Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Patriots great Babe Parilli dies at 87

Patriots great Babe Parilli dies at 87

Former Boston Patriots quarterback Vito "The Babe" Parilli, has died at the age of 87.

His death was announced by the New England Patriots organization, where Parilli played in 94 games from 1961-67.

Vito “Babe” Parilli threw a pass in 1965
Jack Sheahan Vito “Babe” Parilli threw a pass in 1965

A future Hall of Famer, Vito "Babe" Parilli helped bring national recognition to United Kingdom football during the golden era of Bear Bryant.

Parilli broke the SEC single-season record for passing yards when he threw for 1,627 in 1950, and he broke it again in 1951 when he threw for 1,643. He played with the Packers and Browns and the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders in the Fifties, then came to the fledgling American Football League, where he played on the Raiders' inaugural AFL team in 1960 and then with the Patriots. He was an All-American in 1950 and 1951.

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Parilli was picked fourth overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1952.

After stints with six different teams from 1952-69, Parilli went on to have a successful coaching career that spanned 24 years and eight teams.

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He was a three-time AFL All-Star while playing for the Boston Patriots. Parilli's playing career ended with the Jets, where he won a ring as Joe Namath's backup in Super Bowl III. The Patriots inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 1993, and he's also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame for his career at Kentucky.

In 1974, he coached the New York Stars of the World Football League.

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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".

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