Legendary Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and former coach John Madden will introduce him as planned. Madden will present Stabler in a pre-recorded video – a standard practice for all intros – but he won’t be in Canton, Ohio for the Aug. 6 ceremony.
A Pro Football Hall of Fame spokesman said Wednesday that Madden is recovering from hip replacement surgery and won’t be able to attend the ceremony. Hall of Fame Raiders receiver Fred Biletnikoff and Stabler’s two grandsons will be present to unveil Stabler’s bust.
Stabler was elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame by the senior committee this winter, a few months after he died from complications of colon cancer.
Stabler led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl victory, and is one of the most popular players to wear silver and black. Teammates and coaches long lobbied for Stabler’s induction, but his death brought a renewed national appreciation for one of the best, most entertaining players of the 1970s.
“Everybody knows that “Snake” should have been in 15 years ago, but it does not matter how long it takes once you get in the Hall of Fame,” Hall of Fame Raiders defensive back Willie Brown said in quotes provided by the team after Stabler’s election. “He was one of the biggest leaders on the football team, always looking out for everyone, and always ready to play.”