Babe Parilli

Vito "Babe" Parilli (May 7, 1930 – July 15, 2017) was an American football player. He played quarterback for five seasons in the National Football League and three in the Canadian Football League in the 1950s, and then in the American Football League for all ten seasons in the 1960s.

Vito "Babe" Parilli
refer to caption
1952 Bowman football card
No. 15, 18, 10
Personal information
Born:May 7, 1930
Rochester, Pennsylvania
Died:July 15, 2017 (aged 87)
Parker, Colorado
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:196 lb (89 kg)
Career information
High school:Rochester (PA)
NFL Draft:1952 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts:3,330
Pass completions:1,552
Passing yards:22,681
QB Rating:59.6
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Parilli was born and raised in Rochester, Pennsylvania, an industrial town northwest of Pittsburgh, Parilli graduated from Rochester High School in 1948.

Parilli then played college football at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and was a quarterback for the Wildcats under head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. He was a consensus All-American in 1950 and 1951 and was fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1950 and third in 1951. He led the Wildcats to victories in consecutive New Year's Day bowl games in the 1951 Sugar Bowl and 1952 Cotton Bowl.

NFL & Canada

Parilli was the fourth overall selection of the 1952 NFL draft, taken by the Green Bay Packers. He played two seasons with the Packers, two with the Ottawa Rough Riders in Canada, one with the Cleveland Browns in 1956, two more with the Packers, and another with Ottawa in 1959.


At age 30, Parilli was picked up by the Oakland Raiders of the fledgling American Football League on August 17, 1960,[1] and threw for just over 1,000 yards that season.

On April 4, 1961, he was part of a five-player trade that sent him to the Boston Patriots,[2][3] and he went on to become one of the AFL's most productive and colorful players. Playing for the Patriots from 1961 through 1967, Parilli finished his career with over 25,000 total yards and 200 touchdowns, ending among the top five quarterbacks in 23 categories such as passing yards, passing touchdowns and rushing yards. Parilli was selected for three All-Star Games. In 1964, throwing primarily to Gino Cappelletti, Parilli amassed nearly 3,500 yards passing with 31 touchdowns; the latter was a Patriots record until Tom Brady broke it in 2007. During that season's contest against the Oakland Raiders on October 16, he threw for 422 yards and four touchdown passes in a 43–43 tie. Parilli is a member of the Patriots All-1960s (AFL) Team.

Parilli completed his career with the New York Jets, where he earned a ring as Joe Namath's backup in Super Bowl III, when the Jets stunned the Baltimore Colts by a 16–7 score. Coincidentally, this gave the Jets two quarterbacks from Pennsylvania's Beaver County, with Parilli being from Rochester and Namath being from nearby Beaver Falls and both played for "Bear" Bryant in college, Namath at Alabama. In 1967, it was discovered by Life magazine that Parilli and several other professional athletes were regular patrons of Patriarca crime family mobster Arthur Ventola's major fencing operation called Arthur's Farm in Revere, Massachusetts. Despite the organized crime connection, journalist Howie Carr stated that there was never any inside information passed between Parilli and Ventola. Arthur was the uncle of mob associate Richard Castucci.

Besides his considerable skills as a quarterback, he was one of the best holders in the history of football and was nicknamed "gold-finger" as a result of kicker Jim Turner's then-record 145 points kicked in 1968 (plus another 19 points in the play-offs and in Super Bowl III). He is one of only twenty players who were in the American Football League for its entire ten-year existence, and is a member of the University of Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1982, Parilli was named to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Because of their Italian surnames, the Patriots' wide receiver-quarterback duo of Cappelletti and Parilli was nicknamed "Grand Opera."

