Last night George Blanda passed away, the man that never seemed to age. He retired at the age of 49 after a 26 year career. He scored 2,002 points in his career, a pro football record at the time of his retirement, kicking 335 field goals and 943 extra points, running for nine touchdowns and throwing for 236 more.
From Yahoo Sports:
Blanda entered the NFL out of Kentucky as a 12th-round pick (119th overall) of the Chicago Bears in 1949. He spent most of the next decade with the Bears, leaving to play one game for the Colts in 1950. After winning the Bears starting job in 1953, Blanda promptly lost it the following season because of injury. His playing time at quarterback quickly diminished and he retired in 1959 at age 31 when Chicago planned to make him a full-time kicker. It was a short-lived break because he then joined the AFL’s Oilers the nest season.
Blanda was one of the new league’s many prolific passers, throwing for 19,149 yards and 165 touchdowns in seven seasons for the Oilers. He was the AFL Player of the Year in 1961, holds AFL single-game passing record of 464 yards on Oct. 29, 1961, against Buffalo, and was chosen the league’s all-time kicker.
“We did all the strategy right on the field,” he once said. “Today, the coaches call all the plays, so all the quarterbacks have to do is perform. They are more or less programmed.”
The Oilers thought he was at the end of his career in 1967, but the Raiders picked him up as a backup quarterback and kicker and he lasted nine more seasons.
Blanda threw for 26,920 yards in his career and held the pro football record with 277 interceptions until Brett Favre passed him in 2007. He retired with the most points in history before the total was topped by several players in recent years.
“It certainly doesn’t bother me,” Blanda said about losing the scoring record. “The one record I was happy to get rid of was the one for the most interceptions, when Brett Favre got that one.”
As for me, I have one special remembrance:
A great through the mail success. As for his eBay value, of course it has gone though the roof. Already high because of his status as a Hall of Famer, the card below sold for $75 recently. Look for the value to go up short term, but then kind of level off or go down a little. The world lost a grizzled warrior and an innovator of the game.