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George Blanda was one of the toughest players of all time was born again with the Oakland Raiders





SPORTS NOTES - GEORGE BLANDA - Born Again with the Oakland Raiders

James Loving/National Radio Text Service


Though Blanda passed away September 17th at the age of 83 his heroic performances and achievements will go down as some of the greatest ever in football history. Gorge Blanda was a true legend in his own time - ASEAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION VICE PRESIDENT RAVY KHEK'S FINANCIAL WORTH BEING INVESTIGATED - Preseason Kicks of with NBA Europe Live


Tuesday October 5, 2010


After 10 fruitless years as a member of the Chicago Bears, George Blanda retired from the game. The following year a new league the American Football League (AFL) was formed and they sought his services thus he returned to the game.

In his second life as a professional football player from 1963 to 1965 Blanda led the AFL in passing attempts and completions, and ranked in the top ten for attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns during seven consecutive seasons. A four-time member of the American Football League All-Star team, Blanda's already-long career seemed over when he was released by the Oilers on March 18, 1967. However, the Oakland Raiders signed him that July, seeing his potential as a contributing backup passer and a dependable kicker.

During that first 1967 season, his kicking skills helped him lead the AFL in scoring with 116 points. In two instances, his leg helped play a role in Raider victories: a trio of field goals helped upset the defending league champion Kansas City Chiefs on October 1; in the closing weeks of the regular season, Blanda booted four field goals behind a hostile Houston crowd in a 19-7 victory over his former team, the Oilers, helping gain a measure of revenge.

The Raiders went on to compete in Super Bowl II, but the following two seasons ended in heartbreak as they lost the final two AFL Championship games in the 10-year history of the league.

In 1970, at the age of 42 and within days of his 43rd birthday Blanda was released by the Oakland Raiders during the preseason, but bounced back to establish his 21st professional season as one of the more dramatic comebacks in sports history. Beginning with the October 25 game at Pittsburgh, Blanda put together five straight clutch performances. When he walked on to the field it was as if Iron Man came to rid the world of the bad guys and you could count on him to deliver.

Against the Steelers, Blanda threw for three touchdowns in relief of an injured Daryle Lamonica. One week later, his 48-yard field goal with three seconds remaining salvaged a 17-17 tie with the Kansas City Chiefs. Repeating the thrilling finish on November 8, Blanda once again came off the bench to throw for a touchdown pass to tie the Cleveland Browns with 1:34 remaining, then kicked a 53-yard field goal with 0:03 left for the 23-20 win.

Immediately after the winning field goal, Raiders radio announcer Bill King excitedly declared, "George Blanda has just been elected King of the World!" In the team's next game, Blanda replaced Lamonica in the fourth quarter and connected with Fred Biletnikoff on a touchdown pass with 2:28 left in the game to defeat the Denver Broncos, 24-19. The incredible streak concluded one week later when Blanda's 16-yard field goal in the closing seconds defeated the San Diego Chargers, 20-17.

In the AFC title game against the Baltimore Colts, Blanda again relieved an injured Lamonica and had a superb performance, completing 17 of 32 passes for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns while also kicking a 48-yard field goal and two extra points, keeping the Raiders in the game until the final quarter, when he was intercepted twice. Aged 43, he became the oldest quarterback ever to play in a championship game and was one of the few remaining straight-ahead kickers in the NFL.

Blanda's eye-opening achievements resulted in his winning the Bert Bell Award. Chiefs' owner Lamar Hunt quipped, "Why, this George Blanda is as good as his father, who used to play for Houston." Although he never again played a major role at quarterback, Blanda would serve as the Raiders' kicker for five more seasons.

He played in his last game at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium on January 4, 1976, at age 48, in the 1975 AFC Championship Game, where he kicked a 41-yard field goal and made one extra point as the Raiders lost to the Steelers 16-10.

Though Blanda passed away September 17th at the age of 83 his heroic performances and achievements will go down as some of the greatest ever in football history. Gorge Blanda was a true legend in his own time.


ASEAN Football Federation vice president Ravy Khek's financial worth is under scrutiny - NR photo




Ravy Khek the Vice President of the ASEAN Football Federation and former president of the Cambodian Football Federation (since changed to Football Federation of Cambodia) has his past being examined in a divorce trail currently ongoing in Cambodia. On the front page of the Tuesday October 5th edition Cambodia Daily the cloudy details of Khek's financial past is being examined.

The piece reveals discrepancies in Khek's reported wealth. Khek became Cambodia's first ever convicted adulterer in 2007. Since that time the divorce case has been argued in Cambodian courts where it was decided that his former wife was entitled to equal division of marital property.

A piece of land was in question in which Khek claimed that he sold to the Cambodian Football federation for $133,320 although his former wife Ms You showed that the land is valued at $1.7 million and the deed remains in both of their names.

The Daily piece also revealed that Khek was involved with the Cambodian Shipping Corporation that came under investigation when 100 kilos of cocaine was seized by French authorities on a ship registered by the shipping company. He received $16,800 monthly from the company whose chairman is his brother Sakara Khek. Sakara claims that the money was a gift. Overall bank documents indicate that Khek received $1,494,693 from the company.

Other income not indicated in the Daily piece was Khek undisclosed salary as president of the Cambodian Football Federation. Under his watch the Cambodian football players weren't being paid. Their coach at that time Joachim Fickert paid them their $100 a month salary out of his pocket until the sum totaled over $70,000. When Fickert's contract was not renewed he departed with that money still owed to him. In a later visit to Cambodia Fickert revealed that over time he received full reimbursement. Eventually after Fickert's departure Scott O'Donell became the coach. When he took the position he said the players were being paid $20 a month that he had raised to $30.

Khek earned additional income as the Secretary of State in Cambodia's Ministry of Commerce much of the time that he was president of the Cambodia Football Federation. Where did the money go? Stay tuned...

For Cambodia Daily information of copies of their story contact:- 855-23-426-602 & www.cambodiadaily.com

Preseason Kicks of with NBA Europe Live

In the late 80's while producing radio feature stories I was heavily focused on International NBA players and those in college who had ambitions to play in the league. Pier Stumer from Loyola University in Los Angeles California and Didenko Dobrish from Florida Southern University were my first subjects. That was followed by interviewing Vlade Divac on media day after the Los Angeles Lakers drafted him. That was a tough one as at the time Divac didn't speak English and it had to be done through an interpreter which makes it tough for a radio interview.

Now fast forward over 20 years the NBA is about to add another layer to its already rich history of international games with seven preseason games scheduled outside the United States and Canada this October. The fifth NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS tournament features four games (Oct. 3-4, 6-7) and tipped off in Italy Sunday, Oct. 3 when Milan native Danilo Gallinari and the New York Knicks played Armani Jeans Milano at Mediolanum Forum in Milan.

On Tuesday, Oct. 12, NBA Mexico Game 2010 features the San Antonio Spurs facing the Los Angeles Clippers in Mexico City at the Palacio de los Desportes. NBA China Games 2010, the fifth set of preseason games played in the country, feature the Houston Rockets playing two games against the New Jersey Nets in Beijing and Guangzhou Oct. 13 and 16, respectively. The games will be played at Wukesong Arena in Beijing and at the Guangzhou International Sports Arena.

Twenty years ago NBA legends Bob Cousy, Tommy Heinshon and other NBA stars said International players weakness was playing defense. Obviously with over 80 International players in the league times have changed.

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