Parilli retired as a player at the age of 40 in August 1970.[4]

Coaching career

In 1974, Parilli became the head coach of the New York Stars of the World Football League. The next year, he coached another WFL team, the Chicago Winds. He later coached the New England Steamrollers, Denver Dynamite, Charlotte Rage, Las Vegas Sting, Anaheim Piranhas and Florida Bobcats of the Arena Football League.[5]


Parilli died on July 15, 2017 in Parker, Colorado of multiple myeloma at the age of 87.[6]


Parilli was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982.[7] On November 15, 2014, he was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.[8]

College Statistics

Season Passing
Comp Att Yards Comp% TD INT
1949 81 150 1081 54.0 8 13
1950 114 203 1627 56.2 23 12
1951 136 239 1643 56.9 19 12
Career Total 331 592 4351 55.9 50 37

See also


  1. ^ "Parilli joins Oakland Raiders". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. August 17, 1960. p. 45.
  2. ^ "Parilli is swapped to Boston Patriots". Milwaukee Journal. press dispatches. April 6, 1961. p. 14, part 2.
  3. ^ "Oakland trades Parilli to Patriots". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. April 5, 1961. p. 47.
  4. ^ "Babe Parilli retires from pro football". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Florida. Associated Press. August 30, 1970. p. 1C.
  5. ^ "Babe Parilli". Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  6. ^ "Babe Parilli Dies at 87; Standout Quarterback With 'Houdini Hands'". July 15, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2018 – via
  7. ^ "Parilli, Meredith among hall of fame inductees". Gadsden Times. Alabama. Associated Press. February 7, 1982. p. 39.
  8. ^ "". Retrieved April 7, 2018.

External links

1951 Kentucky Wildcats football team

The 1951 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky in the 1951 college football season. The Wildcats scored 314 points while allowing 121 points. Ranked #6 in the AP Poll at the beginning of the season, the team finished the season with a victory in the 1952 Cotton Bowl Classic and a #15 AP ranking.

1951 Sugar Bowl

The 1951 Sugar Bowl was the 17th Sugar Bowl, played on January 1, 1951, in New Orleans, Louisiana. It matched the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kentucky Wildcats.

Oklahoma (10–0) was the Big Seven champion and was ranked first in both major polls; seventh-ranked Kentucky (10–1) was the Southeastern Conference champion. Oklahoma averaged 34.5 points per game; only one team had scored more than twice in a game against Kentucky that season. Oklahoma entered the New Year's Day game with a 31-game winning streak; the Sooners' previous loss was in September 1948, and they were favored by six to seven points. Kentucky was led by head coach Bear Bryant, and Oklahoma by Bud Wilkinson. Notable players included Oklahoma's Billy Vessels and Kentucky's Charlie McClendon, Babe Parilli, and Wilbur "Shorty" Jamerson. Over 80,000 fans attended the game.

Kentucky fielded three defensive tackles for much of the game, which caused Oklahoma quarterback Claude Arnold to hurry his handoffs and passes. One Wildcat tackle was Bob Gain, winner of the Outland Trophy that season. The third was Walt Yowarsky, who had played less than five minutes on defense during the regular season. Yowarsky recovered a fumble on the Oklahoma 22-yard line, leading to Kentucky's first score: on the next play after Yowarsky's fumble recovery, Kentucky quarterback Babe Parilli threw a touchdown pass to Wilbur Jamerson for a 7–0 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Wildcats drove 81 yards for a touchdown, a run by Wilbur Jamerson, and led 13–0 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Oklahoma had the ball, first and goal on the Kentucky 3-yard line. The Wildcat defense held on first and second down; on third down Yowarsky tackled the Oklahoma ball carrier for a five-yard loss. On fourth down, the Sooners were stopped and Kentucky took possession.

In the fourth quarter, Yowarsky recovered a fumbled punt. With seven minutes left in the game, Oklahoma quarterback Billy Vessels threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Merrill Green. Kentucky, however, retained possession of the football for the rest of the game, with the exception of one play, for a 13–7 victory. Yowarsky was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

1952 Cotton Bowl Classic

The 1952 Cotton Bowl Classic was the sixteenth installment of the Cotton Bowl Classic.

1960 Oakland Raiders season

The 1960 Oakland Raiders season was the inaugural one for the franchise and for the American Football League. Head coach Eddie Erdelatz led the team to a 6–8 finish, third out of four teams in the Western Division.

