Rest in peace, Led Rhode. Great O lineman from back in the day. He was part of an outstanding line that gelled in 1970 to become one of the best in the league, and was instrumental in the 70-72 playoff run. Rhode in particular was squared off many times against Deacon Jones of the Rams, and more often than not, Jones was the one left beaten and dismayed. The team in this era was the team I grew up watching. My first game was in 1968 at Kezar, and these guys were etched in my mind as my favorites. Sure there was Brodie, Gene Washington, Ken Willard, and Bob Windsor, but Len Rhode at left tackle, Brodie’s blind side protector, center Forrest Blue, guards Woody Peoples and Randy Biesler, and RT Caz Banazek anchored the team through their agonizingly close to Super Bowl-glory days.
Dude went out at 79, and played in 208 consecutive games, so he apparently weathered his career unscathed.
“As an offensive tackle, there aren’t too many individual stats you can hang your hat on, but I guess playing in 208 games, winning the Len Eshmont, the NFC West, going to the Pro Bowl and the sack record aren’t bad.”
Not bad, indeed. A sky-point, and a drink raised in your honor . . .