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Encyclopedia > George Blanda
George Blanda

George Blanda bust in the
American Football League Hall of Fame
Date of birth September 17, 1927
Place of birth Youngwood, Pennsylvania
Position(s) QB, K
College Kentucky
NFL Draft 1949 / Round 12
Pro Bowls AFL All-Star 1961, 1962,
1963, 1967
Awards 1963 UPI, AP, TSN AFL MVP,
1970 Bert Bell Award
Honors All-Time All-AFL Team
Statistics
Team(s)
1949–1958
1950
1960–1966
1967–1969
1970-1975
NFL Chicago Bears
NFL Baltimore Colts
AFL Houston Oilers
AFL Oakland Raiders
NFL Oakland Raiders
Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1981

George Frederick Blanda (b. September 17, 1927, Youngwood, Pennsylvania) was the son of a coal miner. Blanda has the distinction of having played 26 professional seasons of American football, the most in the sport's history. Image File history File links BlandaBust. ... September 17 is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years). ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Youngwood is a borough located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. ... In American football, each team has 11 players on the field at one time. ... A quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. ... Placekicker is the title of the player in American and Canadian football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals, extra points, and, in many cases, kickoffs. ... This is a list of athletic conferences of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). ... The University of Kentucky, also referred to as UK, is a public, co-educational university located in Lexington, Kentucky. ... The NFL Draft (officially the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting) is an annual sports draft in which National Football League (NFL) teams take turns selecting amateur college American football players and other first-time eligible players. ... The 1949 NFL Draft was held on December 21, 1948. ... The Pro Bowl is the National Football Leagues all-star game. ... The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL include American Football League All-Star Games in their statistics for Pro Bowls. From 1961 through 1969, the AFL East All-Stars played the AFL West All-Stars, with the exception of 1965, when an AFL All-Star team played the... Front of UPI Headquarters, Washington, D.C. United Press International (UPI) is a global news agency headquartered in the United States filing news in English, Spanish and Arabic. ... The Associated Press, or AP, is an American news agency, the worlds largest such organization. ... TSN may also refer to The Sporting News, The Sierra Network, Team Sportscast Network, or taxonomic serial number. ... During its ten-year existence (1960 - 1969), the American Football Leagues best player for each year was called the Most Valuable Player by some sports-news sources and the Player of the Year by others. ... The Bert Bell Award for the Professional American football Player of the Year is presented by the Maxwell Football Club. ... The American Football League (AFL) All- Time Team was selected in 1970 by a panel of hall of fame selectors comprised of professional football writers from American Football League cities. ... Bills Dolphins Patriots Jets Ravens Bengals Browns Steelers Texans Colts Titans Broncos Chiefs Raiders Chargers Cowboys Giants Eagles Redskins Bears Lions Packers Vikings Falcons Panthers Saints Buccaneers Jaguars Cardinals Rams 49ers Seahawks The National Football League (NFL) is the largest professional American football league, consisting of thirty-two teams from... City Chicago, Illinois Other nicknames Da Bears, The Monsters of the Midway Team colors Navy Blue, Orange and White Head Coach Lovie Smith Owner Virginia Halas McCaskey Chairman Michael McCaskey General manager Jerry Angelo Fight song Bear Down, Chicago Bears Mascot Staley Da Bear League/Conference affiliations Independent (1919) National... Baltimore Colts started in the All-America Football Conference in 1946 as the Miami Seahawks. ... AFL logo The American Football League (AFL) was a professional league of American football that operated from 1960 to 1969. ... City New Orleans, Louisiana Team colors Old Gold, Black, and White Head Coach Sean Payton Owner Tom Benson General manager Mickey Loomis Mascot Gumbo League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1967–present) Eastern Conference (1967-1969) Capitol Division (1967; 1969) Century Division (1968) National Football Conference (1970-present) NFC West... AFL logo The American Football League (AFL) was a professional league of American football that operated from 1960 to 1969. ... City Oakland, California Team colors Silver and Black Head Coach TBA Owner Al Davis General manager Al Davis League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Western Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference (1970-present) AFC West (1970-present) Team history Oakland Raiders (1960-1981... City Oakland, California Team colors Silver and Black Head Coach TBA Owner Al Davis General manager Al Davis League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Western Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference (1970-present) AFC West (1970-present) Team history Oakland Raiders (1960-1981... The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the National Football Leagues Hall of Fame. ... See also: 1980 in sports, other events of 1981, 1982 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: NASCAR Championship - Darrell Waltrip Richard Petty won the Daytona 500 CART Racing - Rick Mears won the season championship May 25 - Indianapolis 500 - Bobby Unser Formula One... September 17 is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years). ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Youngwood is a borough located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. ... Wyoming coal mine Coal mining is the mining of coal. ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ...

