Former Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler dies at 69

Former NFL quarterback Ken Stabler has died. He was 69. 
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Former NFL quarterback Ken Stabler died on Wednesday after suffering complications associated with colon cancer, his family confirmed in a statement on his Facebook page. He was 69.

The statement from Stabler’s family said Stabler quietly battled Stage 4 colon cancer since his diagnosis in February.

Stabler played 15 seasons in the NFL, including 10 with the Oakland Raiders, who won Super Bowl XI behind his 180 passing yards. He went on to play two years with the New Orleans Saints and three with the Houston Oilers.

“I was head coach of the Raiders the entire time Kenny was there and he led us to a whole bunch of victories including one in Super Bowl XI,” John Madden said in a statement released by the Raiders. “I’ve often said, if I had one drive to win a game to this day, and I had a quarterback to pick, I would pick Kenny. Snake was a lot cooler than I was. He was a perfect quarterback and a perfect Raider. When you think about the Raiders you think about Ken Stabler. Kenny loved life. It is a sad day for all Raiders.” 

Stabler was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and was a first-team All-Pro choice in 1974. He was also named the 1974 NFL MVP after leading the league with 26 touchdowns and throwing for 2,469 yards. 

The Raiders selected Stabler in the second round of the 1968 NFL draft after two seasons as the starter at Alabama. He led Alabama to an undefeated season in 1966, his first year as the starter, as the Tide finished third in the final AP poll of the season.

• SI VAULT: Stabler’s relationship with Al Davis

In its statement, Stabler’s family said his brain and spinal cord were donated to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center to support research for degenerative brain disease among athletes.


- Dan Gartland