Ken Stabler deserves another look from the Hall of Fame

As the stories pour in about the great Raiders legend Kenny Stabler, who died on Wednesday at the age of 69, many fans may simply assume that he’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Surely, a quarterback who won a Super Bowl and an MVP and who had a hand in many of the most memorable moments of his era of pro football must have a bust in Canton.

Nope. Stabler never got elected to the Hall of Fame and didn’t even get very close: He was only a Hall of Fame finalist three times, and voted down on all of those occasions.

And yet Stabler’s list of accomplishments suggests that his Hall of Fame case is strong. He was voted the Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player in 1974, and he easily could have won the award in 1976, when he led the league in passer rating, touchdown passes, yards per pass and completion percentage while also leading a league-high four fourth-quarter comebacks and five game-winning drives. He finished in the Top 10 in the NFL in passing yards, completion percentage and touchdown passes every year from 1973 to 1979.

Those accomplishments don’t even begin to tell the story of Stabler’s career, however. He was the most colorful character on perhaps the most colorful team ever, the Raiders of the 1970s. He led those Raiders to a championship in Super Bowl XI. He threw two of the most famous passes of the 1970s, known as the “Sea of Hands” and “Ghost to the Post.” He fumbled his way to a Raiders touchdown with the infamous “Holy Roller.” He ran for a 30-yard touchdown that appeared to seal a Raiders win in a playoff game in Pittsburgh in 1972, only to watch from the sidelines as the Steelers won the game on the “Immaculate Reception.” Not many plays are so big that they get their own names, and yet Stabler was involved, in one way or another, in four of them.

So why isn’t Stabler in the Hall of Fame? Some think the voters had an anti-Raiders bias when Stabler was up for election. Some say he didn’t stay on top long enough and had only a few great years. Some say his stats aren’t good enough.

Stabler’s passing numbers look pedestrian today, but they need to be considered within the historical context. In 1976, Stabler completed 66.7 percent of his passes, which at the time was stunning: Stabler was the only quarterback in the pre-1980s NFL to complete 65 percent of his passes in a season in which he attempted at least 250 passes. In 1976, when Stabler led the league with a passer rating of 103.4, the league average passer rating was 63.6. By way of comparison, last year, Tony Romo’s league average passer rating was 113.2, less than 10 points higher than Stabler’s in 1976. But the league-average passer rating last year was 88.9, more than 25 points higher than in 1976.

Fortunately, the Hall of Fame has a veterans committee, which is designed to identify oversights in the regular voting process, and give players who were passed over previously a second chance. The veterans committee should give another look to The Snake.

148 responses to “Ken Stabler deserves another look from the Hall of Fame

  1. Not to say he doesn’t deserve it, but a day after the man died and everyone is remembering all of his great moments…you may be a little more prone to think he was greater than he was.

  2. This is no disrespect to Steve Young, but Kenny Stabler was the best southpaw quarterback I ever saw. He deserves to be in the Hall, and I’d be John Madden didn’t lobby for it.

  3. Yes, he deserves it because of all those great games, the plays everyone of that era remember and his record is more than acceptable. I think he would fit well in Canton.

    That said, I am kinda sick and tired of folks in the sports media noticing these folks and finally making noise about it after they die. He deserved to be in the Hall decades ago and yet no one really bothers to look, evaluate and make these noises until the person involved is no longer around. Ray Guy would have been another if folks like Chris Kluwe hadn’t made so much noise.

    The sports media controls the process for entry into the Hall. It would be nice if you folks (in general ) would do a better job before it becomes a posthumous affair.

  4. I’m one of the many who thought he was already in the HOF. He most certainly should be. He was one of the faces of that iconic Raiders team from the 70’s.

  5. Ken Stabler is a Hall of Fame quarterback. Players should be evaluated in relation to the players of their own era. Football was different then in terms of the passing game. He belongs. And that’s coming from a Patriots fan.

  6. And it was a lot tougher to play QB back then. They weren’t protected by the rules like they are today.

  7. The Snake should be in the HOF.
    No question. The Raiders were in the playoffs every year from 72 to 77 and in the AFC Title game 4 years running with Stabler under center.
    That’s a pretty good run.

  8. Agree 100% with the article

    I wonder though if the real reason he is not in the HOF is because of poor relationship with the media at the time

    The HOF voting committee appears on occasion
    they are not as pristine and honorable as they claim, and can be petty and vindictive

  9. C’mon people. If Joe Namath is in the HOF then surely Stabler should be as well.

  10. I don’t disagree that he deserves a closer look. I don’t like that this appears to be an emotional reaction to his death. However, if you induct him, you HAVE to take Jim Plunkett as well. He’s the only QB to win 2 Super Bowls to NOT be inducted. He did more for the Raiders than Stabler did, he just wasn’t as interesting.

  11. Why because he’s dead? If he wasn’t before he isn’t now.
    Just like the snake, you can’t breathe new life into it

  12. Snake: 96-49-1 with a 59% comp rating, 1 super bowl win, 1 Super bowl MVP, 1 league MVP, made the conf championship game 5 years in a row and had a playoff record of 7-5.

    Namath: 62-63-4 with a 50% comp rating, 1 super bowl win, 1 super bowl MVP, made the playoffs twice with a record of 2-1.

    1 guy is in and 1 guy isn’t.

  13. I find myself being a giant hypocrite on this issue. On one hand, I want Stabler in because he was so fun and exciting to watch, sometimes you literally never knew what might happen next. Guts and heart and talent all rolled into one.

    On the other, I am always ripping on who makes it into the Baseball Hall of Fame and siding with people who call it the Hall of Very Good.

    Are we doing the same here? I think we have a tendency when someone passes to elevate the good things they did to another level. Strictly speaking his numbers were OK or maybe even above average.

    But one MVP award and being in the Top 10 in passing yards for 6 seasons? Lots of guys could probably fit into this category that arent in. Theismann had an MVP and and a ring and I dont think has ever come close.