Contents

Collegiate career

Blanda was a quarterback and kicker at the University of Kentucky. Bear Bryant, who later won fame and set countless records at Texas A&M and Alabama, arrived in his sophomore year, following a 1-9 season. The Wildcats lost three games in each of the next three years. The University of Kentucky, also referred to as UK, is a public, co-educational university located in Lexington, Kentucky. ... Bear Bryant monument in front of Legion Field in Birmingham Paul William Bear Bryant (September 11, 1913 – January 26, 1983) was an American college football coach. ... Texas A&M University at College Station Texas A&M University, often Texas A&M, A&M or TAMU for short, is one of the flagship universities of Texas, and is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. ... The University of Alabama (also known as Alabama, UA or colloquially as Bama) is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. ...


Recalling the time he met Bryant, Blanda said: "I thought this must be what God looks like."


Blanda was the starting quarterback his last two seasons at Kentucky (1947 - 1948), compiling 120 completions in 242 passes (.496 percentage), 1,451 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Professional career

Chicago Bears

Blanda was signed by the Chicago Bears for $600 in 1949, an amount owner George Halas demanded back when he made the team. While primarily used as a quarterback and placekicker, Blanda also saw time on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker. It would not be until 1953 that Blanda would emerge as the Bears' top signal caller, but an injury the following year effectively ended his first-string status. For the next four years, he was used mostly in a kicking capacity. Later commenting on his testy relationship with Halas, Blanda noted, "[h]e was too cheap to even buy me a kicking shoe." City Chicago, Illinois Other nicknames Da Bears, The Monsters of the Midway Team colors Navy Blue, Orange and White Head Coach Lovie Smith Owner Virginia Halas McCaskey Chairman Michael McCaskey General manager Jerry Angelo Fight song Bear Down, Chicago Bears Mascot Staley Da Bear League/Conference affiliations Independent (1919) National... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... George Stanley Halas (February 2, 1895 - October 31, 1983), nicknamed Papa Bear and Mr. ... A quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. ... Placekicker is the title of the player in American and Canadian football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals, extra points, and, in many cases, kickoffs. ... A linebacker is a position in American and Canadian football. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ...


In an episode of the TV series Happy Days, set in the 1950s, Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard) and Ralph Malph (Donny Most) watch a televised game in which Blanda and the Bears struggle. Malph says that Blanda is finished in football. Richie says that Blanda has at least five more years left. The joke was that Blanda, 20 years later when the show was actually filmed, was still playing. Happy Days was a popular American television sitcom that originally aired between 1974 and 1984 on the ABC television network. ... Richie Cunningham (born August 18, 1970 in Houma, Louisiana) was a place kicker in the National Football League. ... Ronald William Howard (born March 1, 1954) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actor, film director, and producer. ... Ralph Malph was a character on Happy Days played by Don Most. ... Don Most (b. ...


Houston Oilers

Blanda retired after the 1958 NFL season because of Halas' insistence on only using him as a kicker, but returned in 1960 upon the formation of the American Football League. He signed with the Houston Oilers as both a quarterback and kicker. He was derided by the sports media as an "NFL Reject", but he went on to lead the Oilers to the first two league titles in AFL history, and he won AFL Player of the Year honors in 1961. During that season, he led the NFL in passing yards (3,330) and touchdown passes (36). His 36 touchdown passes were the most ever thrown by any NFL or AFL quarterback in a single season, and would remain the record untill surpassed by Dan Marino's 48 touchdown passes in 1984. The 1958 NFL season was the 39th regular season of the National Football League. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... AFL logo The American Football League (AFL) was a professional league of American football that operated from 1960 to 1969. ... City Nashville, Tennessee Team colors Navy, Titans Blue, White, and Red Head Coach Jeff Fisher Owner Bud Adams General manager Floyd Reese Mascot T-Rac League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Eastern Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference (1970-present) AFC Central (1970... The American Football League (AFL) (1960 - 1969) achieved tremendous success in spite of bias by sports reporters in the print and electronic media. ... During its ten-year existence (1960 - 1969), the American Football Leagues best player for each year was called the Most Valuable Player by some sports-news sources and the Player of the Year by others. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... Daniel Constantine Marino Jr. ...


During that season, he had two 400-yard passing days for the Oilers: a 464-yard effort against the Buffalo Bills on October 29, with four touchdown passes (winning 28-16); and 418 yards three weeks later against the Titans of New York, this time with seven touchdown passes in a 49-13 victory. Blanda passed for 36 touchdowns that season. On 13 occasions, he connected on four or more touchdown passes during a game, and on November 1, 1964, unleashed 68 passes for Houston against the Buffalo Bills. City Orchard Park, New York Team colors Dark Navy, Red, Royal, Nickel, and White Head Coach Dick Jauron Owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. ... October 29 is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A touchdown is the primary method of scoring in American and Canadian football, in which the ball carrier causes the football to break the plane of the end zone, or an eligible receiver catches a forward pass in the end zone, thus earning 6 points for his team (in both... November 1 is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 60 days remaining. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... City Orchard Park, New York Team colors Dark Navy, Red, Royal, Nickel, and White Head Coach Dick Jauron Owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. ...


