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Biofile Kenny Stabler Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status:  Former NFL quarterback for Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers.  Inducted to Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

DOB: December 25, 1945  In:  Foley, Alabama (passed away in 2015 at age 69)

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 215

Childhood Heroes:  “Baseball, Milwaukee Brewers, Eddie Matthews. I admired Bobby Layne, Norm Van Brocklin and YA Tittle.” 

Early Football Memory:  “Trying to find a uniform that would fit, age six. Pee-wee days, they sent me to play for the Foley (Alabama) Lions. My first position was quarterback.” 

Nickname:  “Snake. Eighth grade, I returned a punt for a touchdown, I zigged and zagged across the field on the return. The coach said, ‘He runs like a snake.’ And it stuck, the kids kind of picked up on it.” 

Hobbies/Interests:  “Water, boating, fast cars, boats, I’ve lived on the water.” 

Favorite Movies:  “The Godfather. I’ve always liked suspense thrillers.” 

Favorite TV Shows:  “Barney Miller, Cheers.” 

Greatest Sports Moments:  “Hard to pick out just one. Beating Auburn my senior year. We won 7-3. I had a long touchdown run, 47 yards, in the fourth quarter, in a real, driving rain storm. The rivalry, Alabama-Auburn, it’s such a tradition. Big down there. Realizing we won the Super Bowl Xl, when we beat Minnesota 16-6.” 

Ken Stabler painting by Malcolm Farley.

Musical Tastes:  “Country, blues, I buy all kinds of music, Bonnie Raitt, Del McClinton, Boz Scaggs, Van Morrison.” 

First Car:  “’54 black Ford.” 

Favorite Books:  “John Grisham, The Firm, Pelican Brief.” 

First Job:  “Washing cars at a service station, I was ten or twelve I suppose.” 

Little Known Fact:  “I played in Continental Football League, west coast, Spokane Shockers, 1969. Not very well organized, it was a league for hopefuls, has-beens and maybes. I actually played there before the NFL.” 

Toughest Competitors Encountered:  “The entire Pittsburgh Steelers team of the 70’s, they were the best team I ever played against. For a lot of different reasons.” 

Favorite Stadiums To Play In:  “I have fond memories of a lot – Mile High Stadium, Superdome in New Orleans, Astrodome, Oakland – places where I played.” 

Favorite Meal:  “Fresh seafood. I try to eat healthy, fish, obviously vegetables, juices.” 

Favorite Breakfast Cereal:  “Raisin Bran.” 

Family:  Wife, Rose, daughters, Kendra, Alexa, Marissa. Pets, “I had a golden retriever Buster, that I absolutely loved, he’s no longer alive. We have a Siamese cat – Fee. 

Post-playing Career Ambition:  “Just securing the future for my children, whatever that takes, to being a good father.” 

People Most Admired:  “I’ve always admired coaches. They’ve always influenced me in the correct way. Ivan Jones in high school. Paul Bryant. I admired and respected them a lot, they taught people the values off the field and on.”  

Career Accomplishments: Lead the Oakland Raiders to their first Super Bowl Championship XI; NFL MVP in 1974.

(Note: We did this Biofile at Giants Stadium in 1992, after a night game, when Kenny was working as a broadcaster for TNT Network. I approached him coming off the field and he did this interview which was my first year as a reporter, hence the weaker, incomplete question list.)

About Mark Malinowski

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