  14. The excuse that there’s too many Raiders in the HOF is a joke, dominate teams deserve the lions share of the Hall.

    Stabler, Plunkett and Branch should be in there and without a doubt too.

  15. I’m with @Stiller43 – this was a non story until the man died.

    I’d rather let the man rest in peace.

  16. How is Ken Stabler not in the Hall of Fame but Joe Namath is?

    I think both should be, not trying to disparage the great Namath, but Stabler made a greater impact on the field and the numbers prove it.

  17. kcraiderdan says:
    Jul 10, 2015 8:48 AM

    I don’t disagree that he deserves a closer look. I don’t like that this appears to be an emotional reaction to his death. However, if you induct him, you HAVE to take Jim Plunkett as well. He’s the only QB to win 2 Super Bowls to NOT be inducted. He did more for the Raiders than Stabler did, he just wasn’t as interesting.
    ———————————————————

    100% agree with this. Let’s not forget about Tom Flores as well. Plunkett and Flores both with 2 Super Bowl wins and not even a sniff of the Hall of Fame.

    If not for Plunkett, the Raiders and Pastorini don’t win those 2 Super Bowls in the 80’s.

  18. The man with three names said: “He was voted the Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player in 1974, and he easily could have won the award in 1976, when he led the league in passer rating, touchdown passes, yards per pass and completion percentage while also leading a league-high four fourth-quarter comebacks and five game-winning drives.”

    ____________________________________

    First, thank you Michael David Smith for giving the man another HOF push. Second, Stabler did with the award in 1976, only it was called the Bert Bell NFL Player of the Year award. And was highly recognized in it’s day.

    The reason why Stabler isn’t in the HOF today is due to an anti Stabler bias or push by pompous writer Paul Zimmerman. Zimmerman readily admits this is due to Snake’s off the field exploits. Which is a crime in itself.

    Zimmerman should have his voting privileges revoked!

  19. Odd, The Snake broke the Phins heart with one fluke play…and the Steelers returned the favor on another.

    Consider the Raiders got screwed on “the tuck” play two and half decades later…weird stuff just happens when the Raiders are in the playoffs.

    Or so I remember. I mean…it’s been a while.

  20. Jim Plunkett was unusual in the fact he was a more successful postseason QB than Peyton Manning, but his regular season career was mediocre, so he won’t be getting in. Eli Manning’s had a much better regular season career, and that 2008 SB is another advantage.

    Ken Stabler has a case, but we could have done without the last five years of his career with the Oilers and Saints. Had Stabler remained with the 1980 Raiders, he may have earned that second ring and would have been in the HOF by now.

    Stabler’s case is stronger than Ken Anderson’s, who was a terrible comeback QB, and didn’t take advantage of his postseason opportunities. Proponents of Anderson like to bring up a single game performance against the Steelers in 1974, but that was his only standout game versus Pittsburgh during Bill Walsh’s time as OC. Otherwise, that West Coast attack was completely neutralized against the Steelers with the Anderson/Walsh pairing.

    Among current QBs, Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, and Brees are locks for Canton. Rivers and Romo need to reach a SB, and the latter is 35 already.

  21. I’d like to see stronger evidence, the sense that he was overlooked is not really supported by claiming he was ‘somewhat involved’ in the Immaculate Reception’ because his team would have won if it didn’t happen. Fact remains in that game he didn’t do enough.
    He won a Super Bowl. Plunkett has 2 and Dilfer has 1. So winning the title doesn’t get you in.
    Also does one year of a great passer rating get you in? What was the team’s record that year?

    I too would have said he was in if asked in Jeopardy. Since he is not, the reasoning for why he should be is weak. I suspect when compared to other QB’s of his era, the data doesn’t stack up. If it did I figure it would have been presented over these esoteric reasons.

    Great QB though

  22. raiderufan says:Jul 10, 2015 8:56 AM

    Snake: 96-49-1 with a 59% comp rating, 1 super bowl win, 1 Super bowl MVP, 1 league MVP, made the conf championship game 5 years in a row and had a playoff record of 7-5.

    Namath: 62-63-4 with a 50% comp rating, 1 super bowl win, 1 super bowl MVP, made the playoffs twice with a record of 2-1.

    1 guy is in and 1 guy isn’t
    _________________________________
    And no way Namath should of been Super Bowl MVP……..he did NOTHING in that Super Bowl, it was the running game and the Jet defense. In fact………look it up, his stats in that Super Bowl were awful. Namath is the only QB in the HOF that has more INTs than TD’s………Stabler and Namath’s stats are almost identical. In my book Stabler was a better QB. He should of been in. With the game on the line, I would take Stabler all day long over Namath………..Namath was way overrated.

  23. If you can’t have a conversation about an era in NFL history without mentioning that player, odds are they should be enshrined in the HoF. Kenny Stabler was involved in too many historical plays/games to be left out. He may not have been well liked in media circles and his TD/INT ratio is poor but I’ve said for years that man deserves a bust in Canton. It is a travesty that he wasn’t and only his death brings him into the discussion again.

  24. Stabler was one of the great QB’s of his era. Stabler, Staubach, Bradshaw, Tarkenton….those guys played the position better than anyone else at the time. The 70’s were a running era and a time when defenders could (and did) take a receiver’s head off. The NFL was not a passing game, coaches were fond of saying that when you passed, three things could happen and two of them were bad.

    These four QB’s set the bar and three of the four are in the Hall. I’ve thought for decades that Stabler belongs there as well.

  25. dcmidnight says:
    Jul 10, 2015 8:57 AM

    Are we doing the same here? I think we have a tendency when someone passes to elevate the good things they did to another level. Strictly speaking his numbers were OK or maybe even above average.

    But one MVP award and being in the Top 10 in passing yards for 6 seasons? Lots of guys could probably fit into this category that arent in. Theismann had an MVP and and a ring and I dont think has ever come close.

