The passing of former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler at the age of 69 is likely to revive old debates over The Snake’s Pro Football Hall of Fame worthiness.
There’s room for argument on both sides of the table. I mean, the Hall’s selection committee named Stabler a second-team member of its All-Decade Team of the 1970s, despite 24 interceptions thrown in 1975 and 30 in 1978. They were clearly impressed once upon a time.
Stabler finished his 15-year NFL career (11 as a starter with three teams) in the shadows of contemporaries such as Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Bob Griese and Fran Tarkenton, each immortalized in Canton, Ohio.
But what about Kenny? He led Oakland to a 69-26-1 regular season record in the 1970s and finished with 96 wins in all after wrapping up a career with the Houston Oilers and lowly New Orleans Saints.
Brandon Helwig of UCF Sports joined me Saturday to talk about the rising draft stock of former UCF wide receiver Breshad Perriman, the holes UCF is looking to fill this spring in the secondary and at wide receiver, and the current state of the No. 6 UCF baseball program.
Helwig rounded up the segment by talking about the upcoming UCF Athletics Hall of Fame induction of former football player Asante Samuel, football and baseball player Dee Brown, softball player Stephanie Best and the 1978 UCF volleyball team.
Here’s something many people may not know about me: I’ve always been a closet fan of The Cars. Call it a guilty pleasure or call it crazy, but there was something formulaic I liked about this late 1970s, early 1980s group. Was it New Wave? Was it Punk? Maybe it was a little bit of both, with a whole lot of synth pop rock mixed in there to help even things out.
While the band’s first album The Cars (1978) is packed with everything anyone needs to hear when discovering them for the first time, it’s their follow-up Candy-O (1979) that I’ve found myself spinning most in recent years. The groove of the title track is reason enough to give this one a listen.
Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne released their eighth and final studio album together in 1978. The aptly titled Never Say Die! came out the same year as Rainbow’s Long Live Rock n’ Roll, with Ronnie James Dio on vocals.
Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi eventually replaced Osbourne with Dio just as the decade was coming to a end. Ever since it’s seemed as if Sabbath and Osbourne were destined to move in different directions.
The Spotify playlist I’ve compiled focuses on a three-year stretch involving these individuals. It features every song from Never Say Die! and Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll, along with Sabbath’s first album with Dio (Heaven and Hell) and Osbourne’s first solo effort (Blizzard of Ozz), both of which were released in 1980.
It must be noted that Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll features Ritchie Blackmore on guitar while Randy Rhodes is the lead man on Blizzard of Ozz. There’s 34 songs in all.