This essay appears in Dean T. Hartwell's A Fan's Folklore: Six Seasons of Triumph, Tragedy and Tough Luck available at Amazon.com and other retailers.
To read about "Pittsburgh Justice," go to the "Excerpts" page here
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Ken Stabler came through for the Oakland Raiders in the big games even when some of his teammates did not. He led the Raiders to the championship game 1973-1977 and played well in every one of those games.
Against the Dolphins in '73, he had the Raiders on a comeback and got a key fourth down conversion before the running back fumbled. The running game let him down in 1974 against the Steelers when he still passed for almost 300 yards. The next year, he led the Raiders down field late in the game and nearly pulled off ten points in the last seventeen seconds. He finally beat the Steelers in '76 with a great game. The 1977 game against the Broncos was a heartbreaker because of a horrible call, but Stabler played on and hit Dave Casper twice for touchdowns in the last quarter in a 20-17 loss.
In other playoff games, he threw a TD pass to Clarence Davis to win a game and scored a touchdown to beat the Patriots in another with ten seconds left. And no one can forget the "Ghost to the Post" game against Baltimore in 1977. He ALWAYS did well in the playoffs.
I liked watching him because he didn't mind taking a gamble and making the game fun to watch! He belongs in the Hall because he took the right gambles and won so many times!
You will find this chapter in Dean T. Hartwell's upcoming book A Fan's Folklore: Six Seasons of Triumph, Tragedy and Tough Luck out NOW!
Dean Hartwell keeps pursuing the truth about those who govern us.