitome of the old guard pro football players I recall from my youth. Before there was body armor like players wear today or any serious thought was given to rules that protected quarterbacks, Blanda played quarterback for 26 years.

They sure don’t make ‘em like they used to.


Memphis MOJO said...

He was a FG kicker, too.

Lucypher said...

I think he was one of the last to use the drop kick.