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A player who wouldn't leave

Updated: September 28, 2004, 9:54 AM ET
By Bob Carter | Special to ESPN.com

Some athletes, like fine wines, require a little aging before savoring the sweet smell of success. George Blanda's vintage became legendary in a pro football career that extended longer than anyone's did.

Coached by legends, Blanda eventually became a star in his 30s. Then he turned his back on time, competing until he was 48 in a sport dominated by younger, stronger, faster players.

Bear Bryant, his coach at the University of Kentucky in the late 1940s, told his first pro coach, George ...

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