On the 50th Anniversary of the first Oakland Raiders home opener in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in 1966, at halftime of the Raiders 2016 home opener against the Atlanta Falcons, several Hall of Famers gathered as the Silver and Black paid tribute to Ken Stabler, who was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, this past August.
95.7 The GAME’s JT The Brick, led the halftime tribute to the Raiders all-time leading passer, who led the team to its first Super Bowl title after the 1976 season.
“The life and legend of number 12 will forever have its place in NFL history,” JT The Brick told the crowd.
Following a goosebump-inducing video on the Coliseum’s big screen, Raiders Hall of Famers Jim Otto, Willie Brown, Art Shell, Ted Hendricks, Mike Haynes, Dave Casper, John Madden, Ray Guy, and the late Ken Stabler were introduced to the adoring Raider Nation.
Joe Horrigan of the Pro Football Hall of Fame spoke of the greatness of Ken Stabler and his induction into the Hall.
“The mission of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is to honor the heroes of the game preserve its history, promote its values and celebrate excellence everywhere. Today, we are here to honor one of the game’s greatest players, Oakland Raiders Hall of Fame quarterback Ken Stabler,” Horrigan said. “This past August in Canton, Ohio, we celebrated the excellence of Kenny Stabler with his enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As a part of that celebration we are here today to present his daughters Kendra Moyes, Alexa Stabler Adams and Marissa Stabler, the gold Hall of Fame crest that is worn on the gold jacket by every Hall of Famer symbolizing the members of the most exclusive fraternity in all of pro football. It is my pleasure on behalf of the members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, to present this symbol of excellence to Kendra, Alexa and Marissa.”
Hall of Fame Head Coach John Madden served as Stabler’s coach during his career and his presenter for enshrinement in August. He spoke of Stabler’s everlasting legacy.
“He made memories for us all, and now being in the Hall of Fame, he’s going to make memories for ever and ever,” Madden said. “The Hall of Fame does get it right, they just don’t get it on time all the time.”
For former tight end Dave Casper, the ceremony was bittersweet. Casper, who was on the receiving end of many of Stabler’s passes, especially in some of the Silver and Black’s more thrilling victories, said the Raiders offense didn’t worry about much with Stabler at the controls.
An exclusive look at Raiders legend Ken Stabler being honored at halftime of the Week 2 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons by the likes of John Madden and other fellow Raiders Hall of Fame inductees.
“It’s great to have a ceremony with the guys there from the Raiders, and John, and the team. It’s always a little bit sad when you see Snake’s face and he’s not there. It’s a great Raider day and great day for Kenny, but he’s not there, that’s the sad part,” Casper said. “The best thing I remember though just generally was we won, and didn’t have to worry about anything, you let Snake worry about it and just played the game. Ken was a great teammate and Hall of Fame, the best thing you can get in a teammate is a great player and that’s what he was.”
Guy, who was Stabler’s teammate from 1973-79, said that he’s glad to see Stabler’s influence passed on to a younger generation.
“To see these young guys, and think back to the years I played with the old veterans, just brings back a lot of memories,” Guy said. “Kenny made a big impression, not only on the football world, but on young people too, by his attitude, being who you are and appreciate what you’ve got, and you try to help others to succeed too, he did that a lot. We’re here to honor him, and we’re going to keep his tradition going, his memory going, and it will never die.”
Former cornerback and Super Bowl XVIII champion Mike Haynes, who began his career with the New England Patriots, said that Stabler earned his respect as a competitor on the opposite sideline.
“I never really played with the Snake but I played against him so I had ultimate respect for him and knew what kind of player and what kind of character he had,” Haynes said. “I’m really glad he’s going to be honored today, and Raider fans are going to get a chance to see his family.”
Stabler was named the NFL’s MVP after the 1974 season, and finished his career as, and is still, the Silver and Black’s all-time leading passer. He led the Raiders to five straight AFC Championship game appearances, and a 32-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. He passed away in July 2015.