    ___________________________________

    Stabler was on the All Decade team. The only QB in NFL history on the All Decade team to not be in the HOF.

    Statistically speaking, one must look to his prime with the Raiders.

    In the 1970’s Stabler lead the NFL in touchdown passes twice and finished behind Roger Staubach as the 2nd leading touchdown passer of the 1970’s with 143 touchdown passes to Staubach’s 150 touchdown passes as a starter. Stabler did this despite starting one less year in the 1970’s to Staubach.

    Stabler lead the NFL in completion percentage twice in the 1970’s. And Stabler lead the NFL in QB rating once. Stabler also finished the 1970’s with the best completion percentage for any NFL QB. And finished 2nd in QB rating to Staubach.

    Don’t you ever compare Joe Theisman to Kenny The Snake Stabler. Theisman was never in Snake’s league. If you had seen them both play, you would know this. But you’re a stats guy, so now you have the full story on your “stats”. Stabler was far from “average” as the stats show.

  26. “Stabler never got elected to the Hall and he didn’t even get very close. He was a finalist three times.”

    You do realize that being a finalist is the very next step before getting elected, right? So, he fell just the one step short of being elected. He came as close as humanly possible, yet he didn’t even get very close? Oh, and he did that three times.

    Color me confused, MDS.

  27. No he does not belong in the hall of fame.

    You can take joe Namath out and for that matter you can take troy Aikman out.

    Brad Johnson had better stats than Troy Aikman.

  28. R.I.P. SNAKE!!! Even tho I’m not a raiders fan you played when football was real in the 70’s & made it exciting!!! Probably better that you don’t see Goodell running the great NFL into the ground!!! Thanks for the excitement!!!

  29. As long as that bum Namath is in there Stabler should be in there. His numbers are better, it’s that simple

  30. pftstory says:
    Jul 10, 2015 9:10 AM

    I’d like to see stronger evidence, the sense that he was overlooked is not really supported by claiming he was ‘somewhat involved’ in the Immaculate Reception’ because his team would have won if it didn’t happen. Fact remains in that game he didn’t do enough.

    ____________________________________

    Did you even know that Stabler came off the bench in that game for starter Daryl Lamonica?

    Stabler lead the Raiders to their only touchdown in that game. A 30 yard Stabler run against the Steelers D with 1:17 left. He did enough. A highly disputed freak play won that game. It had nothing to do with what Stabler did.

  31. Good article. As mentioned, Stabler enjoyed most of his great Raider years before the 1978 rules changes which crippled defenses and skewed the passing stats towards QBs. So his best years were when defenses actually had teeth.

    I’ve also always said that if mediocrities like Joe Namath and Dan Fouts got into the HOF then it’s a travesty that Snake Stabler was excluded.

  32. Of course Stabler belongs in the HOF. It kills me when people mock the HOF stats of a Namath or Bradshaw – saying they are underwhelming.

    That era was infinitely more difficult to complete a pass. Until 1978 the receiver could get hit all over the field until the ball was in the air.

    When the 5 yard bump rule came in it was actually referred to as ‘The Dave Casper Rule’ because the Oakland TE got mauled everywhere he went.

    Snake is a HOF’er – all day long.

  33. If you didn’t think he deserved to be in the HOF when he was living why all of a sudden should be since he is dead? There were a lot good qb’s with good stats who are not in.

    Your better off not in the HOF because they are a joke anyway.

  34. The snake and plunkett have both earned there spots in the hof so maybe they need to get a new committee. Hell they let LT and irvin in.i never liked the raiders growing up but always respected the teams because they were so good and just like now it started with the quarterbacks! Get with the program guys and let them both in!!!!!

  35. I’m sorry, but this is not the right time to have this debate.

    Ken Stabler had a fine career, and during a span of about 6 years in the middle of that career, he played like a Hall of Fame QB for about half that time.

    He had good years in ’73 and ’79, great years in ’74 and ’76, a down years in ’75 and ’77. He posted a passer rating above 80 just four times in his career while he was the starting QB. He was drafted in 1968, and didn’t win the starting job in Oakland until his sixth season (’73). He also threw more INTs (222) than TDs (194) for his career.

    Yes, he had many memorable moments during time, and I’m not saying he was a bad QB. But the entire body of his work in not HOF quality. And yes, he has better stats than Joe Namath (who doesn’t belong in the HOF), but if we used that as a basis for determining who does and doesn’t belong in the HOF, there’d be scores of other QBs who’d have a HOF case based on that.

    Stabler’s career statistics, and his entire body of work just don’t justify election in the Hall of Fame.

  36. Nothing against Snake who was a good player and a great persona, but death does not automatically qualify someone for a Hall of Fame induction.

  37. No, that would be a slap in the face to him and his family to put him in the hall of fame now that he is dead and can’t witness it..
    If he played on any other team he would of been a first ballot hall of famer.
    HOF is nothing but a scam. How can you put a over rated guy like Cris Carter in the Hall over the Snake???
    How could you put Carter in the hall over a guy like Tim Brown?????

  38. Face it many players that deserve it are not in the Hall of Fame. Many would argue that Stabler is far more deserving than Warren Moon.

    Jerry Kramer with all his rings, being voted the best player at his position during the first 50 years of the NFL, famous for the signature play of his era, is not in the Hall of Fame. He certainly is more deserving than say Jonathan Ogden.

    There are players that never played a snap in the NFL in the Hall of Fame.

    The entire process is flawed because it is the media sportswriters that vote in the process with their obvious bias.

  39. As an 80s baby, I unfortunately never was able to see Stabler in action. But based on my father, other relatives and co-workers who have seen him in action give this guy tons of credit.

    Saw a couple posts on here as to why the media has not brought up all these great feats by Stabler until now, which to me I question myself. But lets not forget what MDS said in his first sentence. I am one of those who already assumed he was in the Hall.

    Case in point: Get this guy in there. Its nuts for me to even think that this guy never got voted in.

