Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Kentucky quarterback Babe Parilli dies at 87

Kentucky quarterback Babe Parilli dies at 87

A former New England Patriots quarterback and member of the Patriots Hall of Fame has died, the team announced Saturday.

Vito "Babe" Parilli was born in Rochester, Pennsylvania - not far from Namath's hometown of Beaver Falls. Parilli led Kentucky to victories over Oklahoma in the 1951 Sugar Bowl and TCU in the 1952 Cotton Bowl. The quarterback was the fourth overall pick in the 1952 NFL Draft, by the Green Bay Packers. He won the AFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1966.

In an interview with the Herald-Leader in 2015, Parilli said he loved his time playing at UK.

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As a member of the New York Jets in 1968, Parilli backed up Joe Namath during Gang Green's Super Bowl run, throwing for 401 yards and five touchdowns during the campaign. Parilli completed 331 of his 592 passes for 4,351 career yards in three years as Kentucky's quarterback while also leading the team to an SEC championship. His 31 touchdown passes in 1964 stood as a Patriots' team record until Tom Brady broke it in 2007.

A college football star as well, Parilli was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982 before being inducted into Patriots Hall of Fame in 1993.

Parilli's love of football never waned, and after watching this year's national championship game between Alabama and Clemson, Parilli said, "Best game I ever saw in the college playoffs". After taking the reigns of the Chicago Winds of the WFL, he spent time with the New England Steamrollers, Denver Dynamite, Charlotte Rage, Las Vegas Sting, Anaheim Piranhas and Florida Bobcats in the Arena Football League.

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