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Ultra-competitive Blanda leaves behind a meaningful legacy

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George Blanda, who passed away Monday at the age of 83, was one of the most-competitive guys I ever came across.

George Blanda, 1927-2010
George Blanda played more seasons than any player in NFL history. He retired following the 1975 season, just shy of his 49th birthday after 26 seasons in pro football. More ...

» Blanda: Hall of Fame class of 1981
» Photos: Blanda through the years

It didn't matter what it was, Blanda wanted to win. He loved to play golf and he never let me forget about $5 I took off him after making a putt at a charity event at the Riverside Country Club in Bozeman, Mont.

When I was with the Cowboys, Blanda helped the Raiders beat us on a late touchdown pass, which turned out to be the last of his 26-year career.

In the 1970 AFC title game against Baltimore, Blanda threw two touchdown passes and kicked a field goal, accounting for all 17 points the Raiders scored in a 27-17 loss.

I'm not sure Blanda met anyone that didn't like him. He was very outgoing, but had real humility for all he accomplished, which included being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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