[George Blanda raw #2]

This is the continuation of an interview with former NFL and AFL player George Blanda, who played for 26 years for the Chicago Bears, the Houston Oilers, and the Oakland Raiders. He played quarterback and placekicker. The video was shot for the series "Once A Star."

00:00Copy video clip URL Bars and tone.

00:33Copy video clip URL The interview begins in the midst of a discussion about when it was that people started to recognize the legitimacy of the AFL.

01:16Copy video clip URL Tom Weinberg asks Blanda whether the decrease in TV ratings and attendance at the time of filming is because the game has gotten too physical. Blanda feels the people have a lot of interests and that decreasing attendance can be attributed to the rising cost of tickets.

03:40Copy video clip URL Blanda says that his career was long because he continued to enjoy the game, including training camp, which allowed him to continue to play at a high level.

04:50Copy video clip URL He kept in shape by jogging and playing racquetball and handball. It kept him in shape all year long.

09:17Copy video clip URL Blanda talks about what he learned from football: work hard and never give up. He advocates going “back to the basics” in education, just like the Chicago Bears did with Mike Ditka.

11:20Copy video clip URL He didn’t go into coaching because he was too old when he quit playing, and there’s a lot of pressure on coaches. He did not want to continue being under pressure.

11:58Copy video clip URL Blanda talks about his family life, and the toll his long playing career had on his family. He’s been married to the same woman for 36 years, and he credits that to his wife who was very supportive with his playing responsibilities and did a lot of the work of raising the kids. “I’ll forever be thankful to her… I didn’t raise the family as much as I could have, but I’m trying to make up for it now.”

13:24Copy video clip URL Blanda talks about his childhood. He had ten siblings. His father worked in a coal mine in western Pennsylvania. Blanda learned hard work from his father’s example.

15:58Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks Blanda why more athletes seem to be having longer careers now. Blanda says it’s because the professional sports have grown so much, that they need more players, and they can see from people like Blanda that older players have knowledge and poise that younger players don’t which compensates for the age of their bodies.

17:52Copy video clip URL Blanda says he doesn’t like statistics because what’s important is whether “you make the one that you have to make.”



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