1963 American Football League Championship Game

The 1963 American Football League Championship Game was the fourth AFL title game. At the end of the regular season, the San Diego Chargers (11–3) won the Western Division for the third time in the four-year existence of the AFL.The Eastern Division Boston Patriots and Buffalo Bills had identical 7–6–1 records, which required a tiebreaker playoff game on December 28 in Buffalo.

1963 Boston Patriots season

The 1963 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's 4th season in the American Football League.

In their first season at Fenway Park, switching from Nickerson Field, the Patriots hovered around the .500 mark all season, and were in position to win the Eastern Division title outright with a victory on their final game. The 35–3 road loss to the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs allowed the Buffalo Bills catch up and both finished at 7–6–1, which required a divisional playoff game, the AFL's first. Both teams had a bye the following week, postponed from the Sunday after the assassination of President Kennedy; the tiebreaker playoff was scheduled for Saturday, December 28, at Buffalo's War Memorial Stadium. The teams split their two games during the regular season, with the home team winning, and the host Bills were slight favorites.The visiting Patriots won the playoff game 26–8 on a snowy field, with quarterback Babe Parilli throwing two touchdown passes to fullback Larry Garron, and three field goals were added by end Gino Cappelletti. With the win, Boston became Eastern Division champions, while the Western champion San Diego Chargers (11–3) were idle. The AFL championship game was played the next week in southern California on January 5, where San Diego routed the Patriots 51–10 at Balboa Stadium.

1988 New England Steamrollers season

The 1988 New England Steamrollers season was the first and only season for the Arena Football League franchise. Concert and fight promoter, Frank J. Russo, and jeweler, Robert Andreoli, purchased a limited partnership from the Arena Football League to own the rights to a Providence, Rhode Island team. The team's first move was the hiring of Head Coach Babe Parilli in March. After a 3–9 season, the Steamrollers didn't achieve the dollar amount that Russo and Andreoli thought they would, and the franchise folded.

1989 Denver Dynamite season

The 1989 Denver Dynamite season was the second season for the Denver Dynamite. The franchise was restarted in 1989 after sitting out the 1988 season, with the ownership purchased by Englewood, Colorado investment banker, Gary Graham for $125,000. Graham's first move was to hire former NFL and AFL coach Babe Parilli as the team's head coach. The team struggled to earn money during the 1989 season due to only hosting one home game. The team finished with a 3–1 regular season record, and lost in the first round of the playoffs, 37–39 to the Gladiators.

1992 Charlotte Rage season

The 1992 Charlotte Rage season was the first for the Arena Football League (AFL) franchise. They were coached by Babe Parilli. The Rage finished 3–7 and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Art Graham

Arthur William Graham III (born July 31, 1941) is a former American football player. He played professionally as a wide receiver in the American Football League (AFL) for six seasons with the Boston Patriots. He was named Patriots player of the year in 1963 after averaging 26.2 yards per catch and scoring five touchdowns. Drafted by both the Patriots and the Cleveland Browns, the Patriots offered him $10,000 to play for them. He played college football at Boston College.

His father Art (Skinny) Graham II was an outfielder for 21 games for the Boston Red Sox during the 1934-35 seasons.

Art Graham III averaged 26.1 yards per reception during his rookie season with the Boston Patriots. Art had a career best 167 yards receiving in the Patriots thrilling 25-24 last second victory over the Houston Oilers @ Fenway Park on 11-06-64.

He caught an 80-yard touchdowns pass from Babe Parilli in the Patriots 34-17 win over the Houston Oilers on 11-29-64. Art made a game saving tackles on a long punt return by Hoot Gibson in the Patriots 17-14 win over the Oakland Raiders on 09-13-64. Art also made a game saving tackle on a long punt return by Lance Alworth in the Patriots 33-28 win over the San Diego Chargers on 09-20-64.

