"In Oakland I drive to the stadium exactly the same way before every game," Blanda says. "At 11:30 I get a cup of coffee in the dressing room, then I go out and sit by myself in the stands for a few minutes. Each Sunday the same two guys, friends of mine, come by and we talk for a little. Then I go back in and dress. Of course, it's different on the road."
During the off season Blanda lives in a suburb of Chicago, where he is an executive for Railway Express; the president of the company is a close friend of his. He makes a handsome salary outside of football and he doesn't play the game for money alone. "I didn't have much fun the 10 years I played with the Bears," he said before the Denver game. "But I'm enjoying it out here. I guess I'm lucky."
He should be. He works at it.