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Oakland Raiders Super Bowl hero Ken Stabler dies at 69

Stabler (1977)
Stabler (1977)
John Zenor Associated Press

Ken Stabler, who led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl victory and was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1974, has died as a result of complications from colon cancer. He was 69.

His family announced his death on Stabler’s Facebook page on Thursday. The statement said Stabler “passed peacefully” on Wednesday while surrounded by family, including his three daughters and longtime partner, who wasn’t named.

“He was a cherished member of the Raider family and personified what it means to be a Raider,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “He wore the Silver and Black with Pride and Poise and will continue to live in the hearts of Raider fans everywhere. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to Kenny’s family.”

Stabler’s coach with the Raiders, John Madden, said his former quarterback was cool under pressure.

“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,” Madden said. “ ‘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 with the Raiders, leading the franchise to consistent success during the 1970s, including a 32-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the 1977 Super Bowl.

The family’s statement said he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in February.

The Foley, Alabama, native threw for 27,938 career yards over 15 seasons, which also included stints with the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints

During his college career, Stabler led Alabama to an undefeated 1966 season and was chosen the Sugar Bowl MVP after a 34-7 rout of Nebraska.

Stabler played briefly for the Spokane Shockers semipro team in 1968 as part of a player arrangement with the Raiders.

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