Snake: The Legendary Life of Ken Stabler

Snake: The Legendary Life of Ken Stabler

by Mike Freeman


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The first in-depth biography of one of the most talented and infamous legends to play in the National Football League—the life and times of pro football’s first bad boy, famed Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler.

Ken "The Snake" Stabler was the embodiment of the original Men in Black—the freewheeling, hard-hitting Oakland Raiders. The league’s first swashbuckling pass thrower, the mythical southpaw Southerner famous for come-from-behind drives late in the game, Stabler led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl championship in 1977. In an era dominated by gentleman quarterbacks like Roger Staubach and Bob Griese, this 1974 NFL MVP, four-time Pro-bowler, and Super Bowl champion was an iconoclast who partied as hard as he played and lived life unapologetically on his own—not the NFL’s—terms.

Though Stabler’s legacy is larger-than-life, there has never before been an exclusive account of him, until now. Snake goes deep under the surface of Stabler’s persona to reveal a man who, despite his penchant for partying and debauchery, was committed to winning and being the best player he could be. From his college days playing for Bear Bryant at Alabama to his years with the Raiders under coach John Madden, his broadcasting career to his death in 2015 and the revelation that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as C.T.E., Snake probes the myriad facets of Stabler’s life on and off the field to tell his complete story, and explores how his legacy and the culture and times that pivotally shaped it, continues to impact football today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062484260
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/15/2017
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 295,111
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Mike Freeman is an NFL Insider for Before that, he was an NFL writer, investigative reporter, and columnist for the New York Times; a columnist for the Florida Times-Union; and a sports reporter, features writer, and investigative writer for the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Dallas Morning News. He lives in New Jersey.

Table of Contents

A Daughter Remembers Her Father xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 "I'm Not the Man You Think I Am"

Chapter 1 The Italian Campaign 17

Chapter 2 The Bribe That Changed Football 31

Part 2 The Eternalness of Snake

Chapter 3 5:30 A.M. 57

Chapter 4 Corvette Blues 67

Chapter 5 Mudder 77

Part 3 Game Changer

Chapter 6 The Perfect Raider 87

Chapter 7 Throw Deep 103

Chapter 8 Lifting the Steel Curtain 109

Chapter 9 Sea Change 119

Chapter 10 Breakthrough 127

Part 4 Dadskers

Chapter 11 Lot Four 153

Chapter 12 "He's Still Got It" 185

Chapter 13 Family 193

Author's Note and Acknowledgments 225

Sources 229

About the Author 253

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