ALAMEDA, Calif. --- George Blanda, the Hall of Fame quarterback and kicker who played longer than anyone in pro football history and racked up the most points in a career that spanned four decades, mostly with the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders, died Monday after a brief illness. He was 83.
"George was a brave Raider and a close personal friend of Raiders owner Al Davis," Oakland said in a statement. Blanda retired a month shy of his 49th birthday before the 1976 season. He spent 10 seasons with the Bears, part of one with the Baltimore Colts, seven with the Houston Oilers and his final nine with the Raiders.
He held the pro scoring record when he retired, with 2,002 points. He kicked 335 field goals and 943 extra points, running for nine touchdowns and throwing for 236 more. He threw for 26,920 yards in his career and held the pro football record with 277 interceptions until Brett Favre passed him in 2007.
It was a five-game stretch for Oakland in 1970 that is the lasting imprint of his career. At 43, Blanda led the Raiders to four wins and one tie with late touchdown passes or field goals. Later that season, he became the oldest quarterback to play in a championship game.