From 1963-1965, Blanda led the AFL in passing attempts and completions, and ranked in the top ten for attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns during seven consecutive seasons. A four-time member of the American Football League All-Star team, Blanda's already-long career seemed over when he was released by the Oilers on March 18, 1967. However, the Oakland Raiders signed him that July, seeing his potential as a contributing backup passer and a dependable kicker. 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... AFL logo The American Football League (AFL) was a professional league of American football that operated from 1960 to 1969. ... March 18 is the 77th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (78th in leap years). ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... City Oakland, California Team colors Silver and Black Head Coach TBA Owner Al Davis General manager Al Davis League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Western Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference (1970-present) AFC West (1970-present) Team history Oakland Raiders (1960-1981...


In later years, Blanda would remain a strong supporter of AFL heritage, saying: "That first year, the Houston Oilers or Los Angeles Chargers (24-16 losers to the Oilers in the title game) could have beaten the NFL champion (Philadelphia) in a Super Bowl." Blanda said further: "I think the AFL was capable of beating the NFL in a Super Bowl game as far back as 1960 or '61. I just regret we didn't get the chance to prove it." City San Diego, California Other nicknames Bolts, Super Chargers Team colors Navy Blue, White, and Gold Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer Owner Alex Spanos George Pernicano (Minority owner (3%)) General manager A.J. Smith Fight song San Diego Super Chargers League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Western Division (1960...


Oakland Raiders

During that first season, his kicking skills helped him lead the AFL in scoring with 116 points. In two instances, his leg helped play a role in Raider victories: a trio of field goals helped upset the defending league champion Kansas City Chiefs on October 1; in the closing weeks of the regular season, Blanda booted four field goals behind a hostile Houston crowd in a 19-7 victory over his former team, the Oilers, helping gain a measure of revenge. City Kansas City, Missouri Team colors Red, gold, and White Head Coach Herman Edwards Owner Clark Hunt[1] General manager Carl Peterson Mascot K.C. Wolf (1989-present) Warpaint (1963-1988) League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Western Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football... October 1 is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Raiders went on to compete in Super Bowl II, but the following two seasons ended in heartbreak as they lost the final two AFL Championship games in the 10-year history of the league. Date January 14, 1968 Stadium Miami Orange Bowl City Miami, Florida MVP Bart Starr, Quarterback Favorite Packers by 13½ National anthem Grambling State University Band Coin toss Game referee Referee Jack Vest Halftime show Grambling State University Band Attendance 75,546 TV in the United States Network CBS Announcers Ray... From 1960 to 1968, the American Football League determined its champion via a single playoff game between the winners of its two divisions. ...


In 1970, Blanda was released during the preseason, but bounced back to establish his 21st professional season as one of the more dramatic comebacks in sports history. Beginning with the October 25 game at Pittsburgh, Blanda put together five straight clutch performances. 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... October 25 is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Against the Steelers, Blanda threw for two touchdowns in relief of an injured Daryle Lamonica. One week later, his 48-yard field goal with three seconds remaining salvaged a 17-17 tie with the Kansas City Chiefs. Repeating the thrilling finish on November 8, Blanda once again came off the bench to throw for a pass to tie the Cleveland Browns with 1:34 remaining, then kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired for the 23-20 win. In the team's next game, Blanda replaced Lamonica in the fourth quarter and connected with Fred Biletnikoff on a touchdown pass with 2:28 left in the game to defeat the Denver Broncos, 24-19. The incredible streak concluded one week later when Blanda's 16-yard field goal in the closing seconds defeated the San Diego Chargers, 20-17. Daryle Lamonica as an Oakland Raider Daryle Lamonica (born July 17, 1941 in Fresno, California) was a college and professional American football quarterback who played in the American Football League, and later in the National Football League. ... City Kansas City, Missouri Team colors Red, gold, and White Head Coach Herman Edwards Owner Clark Hunt[1] General manager Carl Peterson Mascot K.C. Wolf (1989-present) Warpaint (1963-1988) League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Western Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football... November 8 is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 53 days remaining. ... This article is becoming very long. ... Frederick S. Biletnikoff (born February 23, 1943 in Erie, Pennsylvania) is a retired American football player. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... City San Diego, California Other nicknames Bolts, Super Chargers Team colors Navy Blue, White, and Gold Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer Owner Alex Spanos George Pernicano (Minority owner (3%)) General manager A.J. Smith Fight song San Diego Super Chargers League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Western Division (1960...


