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A look back at George Blanda’s miracle 1970 season

By Jon Becker
Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 8:00 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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.

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  • Raider-DEE

    Just a lot of b.s….. yesterday I felt like kicking my 52′ Sony XBR… I WAS SO FRICKEN PISSED!!! I’m glad i did’nt!!! …..

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Priest

    You’re an arse-kissing lackey.

  • Chris in NY

    priesttj Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 9:04 pm
    He threw the ball to ZM more often and should’ve scored 3 TD’s with him. DHB had his man beat several times and Grads couldn’t hit him. DMC carried the ball 25 times and should’ve caught 8 passes but the QB didn’t check it down he forced it to ZM, Murphy and DHB more than he should’ve.

    What are you Al Davis’ illegitimate son? Stop whinning man. It’s the inexperienced QB.

    ——————————

    It’s the inexperienced QB?

    You mean the QB that’s averaging 2.5 more yards per attempt than Campbell?

    Or the guy who averaged 3.3 more yards per pass attempt than DMC on rushing attempts?

    Or the guy who has the offense scoring 10 more ppg than the other QB?

    Or the guy who led the offense down to chip-shot FG range for what was an as easy as it gets game-winning attempt yesterday?

    Or the guy who should be 4-1 in his last 5 games for us?

    Yeah, we’d be totally kicking azz right now if not for THAT guy.

    Give me a break.

  • Raider-DEE

    Priest..

    Bro, were you hoping Gradkowski failed yesterday just to make JC look better…. Bro. I got news for you. J. Campbell STINKS ok
    !!! He fricken stinks!! Get over it bro…!!! I would have more respect if you preferred Boller!!

  • lefty12

    #40-Priest he did all that and still had the team in a position where we should have won the game if the kicker had done his job and made one of 2 chip shot field goals(I’ll give him a pass on the 58 yd.).Didn’t you make the point last night that no one is perfect or plays a perfect game?

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Who hired Tom Cable as Head Coach?

  • Raider-DEE

    See Chris..

    I agree with you… Grads may not be GREAT… but he’s definitly better than Jamarcus Campbell!!

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Instead of riding the Hot RB, like Jackson said he prefers, against a team giving up 155 yds per game on the ground.

    Al Davis is trying to get his money out of No way-Bey.

  • Chris in NY

    Raider-DEE Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 9:11 pm
    Chrus..

    I’m tirired of making excuses for that bum… every fricken season. Hes a bum….. The guy gets fricken hurt with out anyone even touching his sorry ass!!

    I’m tired of playing this politically correct crap. I’ll call it like i see it and let the chips fal… He’s a bum and so is janikowski… He misses them only when they count. Makes them when were outta the game… everyone knows…….

    Schilens just does not have the make up to be a pro football player…. he’s injury prone. ok!!

    ———————-

    I understand the frustration and at some point the team has to decide whether or not to keep a guy around that gets hurt so much.

    But it’s not like Schilens is dragging azz or sitting out with cramps. The dude has had to have multiple surgeries since the start of last season. Not much he can do about that so I don’t see the sense in disrespecting him and calling him out.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Looking at the remaining schedule, it’s another 4-12.

  • priesttj

    KK your lights are getting dim…….yet you keep swinging at the air. Gotta give you credit at least you try……lol

  • aig-raiders

    Priest,

    Again you dont know schytt about football for all your claims. It was you that said this season Jawalrus would take the starting job back and Grad couldnt carry his jocks. WTF happened?

    So please dont give me this shcytt about Campbell getting his timing down. It is about leading men when you are the QB. Sliding short of the first aint going to earn anyone’s respect.

    Yesterday, the Cards forced the team to win with DHB. That is why he was mostly covered 1 on 1 and why Grad made the read to go to him. I’m sorry but didnt DHB miss a ball to start the game yesterday. Oh BTW, you probably chose to ignore that DHB decided to coast on that PI and then realized the ball went to him. Had he ran full speed maybe at least he gets his hands on the ball but prob drop it too.

    The Cards forced the offense to rely on DHB but good old Hue never made the adjustments. Plain and simple. They took our 2 best receivers out by double teaming and then Hue decided to take out DMAC by not going to him. Plain and simple.

  • Chris in NY

    KoolKell Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 9:20 pm
    Looking at the remaining schedule, it’s another 4-12.

    ———————————

    I disagree. I know ripping Al Davis is like viagara to you, but I think with Bruce Almighty in there we could still be in the 9-7 mix, if not better.

    This is a better team than we’ve seen in awhile. Trust me. The o-line is still the biggest area of concern but if we could ever straighten that out we could go toe-to-toe with anyone.

  • Raider-DEE

    Chris..

    I would have hoped that the brain trust w/ the raiders would have understood that this guy will never be the guy they expect him to be. Remember last yr??? We were supposed to be a much better team w/ him….Whatta bunch of bull!! The guy is just too FRAGILE!! We should have picked up a legit EXPERIENCED wide receiver during the off season……. I dont see any of our Wide Receivers ever making the pro bowl…. it’s the TRUTH!! Z. Miller is GREAT but he’s a tide end!!