  40. Another look? It’s a joke he’s not in. The rules of the 70s don’t equal later years when the league started giving receivers more leeway. Staubach is in. Bradshaw is in. I think Stabler would have been the other great QB that comes to anybody’s mind when thinking of that decade, so how is one of the 3 best QBs of a decade not in the Hall of Fame?

  41. IMO, Stabler invented the two minute drill. Staubach fans have an argument as well. A real underrated trait about Stabler was the rarity of left handed QB in those days. He was the first to succeed at a high level.

  42. I personally saw him lead so many important and game winning drives that you almost knew if he had them ball last you would loose. Thats not a stat you track. And. IM A STEELER FANATIC. Put him in!

  43. There’s lots of guys with one SB win who shouldn’t be in the HoF; heck, Eli Manning has two and I don’t expect him to make it. Snake should be. Of course, there are a lot of 70s Raiders in the HoF. There should be, that’s what happens when you dominate a decade.

    I’m a Steelers fan, and when Swann and Stallworth got in, I realized how pointless the HoF is. They were both good players, but I would rather see LC Greenwood and Donnie Shell in there over them.

    The HoF took forever to get a punter in there. I admit, it’s not as important a position as QB, but if it’s meaningless, why has every team carried one for 5 decades?

  44. I’m no raider fan but joe Namath got into the hall and he was vastly overrated.Stabler was a much better QB and isn’t in?Thats a joke

  45. I sometimes have to remind myself that Stabler isn’t in the HOF. I always just assumed he was. I’m a Steelers fan and a Pittsburgh guy, and I 100% think Stabler should be in the HOF. It’s not even a question for me. If Joe Namath (who basically did one thing in his career) is in, then why isn’t Ken Stabler who may have been the best QB of the 1970s or at least in the discussion? The Veterans Committee has got to fix this.

  46. I saw a program with former SI Paul Zimmerman. He is on the HOF committee. His quote:

    Quote: “Paul Zimmerman (senior writer for Sports Illustrated), on NFL Network, said, “Ken Stabler won’t get my vote as long as I live.”

    Why? There was a story about Stabler planting weed in a friend of Zimmerman’s car

    Who knows, but Zimmerman hated him.

    Too bad, the Snake should be in the Hall..

  47. How about a QB comparison from a different era?

    Snake has 29 more career TD passes than Troy Aikman despite Troy having 922 more attempts. Troy’s comp % is 61% to 59% for Snake. They both got 7 yards an attempt…both 1 time super bowl MVPS…94-71-0 for Troy, 96-49-1 for Snake…

    Aikman was never league MVP, never led the league in TD’s (Snake twice, 1 time he was 2nd)…he only has 4,000 more career yards than Snake despite those 922 more attempts…

    Snake led 26 game winning drives to Aikman’s 21…(Namath had 16)

    Snake deserving to be in is not even a question and it’s another black mark on the hall that he isn’t.

  48. Stabler should be in the Hall but stop with the Namath bashing. As the article says, it was a different era with different rules, and different stats. Namath was hurt for most of his career. If you look at the handful of seasons in his prime when he was healthy he was as good as there was in the game at that time.

  49. To all the Namath haters:

    Yes, you’re correct, his stats are not as good as many other QB’s …. but his accomplishment in Super Bowl III made it possible for AFL players like Stabler to be recognized as an equal to the “old”NFL.

    Also agree that Stabler s/b in the Hall — in those days, he was a player that found a way to beat you — only Unitas did that better!

  50. Stabler>Namath.In addition to his QB skills and penchant to conduct last minute winning drives, he also represented a time when players had real personalities,not politically correct cut outs we see now. Ken should go in!

  51. fwippel says:
    Jul 10, 2015 9:37 AM

    Stabler’s career statistics, and his entire body of work just don’t justify election in the Hall of Fame.

    ____________________________________

    Gale Sayers, Dave Casper. Just two of many who don’t have an “entire body of work” that are in the HOF and are among the greatest ever at their respective positions. There are plenty of HOFers who had anywhere from 4 to 7 stellar years. This is football where the injuries caught up to players. Especially back in the day.

    Lots of talk about Namath here in comparison to Snake. How about Bob Griese of that same era? The ultimate game manager in the HOF.

    Griese threw a total of 18 passes in 2 Super Bowl wins. For 161 yards with 1 td and 1 int. In the two AFC Championship games before those Super Bowls Griese threw a total of 11 passes for 114 and 1 int.

    Heck Florio might have been able to Qb those Dolphins teams to Super Bowl wins. And Griese is in the HOF but not Stabler? C’mon.

  52. If winning is among the high bars for HOF consideration, Stabler is in the top echelon. There are only 4 QBs with .700+ lifetime win pct: Brady, Staubach, Montana, Stabler (as a Raider). Stabler’s results are better than 15 QBs already in the HOF.

  53. Everyone doesn’t get into the hall of fame. Just accept it.

    I think the voters when he was eligible were fine at deciding if he was hall of fame material.

  54. He was a one-of-a-kind player and very fun to watch, but sorry, he shouldn’t be in Canton. There’s too much focus on QBs and players from Super Bowl teams, so everyone thinks he should be in. But his stats don’t hold up, especially given that he played behind one of the best offensive lines ever with a great receiving corps.

    How about the voters take a second look at some truly deserving players… non-quarterbacks from teams that never played in the Super Bowl?

    – Mike Kenn
    – Robert Brazile
    – Kenny Easley

  55. What’s sad is they had to wait for his death before they give “another look”??? To me that’s ridiculous.

  56. In addition to my last post why would someone like Kurt Warner be considered when he only had only a few good years in the NFL. I’m not taking away from his talents but let’s be real. If he’s considered then there is no reason why Stabler shouldn’t be in by now.

  57. “Not many plays are so big that they get their own names, and yet Stabler was involved, in one way or another, in four of them.”

