Oakland Raiders Need More Players Like George Blanda, Wells and Lamonica

Subtitle:  Never forget what was and always hope for what can be--Victory in the last few seconds 

The Last Eight Seconds

This article discusses the statistics and a powerful episode of two teammates (Warren Wells and George Blanda) who had overlapping careers during a five-year period which is the focus of the analysis.  

Research shows that George Blanda is recognized for last-minute victories. A quote: “George Blanda played pro football for 26 seasons—longer than any other person. However, he’ll probably be remembered best for his 1970 season with the Oakland Raiders.

That year, in a five-game period, George provided Oakland with four wins and one tie with last-second touchdown passes or field goals—at age 43.” 

One of those 1970 games was played at Shea Stadium in December 1970.  I was at Shea Stadium witnessing the last minute, or better yet, last seconds turnaround on the football field. 

Oakland was trailing the Jets in the last eight seconds of the fourth quarter and a 33-yard pass was successfully completed by Warren Wells to tie the score; and then the 43-year-old George Blanda made the kick to give Oakland the miraculous victory. 

A New York Times article documented the feat of Wells. The article was titled, “Wells Hero in Final Reel of Oakland’s Late Show,” dated Dec. 7, 1970, and written by Joseph Durso. A photographer snapped a picture that still flashes in my mind. 

The headlines hailed Wells as a hero in the last eight seconds, and it was a powerful moment which I will never forget. 


Also, Daryl Lamonica said on the Oakland Raiders Web site: 

Q: Is there one play that you can remember from your career?

Daryle Lamonica: I guess it would have to be a game against...

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