[George Blanda raw #1]

Part 1 of 4 of an interview with former NFL player George Blanda, shot for the series "Once A Star."

00:00Copy video clip URL Bars.

01:05Copy video clip URL This is the first part of an interview with former NFL player George Blanda. He played for the Chicago Bears, the Houston Oilers, and the Oakland Raiders over a career spanning 26 years. He played placekicker and quarterback and occasionally defense.

02:01Copy video clip URL Blanda talks about his friendship with Al Davis, owner and general manager of the Oakland Raiders. The videomaker mentions that many people don’t like Al Davis. Blanda responds, “I think that when you’re successful, it kind of breeds envy among the owners and among the writers.” Blanda likes “his philosophy of a team concept where the individual takes a backseat to the team performance.”

05:00Copy video clip URL Blanda talks about how football has changed as a career. The average NFL career lasted a year and a half when he started, and professional players had second jobs because they were not paid enough to live on.

07:10Copy video clip URL Blanda talks about competition over the quarterback position.

08:23Copy video clip URL Football teams only had 33 players on them when Blanda played, so it was important for players to be able to play multiple roles to increase their value to the team. “It took two players to replace me,” he says.

09:18Copy video clip URL He jokingly claims that 15 of the 16 kicks he missed were blocked.

10:11Copy video clip URL Blanda talks about Chicago Bears coach George Halas. He says he liked and respected Halas as a coach, but did not like having to negotiate with Halas as an owner for a raise.

12:00Copy video clip URL Blanda says that Halas and Al Davis were good at their jobs because they were “football men.” They had played football and they knew the game. They weren’t just businessmen.

13:50Copy video clip URL Blanda talks about playing in the American Football League (AFL) when it first started. He says they threw the ball a lot and it’s a myth that they throw the ball more in the NFL now than they did in the past. He says the only thing that has changed is in football is that there are more sophisticated defenses.

16:40Copy video clip URL Blanda talks about playing quarterback. He really enjoyed it. He says people are mistaken when they think that he was primarily a placekicker. In the AFL, he was never paid to play kicker, he says–he was paid as a quarterback.

17:33Copy video clip URL “I don’t look at the physical end of football… I look at the [offense] trying to out-maneuver the defense.”

18:00Copy video clip URL “We didn’t make any money. We had to enjoy it.”

19:01Copy video clip URL End of tape. The interview continues in “Blanda #2.”



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