New England Patriots Hall-of-Fame QB Vito 'Babe' Parilli dies

New England Patriots Hall-of-Fame QB Vito 'Babe' Parilli dies

Babe Parilli, the former Jets quarterback who was the backup to Joe Namath when they won the Super Bowl in 1969, died Saturday.

Parilli entered the National Football League as Green Bay's first-round pick, fourth overall, in the 1952 draft out of Kentucky, where he QB'd the Wildcats under Paul "Bear" Bryant and was an All-American and two-time Heisman Trophy fnalist.

Born May 7, 1930 in Rochester, Penn. near Pittsburgh, he played college football for University of Kentucky under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. He played in 94 games for the Patriots from 1961-67 throwing for over 16,747 yards and 132 touchdown passes (which places him at fourth all-time with the team for both). He also led the Wildcats to two Bowl wins: the 1950 Sugar Bowl and the 1951 Cotton Bowl.

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

A Rochester, Pa., native, Parilli played seven seasons in the National Football League and one in the CFL before joining the AFL.

Parilli now sits fourth on New England's all-time career passing list with 16,747 yards and fourth with 132 touchdown passes on 2,413 attempts.

Vince Lombardi cutting ties with Parilli allowed the journeyman to take his talents to the AFL, where he played for the Browns, Jets and Raiders.

During his tenure with the Patriots he became one of the AFL's top quarterbacks, and was selected to the All-Star team three times and was named the AFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1966.

Parilli was a head coach in the World Football League, also served as an NFL assistant and coached in the Arena Football League.