Snake Had Friend And Admirer In Archie

Kenny Stabler and Archie Manning shared a unique stature. Each rose to become legendary figures revered by the alumni and fans of their respective schools. They were members of the tight quarterback fraternity having competed in the SEC and then in the NFL.

Born and bred in small southern towns, Foley, Ala., and Drew, Miss., they chose to attend their state’s flagship universities – Alabama and Ole Miss.

They are gridiron heroes forever embedded in the glorious history of Southern football lore.

Almost any college football fan would know exactly who one is talking about just hearing “Snake” or “Archie,” even though their playing careers ended decades ago.

BamaMag.com caught up with Archie Manning one day after learning of the death of Kenny Stabler. Manning was in Thibodaux, La., at Nicholls State immersed in operating the 20th edition of the Manning Passing Academy. Over 1,250 campers were present to listen and learn the nuances of playing perhaps the most difficult position in team sports -- quarterback.

Manning recounted his first time witnessing the magic of “Snake,” their friendship through the years, and lessons learned observing the left-handed wizard. He spoke of a dramatic three-touchdown come from behind victory orchestrated by Stabler on a 1979 Monday night game in December between the Oakland Raiders and the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome. Stabler finished the evening with four touchdown passes, completing 26 of 44 attempts for 295 yards and a stunning win for the West Coast visitors.

Manning offered an opinion on Stabler being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also gave advice for future signal callers destined to play the position in the competitive Southeastern Conference.

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