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Blanda dies; original fantasy superstar
Posted Sep. 27 at 06:12 AM
I see that George Blanda has died at 83. To my generation, I think, he was the seemingly ageless player who kicked for the Raiders in the early ‘70s; but Blanda also goes down as a notable fantasy football player – maybe the first MVP ever in the sport.
One of our writers, Luke Esser, once put together a lengthy feature on the history of fantasy football, and traced the birth of the game back to October of 1962. That’s when the game started.
Using that time line, when you go back and look at the 1962 season, who was the player to select with that No. 1 overall pick? Blanda would have to go down as a prime possibility – at least if you were using both AFL and NFL players. He threw 27 TD passes for the Houston Oilers that season, and he also kicked 11 field goals. That’s a package of production.
If your league takes away points for interceptions, then not so much. Blanda threw 42 picks that season, 7 more than anyone else in league history.
Blanda’s best stats came the previous year, when he threw 36 TDs and kicked 16 field goals.
Blanda played his college ball at Kentucky. He had lengthy runs with the Bears, Oilers and Raiders, and he played until he was 48 years old. Blanda is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One of the all-time greats has passed.
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