Former Oakland Raiders RB Pete Banaszak on Ken Stabler: “He Was the Greatest Clutch Player”
On August 6, the late Tide and Oakland Raider quarterback Ken Stabler will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Over the past week, Ryan Fowler has featured many of Stabler's past teammates from those great years in Oakland on The Game, and on Thursday, one of Stabler's former offensive teammates, Pete Banaszak, discussed what it was like playing alongside "The Snake."
One of the common characteristics that many people use to describe Ken Stabler is "clutch." He was as cool on the field as he was off the field, and being called a playmaker is one of the best things anyone can say about any football player. And if there was anyone saw a plethora of plays being made by Stabler, it was Banaszak.
"When all the chips were on the table and you had to make a play, Kenny was there and made it. He was the greatest clutch player I've ever been around."
As the day of Stabler's passing moves further and further from the present, the memories he made with his teammates still hold strong, and unlike most people who had the pleasure of associating with him, Banaszak had the distinct honor of snagging handoffs from "The Snake." In the NFL, it's a dog-eat-dog world, and cherishing relationships, especially with the guys on the same side of the ball, oftentimes produces life-long memories, just as it did for Banaszak.
"You became bonded together because you lived through the ups and downs. Football is a tough game, it's a tough game mentally as it is physically. There was nobody tougher than Kenny when you had to have it... We'd line up behind him and we sure as hell wanted it a hell of a lot more than we ever got beat."
You can hear the conversation in its entirety below, and don't miss The Game each weekday from 2-6 PM.