    I liked Kenny Stabler and really enjoyed watching him play, but how does this qualify him for the HOF?

  58. Kenny Stabler and Randy Gradishar both deserve to be in the HOF. Hopefully, they both get in next year when two seniors with be selected.

  59. raiderufan says:Jul 10, 2015 10:11 AM

    How about a QB comparison from a different era?

    Snake has 29 more career TD passes than Troy Aikman despite Troy having 922 more attempts. Troy’s comp % is 61% to 59% for Snake. They both got 7 yards an attempt…both 1 time super bowl MVPS…94-71-0 for Troy, 96-49-1 for Snake…

    Aikman was never league MVP, never led the league in TD’s (Snake twice, 1 time he was 2nd)…he only has 4,000 more career yards than Snake despite those 922 more attempts…

    Snake led 26 game winning drives to Aikman’s 21…(Namath had 16)

    Snake deserving to be in is not even a question and it’s another black mark on the hall that he isn’t.
    __________________________________
    No better comparison than that one. He should of been in a long time ago. Good post!!!

  60. I was born, raised and still am a Cowboys fan but as a kid I wore the Snake’s #12 jersey (with Casper’s #87 tube socks) minimum, two times per week.

    There may have been better “pure QBs” but Stabler was one of the best leaders of men I’ve ever seen play the position; simply put, he had IT.

    He’s a 100% HOFer and it’s unfortunate we don’t do a better job of giving “heartbeat props” — that is, recognizing folks when they’re alive.

  61. ” Strictly speaking his numbers were OK or maybe even above average. ”

    Compared to todays QB numbers, they seem weak. But you have to consider the time when he played. The defenses were allowed to jam and hit receivers at will, made it a lot harder to complete passes and there were more int’s. Look at his numbers compared to Staubach, Bradshaw, and Tarkenton (all HOF’s from the 70’s) and they do not look weak. Then consider his legacy, what everyone is talking about right now, 40 years after his playing days.

    He was famous. Its the Hall of Fame.

  62. Remember the words “HALL OF FAME”

    Not only was he a GREAT quarterback in a different era, he was the best player and most FAMOUS on one of the dominant teams of the 1970’s.

    When you think of the players on those teams, Ken Stabler if he’s not the first, is second.

    It’s these pious schmucks like Goddell toadie Peter King who over analyze this stuff.

    Is it me or does it seem Madden doesn’t really like him?

  63. I don’t believe Stabler deserves to be in the Hall. If you want to fix an injustice take Namath out. If nothing else for the Suzy Kolber fiasco.

  64. He was a very good quarterback. If very good quarterbacks is the standard, then he should be in. I agree I don’t even think Namath was very good. He was ok. Stabler was a very charismatic guy, which seems to help get you in. The biggest shun of the HOF right now is Jim Marshall. Just my opinion.

  65. bobnelsonjr says:
    Jul 10, 2015 9:47 AM

    Jerry Kramer with all his rings, being voted the best player at his position during the first 50 years of the NFL, famous for the signature play of his era, is not in the Hall of Fame. He certainly is more deserving than say Jonathan Ogden.
    —————————————————-

    Ogden is probably the second-best OT ever, behind Munoz. I agree Kramer should be in, but that was a horrible comparison.

  66. I have no problem with players like Stabler, Warner or Terrell Davis getting in the Hall of Fame even though their career statistics don’t measure up. Men like this contributed to football lore and created some of the greatest moments in NFL history. To me that is more impressive than guys like Curtis Martin or Jerome Bettis who played forever but don’t have one moment where they stood out as one of the best.

  67. You know what Stabler is hall worthy, if Bob Griese can get in, so can ken. Stabler has iconic highlights and images in his career, and Griese has all those…….hand offs? Kenny didn’t get in for people’s personal vedette, like Dr. Z who vowed to , bartered, to keep Stabler out of hall for personal reasons.

  68. If you’re an NFL icon. You should be in the HOF. They didn’t try to sack QB’s back then, they tried to kill them.

  69. Stabler and Bradsaw’s numbers are almost identical. The difference is that Kenny left Oakland not on the best of terms after probably his best year, finishing his career with Houston and New Orleans. If he had stayed with Oakland, Al Davis would have lobbied really hard for Canton. Al had a memory for 1978/1979 and it wasn’t all fun.

    He belongs in the HOF.

  70. He gets in because he had a couple good seasons, 1 MVP and 1 almost MVP. HOF pedigree right there. Let’s elect Tebow for his stunning playoff win and his character too.

  71. It is SAD that one of these QB’s is in the HoF and the other is a gunslinger!
    TDS 173
    INT 220
    YDS 27,663
    RTG 65.5

    TD 194
    INT 222
    YDS 27,938
    RTG 75.3

    Namath is the first group of STATS – STABLER was BETTER!

    MR KING – PUT HIM IN THE HALL (king is a phony anyway! here is proof!)

  72. sigbouncer says:
    Jul 10, 2015 10:23 AM

    Gale Sayers, Dave Casper. Just two of many who don’t have an “entire body of work” that are in the HOF and are among the greatest ever at their respective positions. There are plenty of HOFers who had anywhere from 4 to 7 stellar years. This is football where the injuries caught up to players. Especially back in the day.

    Lots of talk about Namath here in comparison to Snake. How about Bob Griese of that same era? The ultimate game manager in the HOF.

    =======================================

    Yeah, I don’t think Griese should be in the HOF either, if the Hall of Fame is supposed to be for great or elite players. If the HOF is for very good players, then Stabler should be in, along with Griese. and Bert Jones, Ken Anderson, Roman Gabriel, Jim Plunkett, and others.

    I don’t agree with your take on Sayers; he was a one of kind athlete the league had never seen before, and his rookie stats bear that out.

  73. He should’ve been in a LONG time ago; along with Flores and Plunkett. Hall of Shame voters just don’t get it. Its not all about the numbers, it is about how valuable a player is to the team. The Snake and the Raiders practically owned the decade of the 70’s. He should be in.

