Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

It took his death to hasten the process, but after more than 30 years since he played his last game, Ken Stabler is finally headed to Canton

It took more than 30 years and his death, but former Houston Oilers, and Oakland Raiders legend Ken Stabler is finally headed to Canton as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2016.

Ken Stabler finally received the long overdue call to Canton on Saturday, unfortunately it came some seven months after his death from colon cnacer. 

The former Houston Oilers quarterback, who became a football legend first at the University of Alabama and then as the partying leader of the renegade Oakland Raiders of the early 70's. Nicknamed "Snake," the left handed throwing Stabler  won the Most Valuable Player Award for the 1974 season and then led the Raiders to the team’s first Super Bowl victory after the 1976 season in Super Bowl XI,

Stabler played for the Oilers during the 1980-81 seasons, long before the teams move to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans. Still Stabler's picture is on display in the lobby of St. Thomas Sports Park as part of the team pictures for those seasons.    

Stabler had been a finalist for the Hall of Fame three times prior to finally receiving the call Saturday night.

The announcement of his election was a fitting, yet somber end to a week in which the late quarterbacks family and the world received the news that Stabler had suffered from a degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E. after Stabler's brain was donated to science to study following his death in July.

Staber's brain was found to be in Stage 3 of four stages of the disease.

Stabler joins Dick Stanfel, a star offensive lineman in the 1950s along with Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace and Tony Dungy, as well as Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., former owner of the San Francisco 49ers for all five of their Super Bowl wins. He was elected as a contributor to the game.

Stabler was represented at the announcement in San Francisco by his gransons, Justin and Jack Moyes who were very close to Stabler, who's daughter, and the mother of the two grandsons was also in attendance at the announcement, 

“He was just special,” Justin Moyes said of Stabler. “He loved football, and that was life for him.” 

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