Former Raiders great George Blanda, who died Monday at age 83, will always be remembered for an unbelievable five-week stretch of heroics in 1970.
Blanda’s feats landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Time, and prompted Raiders announcer Bill King to exclaim that the ageless wonder had been elected “King of the World.”
With the help of some Oakland Tribune archives, here’s a look back on that magical time in Oakland 40 years ago:
1. Oct. 25, 1970 at Oakland: RAIDERS 31, STEELERS 14
Blanda, then a 43-year-old kicker and backup quarterback, took over for starting quarterback Daryle Lamonica and threw three touchdown passes to lead the Raiders to a victory over the stunned Steelers. Archived Tribune game story.
2. Nov. 1, 1970 at Kansas City: RAIDERS 17, CHIEFS 17
Blanda’s 48-yard field goal barely clears the crossbar and the finger tips of the Chiefs’ 6-foot-9 Morris Stroud, who was positioned under the goal post in order to swat the kick away. Archived Tribune game story
3. Nov. 8, 1970 at Oakland Coliseum: RAIDERS 23, BROWNS 20
Blanda relieved Lamonica and threw a TD pass with 1:34 left to tie the game and then kicked the game-winning field goal with three seconds remaining that prompted King to call him “King of the World.” Archived Tribune game story
4. Nov. 15, 1970 at Denver: RAIDERS 24, BRONCOS 19
Coach John Madden summoned Blanda into the game for another crack at a mircle and George didn’t disappoint. He threw a 20-yard TD pass to Fred Biletnikoff with 2:28 left in the game to give the Raiders another come-from-behind victory. Archived Tribune game story.
5. Nov. 22, 1970 at Oakland Coliseum: RAIDERS 20, CHARGERS 17
The miracle worker story angle was getting nearly as old as Blanda himself by the time his 16-yard field goal with eight seconds left beat the Chargers. Archived Tribune game story.