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George Blanda was one of the toughest NFL players of all time "The Grand Old Man" - (September 17, 1927 – September 27, 2010)

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPORTS NOTES - GEORGE BLANDA FOOTBALL'S IRON MAN PASSED AWAY

James Loving/National Radio Text Service

 

 

Blanda holds the NFL record for longevity by playing in the league until the age of 48 just a month shy of his 49th birthday. The pro football Hall of Famer played 26 Professional Football seasons - FIFA TOP 10

 

Wednesday September 29, 2010

FROM BITTER TO SWEET

When you think about true grit George Blanda comes to mind. Blanda passed away September 27 at the age of 83 thus he failed to qualify for the older then dirt award.... dirt wins but so did Blanda. Blanda holds the NFL record for longevity by playing in the league until the age of 48 just a month shy of his 49th birthday. He was football's IRON MAN.

The pro football Hall of Famer finished his 26 Professional Football seasons having completed 1,911 of 4,007 pass attempts for 26,920 yards and 236 touchdowns. He also held the NFL record for most interceptions thrown with 277, until Brett Favre broke it on October 14, 2007.

Blanda rushed for 344 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground, kicked 335 of 641 field goals, and 943 of 959 extra points, giving him 2,002 total points. Additional stats include 1 interception, 2 kickoff returns for 19 yards, 22 punts for 809 yards, and 23 fumble recoveries.

He accomplished this over 26 seasons of professional football, the most in the sport's history. He scored more points than anyone in history at the time of his retirement in 1976 after a pro career that began in 1949.

Blanda was a guy who got better with age as a quarterback and place kicker. His career took him to several teams after he signed with the Chicago Bears in 1949 for $600 a sum that pro players today make in a minute. In that first season then Bears coach and owner George Halas had a problem with Blanda. He used him as a quarterback, kicker and linebacker until Blanda was injured. In 1954 Halas regulated him to being just a kicker until an unhappy Blanda retired in 1958 at the age of 32.

The following year that all changed with the formation of the American Football League. He signed with the Houston Oilers as both a quarterback and kicker. He was mocked by the sports media as an "NFL Reject", but he went on to lead the Oilers to the first two league titles in AFL history, and he was the All-AFL quarterback and won AFL Player of the Year honors in 1961. During that season, he led the AFL in passing yards (3,330) and touchdown passes (36).

His 36 touchdown passes in 1961 were the most ever thrown by any NFL/AFL quarterback in a single season, until matched by Y.A. Tittle of the NFL New York Giants just two years later in 1963. Blanda's and Tittle's mark would remain the record until surpassed by Dan Marino's 48 touchdown passes in 1984. His 42 interceptions in 1962 is a record that still stands.

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.

CONTINUED - PART 2 - BLANDA'S THIRD LIFE


 

Spain's Iker Casillas - FIFA photo

 

Spain's David Villa - FIFA photo

 

 

FIFA TOP 10 - World champions Spain are still on top

The results of the 159 “A” international matches played over the last five weeks have caused some significant movement in the latest edition of the FIFA World Ranking.

World champions Spain are still on top, although defeat in Buenos Aires has seen them lose a quarter of their lead. Germany (3rd) and Brazil (4th) have traded places, as have England (6th) and Uruguay (7th), with the two European teams benefiting from their successful start to EURO 2012 qualifying. Norway (14th, up 8) and Slovakia (16th, up 11) have both climbed into the top 20 for the same reason. Russia (25th, down 9) and France (27th, down 6) have lost considerable ground, in contrast to Turkey (21st, up 7), who are on the rise again.

The most impressive climbers, however, are Montenegro (40th, up 33) as their two victories in EURO 2012 qualifiers have catapulted them into the top 50 for the first time. This represents an incredible rise for the newest member of the FIFA family, who started off at the foot of the ranking with no points to their name just three years ago.

Other teams that can celebrate jumps of at least ten positions and a place in the top 50 are Lithuania (42nd, up 10), Cyprus (43rd, up 20) and Northern Ireland (45th, up 14). There are also some major movers further down the ranking, including Belarus (55th, up 23), Panama (70th, up 27), the Cape Verde Islands (77th, up 31), Guinea (81st, up 21), Georgia (89th, up 21), Burundi (122nd, up 20) and particularly Guinea-Bissau (140th), who have climbed 48 places after returning from almost three years of inactivity with a victory.

In all, seven associations are currently in their highest-ever position in the world ranking since its introduction in 1993: Slovakia, Montenegro, Cyprus and Belarus, as well as Burkina Faso (39th), Uganda (63rd) and Botswana (82nd).

Summary

· Leader Spain -- (unchanged)

· Moves into top ten -- none

· Moves out of top ten -- none

· Matches played in total -- 159

· Most matches played -- 62 teams with three matches each

· Biggest move by points -- Montenegro (up 236 points)

· Biggest move by ranks -- Guinea-Bissau (up 48)

· Biggest drop by points -- Bulgaria (down 116 points)

· Biggest drop by ranks -- El Salvador (down 24)

· Newly ranked teams -- none

· Teams that are no longer ranked -- none

· Inactive teams (not ranked) -- São Tomé e Príncipe

FIFA TOP 10 for September, 2010

Rank -- Team -- Points

1. Spain - 1824

2. Netherlands - 16563

3. Germany - 1490

4. Brazil - 1351

5. Argentina - 1288

6. England - 1191

7. Uruguay - 1182

8. Portugal - 1049

9. Egypt - 1034

10. Chile - 1004

The next edition of the FIFA World Ranking will be published on October 20, 2010.

FIFA

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