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Feature Story September 18, 2003
 
Party Players
 
Page 3 of 3
 
This was the easiest pick since Elway: Blanda, the old warhorse, the banged-up geezer who pulled off some spectacular wins back in the day, as poster boy for a party that used to own the whole league but just can't buy a win these days. Since the Reds won Super Bowl I in the freezing field conditions of Stalingrad back in '43, they've been a team living on its own legend. When Free Agency changed the rules of play in the '90s, the Reds stuck with a solid but aging defensive line -- and paid the price, as freespending rivals ran through them.

In Blanda, KPRF fans will get a figure they can trust. Reds' PR research shows that Blanda has the big eyebrows KPRF voters look for in a candidate. "He squints like Comrade Brezhnev, and doesn't walk or move too fast," said one Reds fan when first shown a pic of Blanda kicking the winning FG for the "Oake-Land Rayders" of 1907. But can he still play? Frankly, no. In fact, after three knee replacements it's still not known if he'll even get out of his portable hospital bed which he'll be arriving in by cargo shipment. But neither can the KP Krew. All they want this year is their share of the TV rights. When Blanda was called in to kick the 20-35 yard field goals, he was solid and reliable. He stopped making the Pro Bowl years before his retirement, but he lasted it out, and like the KPRF, getting that reliable number without much fuss is what matters more than anything.

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FROM THE VAULT

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Separated At Scrotum :
 

 
 
 
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