  • http://raiders.com A.B. Paine III

    Real Madden Raider is right.

  • priesttj

    Grads aint much Bro he smells understand sissy he smells.

    I get tired of you crybabies every criticism I make of Grads you run to defend him by bringing up Campbell. Campbell has NOTHING to do with it. Grads can’t say, hey coach at least I’m better than Campbell…He has to do it on his OWN merit. Stop making Campbell responsible for Grads so you can use him as an excuse for Grads.

    So what he’s better than Campbell I couldn’t give a damn, that doesn’t do it for me. We didn’t win because HE couldn’t WIN IT…..period

  • Raider-DEE

    We’ll be 7 and 9 this season!!

    The Pats will picke 10th and 25th…Guess wich pick is our’s???

  • aig-raiders

    Priest,

    did Grad put the team in position to win yesterday? yes or no?

    for all of his extended plays, there was only one game where he did not put the team in position to win. Yes or No?

  • Norco Bob

    4-12 Kell?…wherew the F we gettin 3 more wins????

  • Raider-DEE

    Priest…

    You wont be happy until JC is back in there not knowing what to do. The guy does not exude confidence bro. He lets go of the rock too late and has a hard time moving the team downfield……

    You wont admit it. But deep down you know Grads. is better!! JC needs leadership skills.. Too TIMID, AFRAID, UNSURE….. We dont need a guy at QB like that.. specially with this BAD offensve line!!

  • lefty12

    The defender arm barred DHB the whole way down the field.It is impossible to say DHB didn’t run full out on the play.That is something someone who doesn’t like DHB said-someone who would rather say they were correct than have a player they dislike succeed.

  • priesttj

    Every excuse is better than NONE, this is why Grads can’t do it. That is why. Hell tell me what HE can do stop telling why he couldn’t do it.

    Either he can or he can’t………..period

  • Chris in NY

    Raider-DEE Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 9:26 pm
    Chris..

    I would have hoped that the brain trust w/ the raiders would have understood that this guy will never be the guy they expect him to be. Remember last yr??? We were supposed to be a much better team w/ him….Whatta bunch of bull!! The guy is just too FRAGILE!! We should have picked up a legit EXPERIENCED wide receiver during the off season……. I dont see any of our Wide Receivers ever making the pro bowl…. it’s the TRUTH!! Z. Miller is GREAT but he’s a tide end!!

    ————————

    I don’t know. In the past I would’ve agreed with you, but I think with good QB play these guys could be alright. DHB is vastly improved from last year. Still has a ways to go but he’s got the athleticism and he’s committed and has already improved.

    Murphy is averaging better than 120 ypg since Gradkowski took over. Right now he’s 9th in the AFC in yards despite getting very few in the 6 quarters when Campbell was in there.

  • stubblebuzz

    Seriously? One of the greatest Raiders of all time dies and all you guys can do is play grab-ass in the comments? I am disgusted. Go root for the Niners.

  • Raider-DEE

    Priest…

    You’re right bro.. Grads doesnt have the height the arm stregnth or the experience. But he has the leadership attributes that Campbell lacks!! Thats all!! That is it!!! Gradkowski moves the team, somthing JC does not do bro, Cant you see it?? JEEEZ!!

  • Chris in NY

    Raider-DEE Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 9:29 pm
    We’ll be 7 and 9 this season!!

    The Pats will picke 10th and 25th…Guess wich pick is our’s???

    ——————

    Bold prediction: we finish with a better record than the Pasties this year. They just gave up 30 to Buffalo after getting handled by the Jets. They’re not all that and I’ve gotta believe they wish they never made that Seymour trade right now.

    Raiders, 10-6
    Pats, 8-8

  • lefty12

    “WE didn’t win because he couldn’t win it”.You may be correct,he didn’t win it,but he didn’t lose it either.This is a team game and 1 person didn’t do their job yesterday which cost us the game-our FG kicker-who missed not 1 but 2 chip shot FGs.

  • Raider-DEE

    Chris,,,

    No bro…. the pats will probaby make the play offs. we might win 6 more

  • Thec07

    new post ladies…

  • aig-raiders

    Dont know why you guys are so gloom and doom.

    We will split between SD and Houston. Bruce scored easily on SF’s first unit. Please dont tell me we are scared of Denver, Seattle and KC. We have at least split with KC and Denver with Jawalrus the last 2 years. Seattle has nothing but spec team to win yesterday’s game. Had Jano made it the FG yesterday I would have said we will go 5-1 in the next 6 games.

    But since we are at 1-2, I predict we will go 3-3 in the next 6 games so long as Al Davis doesnt force JC back in there.

  • SilverSurfer

    # KoolKell Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Looking at the remaining schedule, it’s another 4-12.
    ######################
    why you repeat the same comment?

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