Stan White: I dont get why it took Stabler so long to get to HOF

Talk of Fame Network

Former Baltimore Colts’ linebacker Stan White calls the 1977 playoff loss to Oakland – the memorable “Ghost to the Post” game – “the worst Christmas nightmare ever,” and that’s understandable.

He played for the losing team.

stanwhite2-jpeg“Every time I see it on ESPN Classic,” he said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast celebrating the great games and players of December,  “I keep thinking we’re still going to win because there’s no way we can lose this game.

“I guess (when I recall that game) I think Dave Casper right away, making that miraculous catch over the shoulder the way he did … Willie Mays style.”

It was a remarkable catch, and it helped launch Casper to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But it did not help launch the man who threw it, quarterback Ken Stabler, until many, many years later. In fact, Stabler wasn’t inducted until the past summer when he was elected posthumously as a senior nominee.

And that’s something else Stan White, now an analyst for Baltimore Ravens’ broadcasts, has a difficult time comprehending.

“I don’t know why it took him so long,” he said. “He was the quarterback  I could never tell where he was throwing the ball. To get an interception you’ve got to read the quarterback and be able to get a j ump on the ball.

“He was left-handed,  and he didn’t throw the ball straight; he sort of turned to the side as he went to throw it. He would throw it one way, and I thought he would throw it the other way. I never knew where the ball was going with him, and I think that was part of his mystique.

White should know. In 1975 he had eight interceptions, a league record for linebackers. But Stabler was different than others, he said.

“Defenders couldn’t read him like you could every other quarterback that you played against,” he said. “So I found him extremely, extremely tough to play against.

“He would do anything it took to win. They called him ‘the Snake’ because he would scramble … he would do anything. He wasn’t afraid to do anything. He was a tough, very good … great quarterback … who knew how to win football games.”

(Stan White photos courtesy of Indianapolis Colts)
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  1. James
    December 21, 2016

    Yep – I Wholeheartedly agree! He should have got the Gold Jacket while he was Alive!

  2. JEP
    December 21, 2016

    Ironically, despite Stan White’s comments above, one of the main stated reasons Stabler did not make the HOF for a long time was that he threw a lot of interceptions. If you really dig behind the numbers, though, which apparently the HOF voters finally did last year, there were reasons Stabler’s interceptions spiked in certain years – He played through a knee injury in 1975, the offensive line had injuries and the Oakland run game fell way off in 1978 and 1979, in 1980 he played in Bum Phillips’ primitive offensive system without the injured Ken Burroughs, the team’s best WR, etc. You take all that into account and apparently they finally rightly concluded the interceptions should not keep him out of the HOF.

  3. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017
    Reply story on Ken Stabler plus 80 other stars from the past who should be in the Hall of Fame

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