NFL – Football says goodbye to George Blanda

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame legend died on Monday after a short illness, he was 83 years old and takes with him the record of 26 seasons as a professional football player. 

This article should start with a minute of silence to honor the memory of one of the most prominent players that football ever saw. Now that the deserved respect has been paid, more than one minute will be needed to go through his legacy, where setting records seemed to be the common denominator. Throughout his career four different teams –Bears, Colts, Oilers, and Raiders- enjoyed of his talent during 26 seasons.

Born in Youngwood, Pennsylvania on September 17, 1927, he began his collegiate career for University of Kentucky, from were he was pick 119 of round 12 in 1949 NFL’s Draft. The Chicago Bears was the team that signed him for $ 600. But before going over his professional career, let’s just rewind one step to his college performance were as the starting quarter back during seasons 1947 and 1948, he threw 120-for-242 for 1,451 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Now let’s get back to his professional career and his beginnings in Chicago, where he played in 1949 not only as quarterback and kicker, but also as a linebacker. On 1950 he played for just one season for the Baltimore Colts, to quickly return that same year to Chicago, where he would play until 1958. His first years were far from what his career was going to become, especially because during his last four years for the Bears, he was primarily playing as a kicker. Finding himself in this situation made him fed up, and decided to retire in 1958.

Two years later, with the creation of the American Football League, Blanda decided to go back into activity, and here was where his success began to grow its roots. The Houston Oilers did give him the chance to be their quarterback and kicker, a chance that had been neglected for him by the Bears –only used him as kicker- and was the detonator that ended with his NFL career, at least momentarily. 

During his stay in Houston –from 1960 to 1966- titles and personal recognitions became more frequent. He also proved to the media that he was no NFL reject, and completed his first two seasons as an AFL champion. His great conditions allowed him to become the leader in passing attempts and completions of the AFL from 1963 to 1965, among other recognitions like 4 AFL All-Star game selection.

In 1967 his career was continued in Oakland, where he played for 9 seasons –from 1967 to 1969 in the AFL and from 1970 to 1975 in the NFL-  until he retired for a second and definite time at age 48, becoming the oldest player in NFL history. He didn’t have much glory as a quarterback, but he did as a kicker.

Blanda leaves behind a great memory in the hearts of football fans, especially from the Raiders, and his legacy will remain intact in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Andrew Hill is a high-ranking sports writer, currently writing reviews on the NFL for the sports betting industry. Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety on your site, making sure to leave all links in place and do not modify any of the content.

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