  74. I’m not a Raiders fan, but he absolutely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He defined football in the mid 70s. My earliest and fondest memories of watching football with my dad and his brothers were of Stabler leading the Raiders to TDs and the fun celebrations he had. Also, the first time I ever heard my dad swear in front of us kids was the Immaculate Reception.

  75. Consider the Raiders got screwed on “the tuck” play two and half decades later…weird stuff just happens when the Raiders are in the playoffs.

    Or so I remember. I mean…it’s been a while.
    ===========================
    Was that last line really necessary?

  76. As a child & phins phan in the early 70’s no team or man made me cry like the “snake” & raiders & I hated them for it especially in the ’74 playoff gm now known as the sea of hands but also one of the greatest gms ever played,can still see the snake in the pocket ready to pass with his hands at his sides no less, looking so cool,RIP snake you deserve to be in HOF & I am still a phins phanatic

    IRISH🍀NATTY15

  77. Stiler43::: sorry bub …. But if Namath is in Stabler should be as well…. This guy was clutch for quite some time …. This isn’t about getting touched by his death….. He should have been in by 1990

  78. I was very angry with Al Davis at the time the Stabler-Pastorini trade was made. Snake had lost a lot of his deep throwing ability but he was still better than Pastorini. Fortunately, Plunkett ultimately became the starter and was the perfect QB for the Raiders in the early ’80s so things worked out well for the Silver & Black.

    With regard to the players swapped between the Raiders and Oilers in 1980, I think the best acquisition for either team in those trades was Kenny King by Oakland who was a good RB. He was a great compliment to Van Eeghen and he made many clutch plays including an 80 yard TD reception in Super Bowl XV.

  79. He threw way too many interceptions. Too many bad-mediocre seasons. Keep mediocrity like Stabler, Phil Sims, etc out.

  80. It’s a gut shot when you hear that one of your favorite players passed away, but that shouldn’t be criteria for the HOF. But then again, what is the criteria? It’s different for every player. Namath and Sayers are in. They were truly the greatest of the great (although they had relatively short careers). Have you looked up Bob Griese’s super bowl stats? He was great, and could have put up bigger numbers in a different scheme. But it was a different era and he had three 1,000 yard RBs. Is Bo Jackson in? He might be the greatest player ever. The HOF voting is subjective, to say the least. Everyone’s opinion is as good as the actual voters’, we just don’t get to vote. The media has more to do with it than the players or coaches. John McVay has 5 rings as GM of the 49ers. Why isn’t he in?

  81. Why does he deserve another look, because he died recently? If he didn’t earn a spot before he hasn’t earned one now just because he’s dead.

  82. As consistently good as the Raiders were in the 1970’s, let’s stop this “Raider mystique”. They couldn’t beat the Steelers when it mattered and the one time they did it took a gift from the officials vs. New England in the first round and Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier injured in the AFC Championship.

    Stabler was a damned fine QB but the reason he isn’t in the Hall? He couldn’t beat the Steelers in the playoffs when it mattered most.

  83. Dr Z of Sports Illustrated, Peter King’s idol, had a grudge about Kenny Stabler so appealing to PK is a waste of time.

    He had a lot of good years in Oakland on a great team. Troy Aikman anyone?

  84. winninaintsinnin says:
    Jul 10, 2015 9:02 AM

    At least he didn’t cheat his whole career.
    —————————————————–
    Nah, cheating was created by the Patriots and only the Patriots. We get it. The stickum, steroids, bounty’s and such that was the norm in the 70’s mean nothing. The Raiders were the Patriots of their day. Hated. Too successful for their own good. Just look at the rule changes that were implemented because the Raiders benefited. Stickum? gone! Holy roller play? No longer legal to fumble forward. No team annihilated receivers more than the Raiders and rules were changed to prevent crippling players, literally. Those are a few examples. I was a teen when Stabler played and to me he was one of the best. Therefore I HATED him! The guy was a winner thru and thru and I never understood how he never made the Hall. I think the reason is clear now. He was a Raider, an Al Davis Raider at that. He should have gone in long long ago. Also, I totally agree Jim Marshal should be enshrined too.

  85. How did Namath get in so many years ago and the Snake has been snubbed year after year? Look at the numbers and his are better. He personified the word “Clutch” It’s a sad shame he died before he was able to put on the gold jacket he richly deserved.

    Also look at Cliff Branch’s numbers and compare them to Lynn Swann’s and ask yourself how he is not in the HOF yet????

    RIP Kenny

  86. He certainly deserves to be in more than a punter who wasn’t even the best punter in his era and whose sole claim to fame was a big, high-kick follow-through.

  87. I’ll say this much. I’m a 50-year-old Steelers fan. If there was ONE team that was as close to equal to my team in the 70’s, it was the Raiders. Not the Cowboys — the Raiders. And it was a razor thin line between the Steelers and Raiders — every year. They were both that good.

    We hated them, and they hated us. We accused them of cheating, and they accused us of cheating. There were fights, words, etc. in every game. In the middle of it were Stabler/Branch/Belitnikoff and every Steeler fan of that era will tell you that we were scared of what that trio could do when the game was on the line — JUST like they’re fan base was scared of what Bradshaw/Harris/Swann/Stallworth could do as well.

    The Snake in the HOF? You betcha he belongs. He was that good.

    I miss football in the 70’s and early 80’s.

  88. A friend and I were talking about this last night and he sent me this this morning

    Stabler 27,938 yes, 59.8 comp%, 194 TD’s , 222 ints , 75.3 rating

    Romo. 33,270 yes, 65.2 % comp , 242 TD’s , 110 ints , 97.6 rating and he’s not done yet.