Art held the Patriots Team Record for the most receptions in a game for 33 years. He had 11 receptions for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Patriots 27-27 tie with the Kansas City Chiefs on 11-20-66. He caught a 22-yard touchdown pass, even though he was only wearing one shoe, in the Patriots 20-14 win over the Miami Dolphins on 11-27-66. (It would take another 20 years before the Patriots would win another game played in Miami Florida)

Graham is a member of the Patriots' All-1960s (AFL) team.

Bobby Garrett

Robert Driscoll "Bobby" Garrett (August 16, 1932 – 5 December 1987) was an American football quarterback who played one season in the National Football League.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Garrett was an All-American quarterback at Stanford University, where he also starred as a defensive back. In 1953, he became the third person to receive the W.J. Voit Memorial Trophy as the outstanding football player on the Pacific Coast. After he was named most valuable player of the Hula Bowl, he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns as the first overall selection in the 1954 NFL Draft. The Browns had needed someone to take over for the veteran Otto Graham, but they soon discovered that Garrett had a liability as a quarterback: he stuttered, which made calling plays difficult.Garrett never played a game for the Browns, who traded him along with halfback Don Miller and linemen Johnny Bauer and Chet Gierula to the Green Bay Packers for quarterback Babe Parilli and offensive tackle Bob Fleck. The Packers wanted a backup for veteran Tobin Rote, but did not learn of Garrett's stuttering problem before making the trade. Garrett played just nine games in the NFL.

Chester Gierula

Chester Gierula was an American football player. He was selected in the tenth round of the 1951 NFL Draft.

Gierula was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and attended William Allen High School.Gierula attended college at the University of Maryland, where he played football as a guard. He played on the offensive line alongside Maryland football greats Bob Ward and Dick Modzelewski. Gierula was said to have played "his best game of the year" in the 1950 upset win over number-two Michigan State in East Lansing, Michigan.In 1951, Gierula was selected in the tenth round of the 1951 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. In 1954, Gierula (along with Bobby Garrett, John Bauer, and Jack Miller) was traded to the Green Bay Packers for Babe Parilli and Bob Fleck.

Denver Dynamite (arena football)

The Denver Dynamite were an arena football team based in Denver, Colorado. The team began play in 1987 as a charter member of the Arena Football League. The team was brought in by businessman Sidney Shlenker and the team achieved success instantly, winning the first ever ArenaBowl under future AFL Hall of Fame coach Tim Marcum. After sitting out the 1988 season, the Dynamite were purchased by investment banker Gary Graham for $125,000. Graham then hired former NFL and AFL coach Babe Parilli to lead the team. Under Parilli, the Dynamite would return to the playoffs every season, but failed to return to the ArenaBowl. After the 1991 season, the franchise was sued by their public relations firm and filed for bankruptcy. They played their home games at McNichols Sports Arena. The team's logo was a bundle of dynamite sticks with a burning fuse.

Gerry Philbin

Gerald John Philbin (born July 31, 1941) is a former American football defensive tackle and four-year starter from the University at Buffalo where he earned several honors including second-team All-American, Little All-America, and All-American Academic team. Drafted by both the Detroit Lions of the National Football League and the New York Jets of the American Football League in the third round of the 1964 draft, he joined the Jets and became an immediate starter and perennial All-AFL selection at defensive end. He played stellar defense for them for nine seasons.

He was selected as an American Football League All-Star in 1968 and 1969. A ferocious pass-rusher, Philbin recorded 14½ sacks of opposing quarterbacks in 1968, helping the Jets win the AFL Championship. In the third AFL-NFL World Championship Game, Philbin anchored the Jets defense in limiting the Colts to seven points.

In 1973, he joined the Philadelphia Eagles for one season and finished his career in the short-lived World Football League as a member of the New York Stars in 1974 where he joined former Super Bowl III alumni George Sauer, Jr, Randy Beverly, John Dockery, John Elliott, and Vito (Babe) Parilli. He was an All-WFL selection in 1974. Philbin is a member of the All-time American Football League Team.