In the AFC title game against the Baltimore Colts, Blanda again relieved an injured Lamonica and had a superb performance, completing 17 of 32 passes for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns while also kicking a 48-yard field goal and two extra points, keeping the Raiders in the game until the final quarter, when he was intercepted twice. Aged 43, he became the oldest quarterback ever to play in a championship game There have been two unrelated American football teams called the Baltimore Colts based in Baltimore, Maryland. ...


Blanda's eye-opening achievements resulted in his winning the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. Chiefs' owner Lamar Hunt quipped, "Why, this George Blanda is as good as his father, who used to play for Houston." Although he never again played a major role at quarterback, Blanda would serve as the Raiders' kicker for five more seasons. The NFL Most Valuable Player Award is given by various entities, most notably the Associated Press, to the player who has contributed the most to the success of the players team. ...


He played in his last game on January 4, 1976, the 1975 AFC Championship, where he kicked a 41-yard field goal and made one extra point as the Raiders lost to the Steelers 16-10. He was released by the Raiders on August 25, 1976, one month shy of his 49th birthday. January 4 is the 4th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... The NFL playoffs for the 1975-76 season led up to Super Bowl X. // Divisional playoff round December 27, 1975 AFC: Pittsburgh Steelers 28, Baltimore Colts 10 at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania The Steelers defense forced 4 turnovers and held the Colts to 154 total yards of offense. ... City Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Team colors Black and Gold Head Coach TBA Owner Dan Rooney General manager Kevin Colbert League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1933–present) Eastern Division (1933-1943; 1945-1949) Western Division (1944) American Conference (1950-1952) Eastern Conference (1953-1969) Century Division (1967-1969) American Football Conference... August 25 is the 237th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (238th in leap years), with 128 days remaining. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ...


Records and honors

Blanda finished his 26 NFL seasons having completed 1,911 of 4,007 pass attempts for 26,920 yards and 236 touchdowns. Blanda also holds the NFL record for most interceptions thrown: 277. He rushed for 344 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground, kicked 335 of 641 field goals, and 943 of 959 extra points, giving him 2,002 total points. Additional stats include 1 interception, 2 kickoff returns for 19 yards, 22 punts for 809 yards, and 23 fumble recoveries.


Blanda holds the following NFL records:

  • Most seasons played: 26 (1949-58, 1960-75)
  • Most extra points made (943) and attempted (959)
  • Most interceptions thrown, career: 277
  • Oldest person to play in an NFL game: 48 years, 3 months, and 19 days
  • First player ever to score over 2,000 points
  • Oldest quarterback to start a title game

He is the placekicker on the All-Time All-AFL Team, and was one of only 20 players to play all ten years of the AFL, as well as one of only three who were in every AFL game their teams played. Blanda was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981, his first year of eligibility, and also was inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame. The American Football League (AFL) All- Time Team was selected in 1970 by a panel of hall of fame selectors comprised of professional football writers from American Football League cities. ... The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the National Football Leagues Hall of Fame. ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of Kentucky, also referred to as UK, is a public, co-educational university located in Lexington, Kentucky. ...


Blanda held the record for most professional football games played with 340 until September 26, 2004, when it was broken by another placekicker, Morten Andersen. Blanda is currently third in career points scored, ranking behind the aforementioned Andersen and fellow placekicker Gary Anderson. It should be noted that this category doesn't count the many passing touchdowns that Blanda threw, only his kicks and his nine rushing touchdowns. September 26 is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Morten Andersen (born August 19, 1960, in Copenhagen, Denmark) is an American football placekicker with the Atlanta Falcons. ... Gary Anderson (born July 16, 1959 in Parys, Free State, South Africa) is currently the NFLs career points scoring leader. ...


In 1999, he was ranked number 98 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... The Sporting News (TSN) is an American-based sports newspaper. ...


See also

The following is a list of players that played for the 1960-1969 American Football League. ...

External links

Preceded by
Johnny Lujack
Chicago Bears Starting Quarterbacks
1952-1954
Succeeded by
Ed Brown
Preceded by
Abner Haynes
American Football League MVP
1961
Succeeded by
Len Dawson & Cookie Gilchrist
Preceded by
Lou Groza
(1,608)
Career NFL points record holder
(2,002)

1971–2000
Succeeded by
Gary Anderson

  Results from FactBites:
 
ESPN.com: A player that wouldn't leave (1193 words)
Blanda, born on Sept. 17, 1927 in Youngwood, Pa., was a quarterback and kicker at Kentucky.
Blanda was the starting quarterback his last two seasons at Kentucky (1947-48), compiling rather ordinary numbers: 120 completions in 242 passes (.496 percentage), 1,451 yards, 12 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
From 1955 to '58, Blanda was primarily a kicker and a backup to quarterback Ed Brown.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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