    I love stabler but he is not even in that universe

  89. the greatest injustice ever with the pro football hall of fame is the sad fact that the great ken stabler is not in it.lets see;8 division titles;5 straight afc title games and i super bowl win.keep in mind the snake was going against 2 of the greatest teams ever in the steelers and the dolphins.not an excuse;just a fact.so i say to those who feel it right that the great ken stabler is not in the hof;either you did not watch pro football in the 70s or you are an idiot.

  90. One thing no one is bringing up here that may have kept him out: in 15 seasons, Stabler had more touchdowns than interceptions only 5 times (and one of those was 4 to 3). From 1977 to 1984, he threw 45 more interceptions than touchdowns. For all of the things mentioned here, his QB rating is lower than Griese’s. He’s about as borderline of a candidate as you can get. I won’t begrudge him being put in, but it’s no huge injustice that he’s out at the moment.

  91. It’s really unfortunate that many only look at statistics as the measuring stick of being Hall of Fame worthy. One of the things that I’ve always liked about the Football HOF is that it’s not just about your stats, like baseball.

    It’s about your “impact” on the game. And for anyone who is old enough to have watched football in the 70’s, you know that the “Snake” belongs in the HOF. Regardless of Kenny’s stats or how bad he may have played for 3+ quarters in a game, when it was on the line their was none better, maybe as good, but none better. I can’t ever remember Stabler throwing game ending or drive killing int’s or fumbling a chance to win away. He always came thru with the game on the line, always! To me, that’s a true measure of greatness, not filling a stat sheet, but getting it done when you absolutely have too!

    Maybe I’m biased as a life long Raider fan, but I saw all the teams of the 70’s and ask any player from that era how good was Kenny “the Snake” Stabler.

    They’ll tell you they hated the ball in his hands with the game on the line!!!

    The Snake is and always will be a Hall of Famer in my heart!

    Salute!

  92. lostsok says:
    Jul 10, 2015 9:06 AM

    Consider the Raiders got screwed on “the tuck” play two and half decades later…weird stuff just happens when the Raiders are in the playoffs.
    ____________________________

    Please, stop the whining, the Pats got screwed by Ben Dreith on the Ray Hamilton phantom roughing the passer call on Stabler. Youtube it, what a screw job in Oakland by a biased crew of Ref’s. The Raiders would not have won the SB that year if the game wasn’t rigged. That Pats team was loaded that year and he Pats also beat the Raiders earlier that season 48-17. If anything, turnabout is fair play with the tuck rule, which was a RULE – in the rule book. Not a screwing by some Ref who was in Al Davis’s pocket.

  93. Snake was a guy I would not want to meet in a back alley.

    I will say this as a Patriots fan. An NFL with a Raider team to hate with a Stabler at QB – is a better NFL

    Much respect. RIP

  94. West Coast Team East Coast Writers Snub. Broadway Joe’s numbers are worse. Another snub Don Coryell. Everything east of I15 and 395 is east coast.

  95. Ralphie says: Jul 10, 2015 12:54 PM

    lostsok says:
    Jul 10, 2015 9:06 AM

    Consider the Raiders got screwed on “the tuck” play two and half decades later…weird stuff just happens when the Raiders are in the playoffs.
    ____________________________

    Please, stop the whining, the Pats got screwed by Ben Dreith on the Ray Hamilton phantom roughing the passer call on Stabler. Youtube it, what a screw job in Oakland by a biased crew of Ref’s. The Raiders would not have won the SB that year if the game wasn’t rigged. That Pats team was loaded that year and he Pats also beat the Raiders earlier that season 48-17. If anything, turnabout is fair play with the tuck rule, which was a RULE – in the rule book. Not a screwing by some Ref who was in Al Davis’s pocket.

    —-

    You are correct. The Pats had blown out the Raiders that year and there was no doubt they were the better football team and there was no doubt they got screwed. Period.

    With that said…it is interesting that Stabler not only didn’t try to sell being “hit” to the ref to draw the flag… he actually said after it was a “hit” not worthy of a flag. And he was right.

    That’s another reason he has my respect.

  96. “Also look at Cliff Branch’s numbers and compare them to Lynn Swann’s and ask yourself how he is not in the HOF yet????”

    That’s the problem right there — too many people look just at numbers. Lynn Swann was a great receiver. Joe Namath and Gale Sayers were truly gifted but affected by too many injuries and too many bad teams. It’s not all about the numbers.

  97. The Truth says:
    Jul 10, 2015 12:44 PM

    A friend and I were talking about this last night and he sent me this this morning

    Stabler 27,938 yes, 59.8 comp%, 194 TD’s , 222 ints , 75.3 rating

    Romo. 33,270 yes, 65.2 % comp , 242 TD’s , 110 ints , 97.6 rating and he’s not done yet.

    I love stabler but he is not even in that universe
    *********************************************
    sdiegosteel says:
    Jul 10, 2015 12:52 PM

    One thing no one is bringing up here that may have kept him out: in 15 seasons, Stabler had more touchdowns than interceptions only 5 times (and one of those was 4 to 3). From 1977 to 1984, he threw 45 more interceptions than touchdowns. For all of the things mentioned here, his QB rating is lower than Griese’s. He’s about as borderline of a candidate as you can get. I won’t begrudge him being put in, but it’s no huge injustice that he’s out at the moment.
    ********************************************
    Comments like these just confirm you weren’t around back then, it was a completely different game and to even SUGGEST Romo is better than Stabler was, well that’s as insane as it gets.

  98. So should Cliff Branch…better stats than Biletnikoff with an additional SB win…plus, DBs in those days feared Branch more than Biletnikoff, go figure.

  99. Has anyone ever thrown a more beautiful spiral? For some reason I remember him coming into a game for Lamonica – must have been around ’72 or so – and I’d never seen anyone throw such a perfect ball. Great player, great character, and what a golden arm. Rest in peace Kenny.

  100. Tuck rule didn’t apply, my friend. Brady pump faked and was pulling it back for another throw, his eyes downfield. Tuck rule is the NFL’s BS spin on it. The game was over and not one NE player protested on the field. They knew it.

