Ken Stabler American Football Quarterback

Ken Stabler Biography death evokes memories of the legendary Holy Roller playKenneth Michael "Ken" Stabler (December 25, 1945 – July 8, 2015), nicknamed "The Snake," was an American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Oakland Raiders (1970–1979), Houston Oilers (1980–1981) and New Orleans Saints (1982–1984). He played college football for the University of Alabama.

Stabler became a highly touted football player at Foley High School. He led Foley to a win-loss record of 29–1 over his high school career—the only loss coming against Vigor High School. He was an all-around athlete in high school, averaging 29 points a game in basketball and excelling enough as a left-handed pitcher in baseball to receive minor-league contract offers from the Houston Astros and New York Yankees. During his high school career, he earned his nickname "the Snake" from his coach following a long, winding touchdown run.

Stabler was recruited by legendary head coach Bear Bryant at Alabama, joining the team in 1964. Due to National Collegiate Athletic Association regulations at the time, freshmen were ineligible to play; therefore, Stabler would sit out during the 1964 season. In that season, the Crimson Tide won the National Championship with quarterback Joe Namath. In the 1965 season, Stabler was used sparingly as a back-up to Steve Sloan at quarterback, following Namath's departure to the AFL. That year again, the Crimson Tide won their second consecutive National Championship, finishing the season with a record of 9-1-1. The team defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Orange Bowl, 39–28.

As a junior in 1966, he took over the quarterback position full-time. He led the team to an undefeated, 11–0 season which ended in a 34–7 rout of Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl. Despite the unblemished record, the Tide was snubbed by the polls, finishing in third behind Notre Dame and Michigan State. Expectations were high in Stabler's senior season, though those expectations would not be completely fulfilled. The offense often struggled, and the defense's performance slipped. During the season, Bryant kicked Stabler off the team for cutting class and partying, though he was given a second chance.

The Tide finished with an 8–2–1 record, including a loss to rival Tennessee. Though the season was lackluster, Stabler would provide a memorable moment in the Iron Bowl. Trailing 3–0 in a game drenched by rain, Stabler scampered through the mud for a 53–yard, game-winning touchdown which gave the Tide a 7–3 victory over rival Auburn at Legion Field. The play is commonly referred to as the "Run in the Mud" in Alabama football lore. Stabler finished his career at Alabama with a 28–3–2 record as a starter.
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