In what is certainly a bittersweet occasion for his family, friends and fans alike, former Alabama and Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday evening, joining Bart Starr and Joe Namath as Crimson Tide passers enshrined in Canton, Ohio. The one-time NFL MVP, four-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl champion passed away in July at the age of 69.
While at Alabama, Stabler led the Crimson Tide to a 28-3-2 record as a starter including a perfect 11-0 season his junior season in which the Tide finished No. 3 in the country. The man affectionately nicknamed “The Snake” parlayed his winning collegiate ways into NFL stardom. Stabler was renowned for his late-game heroics and their catchy nicknames, most notably in the 1977 playoffs in the “Ghost to the Post” play and 1978’s “Holy Roller.”He left the Raiders as the team’s all-time leader in completions, passing yards and touchdown passes.
Between his time with the Raiders, Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints, Stabler threw for 27,938 yards and 194 touchdowns, marks good enough to make him a member of the NFL’s All Decade team for the 1970s.
Stabler died of colon cancer in 2015. Last week, it was revealed in a New York Times study that doctors found traces of CTE — a neurological condition believed to be connected to repeated head trauma — in Stabler’s brain.
The Snake enters the Hall of Fame alongside fellow SEC legend Kevin Greene and fellow Super Bowl and MVP winning quarterback Brett Favre among others.