FOOTBALL; The Class of '81
In view of Oakland's Super Bowl victory, it's fitting that George Blanda, a former Raider quarterback, heads up the latest Hall of Fame selections. A pro for a record 26 years, he is the only 1981 enshrinee elected in his first year of eligibility. His "classmates" are Morris (Red) Badgro, a two-way star of the '20s and '30s, and Lombardi-era Green Bay Packers Willie Davis and Jim Ringo.
Unlike Jim Plunkett, the curent Raider QB and top overall pick in the 1971 draft, Blanda was relatively unheralded coming out of college. A 12th-round selection from the University of Kentucky, he went on to compile more than 15 miles in passing yardage playing for Chicago, Houston, and Oakland.
George actually came out of retirement in 1960 to quarterback the Oilers of the fledgling American Football League. His fame was enhanced further after a trade to the Raiders in 1967. For besides serving as an effective backup QB, he utilized his placekicking talents for become pro football's most prolific scorer , outdi stancing his nearest rival by nearly 400 points.