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Tribal Warfare
09-27-2010, 11:54 PM
Dawson, Lanier remember Blanda (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/09/27/2256300/dawson-lanier-remember-blanda.html)
By BILL RICHARDSON
The Kansas City Star

Former Chiefs greats Len Dawson and Willie Lanier were saddened to learn Monday of the death of George Blanda, who died at age 83. They got to know him well as a fellow Pro Football Hall of Fame member and a fierce rival.

Blanda challenged the Chiefs numerous times in the 1960s and ’70s while playing quarterback for the Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders. He was also one of the game’s greatest place-kickers.

Blanda played longer than anyone in pro football history (26 years) in a career that began in 1949 and spanned four decades.

He retired a month shy of his 49th birthday before the 1976 season. Blanda spent 10 seasons with the Chicago Bears, part of one with the Baltimore Colts, seven with the Houston Oilers and his final nine with the Raiders.

“He was a terrific competitor,’’ Dawson said. “He had two different personalities. He’d pass by our bench during a game yelling and cursing at me, but afterwards, he was a perfect gentleman off the field.’’

Until he became friends with Blanda at Hall of Fame gatherings in Canton, Ohio, Dawson said he didn’t fraternize with Blanda in postgame meetings.

“I went straight to the locker room,’’ he recalled. “I didn’t want to stick around and talk to people who had tried to knock my head off during the game.’’

Lanier, an outstanding middle linebacker, emphasized Blanda’s competitive composure.

“I remember one time Buck Buchanan (former Chiefs defensive tackle) broke through and completely flattened him,’’ Lanier said. “But Blanda got right back up and kept playing, showing the great skills he always had.’’

Those skills were evident in a couple of memorable Kansas City-Oakland games.

In 1965, in a game at Houston, veteran quarterbacks Dawson and Blanda watched on the sidelines as younger players started the game. When Blanda and Dawson entered the action in the second half, the fireworks exploded.

Blanda sparked the Oilers to 28 points and an 11-point lead in five minutes. Then Dawson answered back and pulled the Chiefs ahead 36-35. But Blanda led one last drive, setting up former Chief Jack Spikes for a game-winning field goal and a 38-36 Houston victory

Lanier recalled the anguish of a 1970 battle with the Raiders at Municipal Stadium. That was the outing in which Oakland defensive end Ben Davidson speared Chiefs receiver Otis Taylor, triggering an all-out brawl.

After order was restored, Blanda, at age 43, kicked a 48-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining for a 17-all tie. The NFL overtime rule wasn’t in effect then.

“That kick cost us the division title by one game,’’ Lanier said.

Lanier recalled a meeting with Blanda and former Cleveland Browns receiver Dante Lavelli at the Hall of Fame.

“I was standing between two players who had spanned almost 50 years in the game,’’ Lanier said. “That was amazing. Blanda played until he was almost 49 years old, and even then he tried to make the Raiders roster. In his 40s, he was good as a lot of quarterbacks you see in the NFL today.’’

Four decades of George Blanda

POINTS: 2,002 (the pro football record when he retired.) That included 335 field goals and 943 extra points.

TOUCHDOWNS: Passed for 236 and ran for nine.

PASSING YARDS: 26,920.

INTERCEPTIONS: 277 (the record until Brett Favre passed him in 2007.)

AWARDS: At age 43 in 1970, he was selected The Associated Press male athlete of the year. He was the AFL Player of the Year in 1961 and the league’s all-time kicker.

boogblaster
09-27-2010, 11:59 PM
He was a ole work-horse ...

cdcox
09-28-2010, 12:30 AM
Dawson, Lanier remember Blanda (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/09/27/2256300/dawson-lanier-remember-blanda.html)
By BILL RICHARDSON
The Kansas City Star


Lanier recalled the anguish of a 1970 battle with the Raiders at Municipal Stadium. That was the outing in which Oakland defensive end Ben Davidson speared Chiefs receiver Otis Taylor, triggering an all-out brawl.



:spock:

Fact check next time.

gblowfish
09-28-2010, 09:20 AM
Feeling sorry for Blanda croaking off is like feeling sorry for Stalin croaking off.
Not gonna happen.

Deberg_1990
09-28-2010, 09:49 AM
Feeling sorry for Blanda croaking off is like feeling sorry for Stalin croaking off.
Not gonna happen.

heh....im not old enough to know those old AFL/NFL days......but its obvious the rivalries and hatred ran alot deeper then than they do these days.


But if Lenny and Willie can forgive and forget, maybe the fans can too just a little bit? : )