The Alabama football program, one that's rich with tradition and full of superstars, has lost one of its most distinctive members. Ken Stabler passed away on Thursday at the age of 69.

Stabler, known as 'The Snake' to most fans, earned his nickname while starring at Foley High School in Southern Alabama. After losing just one football game at Foley, Stabler joined Bear Bryant at Alabama in 1964.

His career began with Joe Namath leading the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 1964 and followed by Steve Sloan leading the team to back-to-back titles in 1965. Stabler took over as the starting quarterback in 1966, and it turned out to be one of the biggest snubs in college football history.

As the two-time defending champion, Alabama reeled off another perfect season (11-0) after a 34-7 Sugar Bowl blowout of Nebraska. Stabler's 64.9% completion rate that season is still a school record today. But, somehow,  voters awarded Notre Dame and Michigan State with the national championship after those teams played to a 10-10 tie in November.

Stabler's senior season almost never happened. Bryant kicked him off the team in April for "non-conformism" but was allowed back in mid-August after convincing the coach he was worthy of a second chance. He would become the co-captain of that team and earn All-American honors later that fall. The Crimson Tide dropped two games during that 1967 season, but it will still be rememberd by Stabler's infamous 'Run in the Mud' against Auburn.

The Oakland Raiders drafted the southpaw in the second round of the 1968 NFL Draft, and he would eventually become the fastest quarterback to 100 wins. Only Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, and Tom Brady have won 100 games quicker. His professional career included four Pro Bowl appearances, an NFL MVP award, and a Super Bowl championship in 1974 - the Raiders' first.

The family released this statement to his Facebook page.



We'll be remembering Stabler's life and career on The Chris Stewart Show and The Game.

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