Ken Stabler doesn’t belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Had Stabler not died last year, it’s doubtful he’d have been inducted Saturday night.
Stabler was a legendary Raider, a charismatic swashbuckler who looks great while scrambling and heaving to NFL Films music.
But there’s a reason his credentials weren’t good enough while he was alive. He had only three great seasons: 1973, 1974 and 1976. He led the league in completion percentage twice, touchdowns twice and passer rating once.
He threw 28 more interceptions than TD passes over his 15-year career. Aside from those three fabulous seasons, he had 127 touchdowns and 183 interceptions. Stabler was involved in a few magnificent moments, but the Holy Roller was ludicrous (and now would be illegal), and the Sea of Hands was pure luck.
Stabler appeared on the final Hall ballot only three times. Packers guard Jerry Kramer and Dolphins guard Bob Kuechenberg have been finalists 10 and eight times yet still aren’t enshrined.
Maybe they’ll get a sympathy push once they’re dead.