He was a father, a friend, a teammate and a person of charity.
Alabama’s meeting with Louisiana State University on Nov. 7 will more than likely be a prime time game, and one that shall honor former Crimson Tide legend and NFL great, Kenneth “Ken” Stabler. Stabler, also known as “The Snake,” was a dynamic athlete from Foley (Ala.) High school. He was one of three quarterbacks to develop a special bond with legendary head coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant. Stabler came to Alabama in 1964 and won a national title.
He did not win a championship as a starter; however, Stabler did compile a 28-3-2 record.
He guided Alabama to a perfect 11-0 season in 1966, posting 12 total touchdowns and 956 passing yards on a 64.9 percent completion mark. His college career was good, but Stabler’s professional life was golden. He played for three teams in the National Football League, with his 10 seasons in Oakland (1970-79) being the best one. Stabler navigated the Raiders to a Super Bowl championship in 1976. He would become a four-time Pro Bowl selection, an NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1974 and the league’s most valuable player in 1976.
Stabler decided to take on broadcasting after a prolific 15-year NFL career. He was a color commentator on CBS and did radio with Eli Gold for Alabama games until 2008.
He was a figure of pop culture, but at his heart, Stabler was a family man. His death on July 8 (colon cancer) ripped into his three daughters, Kendra, Alexa and Marissa. Prior to his passing, Stabler served as chairman of the XOXO Stabler Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to provide funds in helping seriously ill and injured children have medical attention.
Regardless of the time and network, head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide is set to pay homage to one of the pillars of the program. Kenneth Stabler will finally get his due.