Well, let me start by saying that I'm not a die-hard Raiders fan. I've been a New England Patriots fan ever since I was a kid. So I'm not a homer and I don't believe in the whole, "NFL is out to get the Raiders," conspiracy theory that a lot their fans buy into.
There is a conspiracy against the Raiders I do believe in though.
And that is that the Hall of Fame selection committee has blacklisted Ken Stabler. Paul Zimmerman (senior writer for Sports Illustrated), on NFL Network, said, "Ken Stabler won't get my vote as long as I live." A statement like that reeks of unprofessionalism and bias.
While Stabler had an exciting night life in the 1970s, he was far from being a "Pacman" Jones. Other hall-of-fame quarterbacks such as Joe Namath and Bobby Lane were known to like the ladies, but they were not blacklisted for it like Stabler has been.
Kenny Stabler's stats speak for themselves and could hold up against any of the other top QBs from the 1970s. You have to keep in mind that the 70s were a time of running the football, and you didn't see quarterbacks post the ridiculous stats they do today. The game was totally different then, just look at his stats:
- TD-INT: 194-222
- 27,938 passing yards
- QB rating: 75.3
- 4 x Pro Bowl selection, 3 x All Pro selection
- 1974 AP NFL MVP
- Super Bowl champion (XI)
- 1970s All-Decade Team
Stabler's career stats are very similar to Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath, and Roger Staubach, the other three top quarterbacks of the time. All of whom are in the hall. This leads me to believe Stabler isn't in the Hall of Fame for off-the-field reasons. I really don't understand what the selection committee has against him.
Ken Stabler is 63 now and I've heard that he's not in the best of health. The Hall of Fame selection committee should do the right thing in 2010 and induct Stabler.
It's really a shame, in my opinion, that a man who was involved in some of the greatest games in NFL history isn't getting his due because of backroom politicking by men who have nothing to do with the game. I would like to hear anyone else's thoughts on this.