Golden Dome (Monaca)

Golden Dome is a 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It hosts various local concerts and sporting events for the area and was the home arena for the Pittsburgh Patriots of the American Basketball Association and several other music and political events most recently a major campaign speech from then Senator Barack Obama in March 2008 [1]. It was built in 1975 and is one of only eight remaining geodesic dome structures in the United States.

It is also home to the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. Inside the entrance are plaques that ring the wall of the gym. Visitors will find tributes to Beaver County's most-esteemed sportsmen, including basketball legends Norm Van Lier, Denny Wuycik and Sean Miller, football greats Joe Namath, Babe Parilli and Sean Gilbert, and the father-and-son baseball stars Tito Francona and Terry Francona. [2]

Kentucky Wildcats football statistical leaders

The Kentucky Wildcats football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Kentucky Wildcats football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, all-purpose yardage, defensive stats, kicking, and scoring. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Wildcats represent the University of Kentucky in the NCAA's Southeastern Conference.

Although Kentucky began competing in intercollegiate football in 1892, the school's official record book considers the "modern era" to have begun in 1946. Records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent, and they are generally not included in these lists. For example, Cecil Tuttle rushed for 6 touchdowns against Maryland in 1907, but complete records for the era are unavailable.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1950, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Wildcats have played in eight bowl games since this decision, giving many recent players an extra game to accumulate statistics.These lists are updated through the end of the 2018 season.

List of Green Bay Packers starting quarterbacks

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) and are the third-oldest franchise in the National Football League (NFL). The club was founded in 1919 by coach, player, and future Hall of Fame inductee Curly Lambeau and sports and telegraph editor George Whitney Calhoun. The Packers competed against local teams for two seasons before entering the NFL in 1921.

The Packers have had 46 starting quarterbacks (QB) in the history of their franchise. The Packers' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Curly Lambeau, Tony Canadeo, Arnie Herber, Bart Starr and Brett Favre. The team's first starting quarterback was Norm Barry, while the longest serving was Brett Favre. The Packers' starting quarterback for the 2018 season was Aaron Rodgers, who was playing in his 14th season in the NFL.

They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Packers.

List of New England Patriots starting quarterbacks

The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in Foxborough, Massachusetts. They are a member of the East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC). The team began as the Boston Patriots in the American Football League, a league that merged with the National Football League before the start of the 1970 season. In 1971, the team relocated to Foxborough, where they then became the New England Patriots. Between 1971 and 2001, the Patriots played their home games at Foxboro Stadium. Since 2002, the Patriots have played their home games at Gillette Stadium (formerly CMGI Field), which was built adjacent to Foxboro Stadium (which was then demolished, and the site was turned into a parking lot for Gillette Stadium).

There have been 28 starting quarterbacks in the history of the franchise. The most starting quarterbacks the Patriots have had in one season is five quarterbacks, in 1987. Past quarterbacks for the Patriots include Patriots Hall of Fame inductees Babe Parilli, Steve Grogan, and Drew Bledsoe. Butch Songin became the first starting quarterback for the Patriots in 1960, when the franchise was first established. He was replaced by Tom Greene for the final two games of the season. Hall of Famer Parilli was the next starting quarterback for the Patriots, from 1961 to 1967. As of the 2017 season, New England's starting quarterback is Tom Brady, whom the Patriots selected in the 6th round (199th pick overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. He is the only quarterback to have led the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory.

New England Steamrollers

The New England Steamrollers were a former Arena Football League based in Providence, Rhode Island. The team played in the AFL's 1988 season. The Steamrollers were one of four teams to enter the AFL in 1988, and along with the New York Knights and Los Angeles Cobras were folded following the season.

The Steamrollers were based out of Providence, Rhode Island and played their home games at the Providence Civic Center. They were the first professional football team of any kind to play in Providence since the Providence Steam Roller folded in 1933 and the first non-minor league professional sports franchise to play in the city since the NBA's Providence Steamrollers folded in 1949.

The coach of the Steamrollers was former Boston Patriots All-Pro quarterback Babe Parilli.

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