  101. To those who think Snake doesn’t deserve to be in the HOF — I’d love to see you admit your ages: If you never watched the NFL in the 1970s you have no idea what you’re talking about. It was a different game. Even though his Stats do compare well (as pointed out many here) the stats only tell half the story.

    And to those who think this is only coming up b/c he died — you obviously do not follow Raider news. Earlier this year there was an article about old-time Steelers saying he deserved entry. He was somewhere in the top 3 of an ESPN(?)show listing top ten players not in the HOF. This conversation has been going on literally for decades. The shame is he had a falling out w/ Al Davis for many years (reconciled before AD’s death) so he was rarely actively campaigned for by the Raiders for HOF consideration.

  102. I was gonna say he doesn’t deserve but after looking Namath’s numbers You have to get him in or take Namath out.
    And what about Jim Plunket? a 2 time superbowl winner with an average numbers? In, and………
    The HOF is losing credibility every day.

  103. joetoronto says:

    Comments like these just confirm you weren’t around back then, it was a completely different game.

    *****************************************************

    Born in 1970 – – I saw it and I know the numbers. Quarterbacks who had more touchdowns than interceptions from that time: Staubach, Bradshaw, Fouts, Griese, Tarkenton, Theismann, Ken Anderson. So, yeah, it could be done – – and you’ll notice the first five are in the HoF.

  104. This shows how classless Peter King is. A full day has passed that Peter King refuses to report any story on his MMQB website. Shame on Peter King, who would run through a wall for cheaters like Tom Brady, Bob Kraft, and Roger Goodell, but not even a whimper to report as he should being a reporter, the death of the great Ken Stabler. Shame on Peter King.

  105. I liked Stabler a lot. When he was ON, he was fantastic. But, how do you vote a QB into the Hall of Fame when he threw for more interceptions (222) than TDs (194)? For the record IMHO, Namath and Aikman should not have been elected either.

  106. fwippel says:
    Jul 10, 2015 10:58 AM

    Yeah, I don’t think Griese should be in the HOF either, if the Hall of Fame is supposed to be for great or elite players. If the HOF is for very good players, then Stabler should be in, along with Griese. and Bert Jones, Ken Anderson, Roman Gabriel, Jim Plunkett, and others.

    ____________________________________

    You don’t make an NFL All Decade team by being just “very good”. You make the NFL All Decade team by being “Great”.

    Stabler is the only QB in any decade who was on the NFL All Decade team not to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Ironically, the NFL All Decade team is voted on by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee.

  107. Stabler should 100% be in the Hall… but if (hopefully when) he gets in – the veteran committee better do right by Kenny Anderson too. His numbers stack up in any era, he was just stashed away in small market Cincy.

  108. I saw his whole career, as long as Kenny had the ball and time on the clock you never thought the game was over. It’s a travesty he’s not in the Hall. It’s time, do the right thing.

  109. If Joe Namath deserves to be in the Hall, then Kenny Stabler deserves to be in the Hall. The catch here is the word “deserves.” Namath doesn’t deserve to be in. He was an average QB with a big mouth who was fortunate his defense backed up his “guarantee.” Sorry, Kenny. Seems your spot is taken by mediocre player who got a lot of pub for outlandish exploits off the field.

  110. My all time favorite Raider, there’s been a lot of them but he’s head and shoulders above them all. RIP Mr. Ken Stabler, you will be missed.

  111. Enough with the stats not being there, it was a different era. All you stats guys, does this stat line belong in the HOF?

    1,808 -3,149 57.4% 24,718yds 152TD 138INT 80.5 Rating

    Over 16 years.

    Because if you think no, then you don’t think that Bart Starr belongs in the HOF because those are his stats. You cannot just use the guys stats, they don’t tell the whole story. And just so you GB fans don’t get your shorts in a bunch, I believe Starr belongs in the HOF.

  112. He probably deserves to be in, but Jerry Kramer is the biggest snub right now, and Alex Karras is also ahead of Snake.

    Kramer is the only member of the NFL’s first-50-years team that is not in. He was on the All-NFL 1960s team, but other guards who weren’t are already in the HOF. It makes no sense.

  113. I’ve always felt The Snake should be in the conversation when talking about the best 2:00 quarterbacks.

  114. For all you true football fans, the ones who remember when football was actually a contact sport and quarterbacks did not have the option to slide or get roughing protection from the refs, the answer is quite clear the legend of The Snake should have been enough to get Ken Stabler in the Hall of Fame by itself forget the stats. If you disagree you’re probably not old to have watched the man play the game.

  115. sdiegosteel says:
    Jul 10, 2015 1:37 PM
    joetoronto says:

    Comments like these just confirm you weren’t around back then, it was a completely different game.

    *****************************************************

    Born in 1970 – –

    *****************************************************

    So you were 2 during the immaculate reception, 4 during the Sea of Hands and Snake’s MVP season, 6 for the Super Bowl season.

    Thanks for confirming joetoronto’s statement!

  116. Stabler should have been in there a while ago. The hall of fame documents significant happenings. Stabler was part of just too many to count. He’s was a winner, and has more awards or as many as guys in the hall. People think Kurt Warner will get in at some point… Stabler did just as much and was under similar circumstances, I’m saying this as a bronco fan that hates the Raiders.

  117. Every guy can’t get into the HOF just because their fan base is all butt hurt.

  118. kenny stabler is why the raiders have glory years to remember, put him in!
    should also look at why cliff branch is not in but lynn swan is

  119. Born in 1970 – – I saw it and I know the numbers. Quarterbacks who had more touchdowns than interceptions from that time: Staubach, Bradshaw, Fouts, Griese, Tarkenton, Theismann, Ken Anderson. So, yeah, it could be done – – and you’ll notice the first five are in the HoF.

    get out of here if you were born in1970 you did not see those guys play.you were too young to know what you were looking at.

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