Former Patriots quarterback Vito 'Babe' Parilli dies at 87

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Former Patriots quarterback Vito 'Babe' Parilli dies at 87

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Babe Parilli, the former Patriots quarterback who starred in the team's American Football League days, died Saturday. He was 87.

New England announced the death. The cause of death wasn't disclosed.

Parilli played for the then-Boston Patriots from 1961 to 1967. He was voted to three AFL All-Star games and was the AFL's Comeback Player of the Year in 1966.

Parilli was named to the All-AFL 10 Year Anniversary Team in 1971 and his 31 touchdown passes in 1964 were a team record until 2007. Parilli is fourth on the Patriots' career passing list with 16,747 yards and is in the team's Hall of Fame. He also was known as an excellent holder and was nicknamed "gold finger."

He began his pro career with the Green Bay Packers in 1952, and also played for the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders. He was the backup to Joe Namath when the Jets won the Super Bowl in 1969.

Vito "Babe" Parilli was born in Rochester, Pennsylvania - not far from Namath's hometown of Beaver Falls. Both Parilli and Namath played under coach Bear Bryant in college, Parilli at Kentucky, and Namath at Alabama. Parilli led Kentucky to victories over Oklahoma in the 1951 Sugar Bowl and TCU in the 1952 Cotton Bowl. In 1982, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

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

Poll ranks Patriots as NFL's most 'badass' team

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Poll ranks Patriots as NFL's most 'badass' team

Five-time Super Bowl champions. Seven-time AFC champs. Fourteen-time AFC East champs. Now, Bill Belichick's Patriots have another title.

NFL's most "badass" team.

The Tampa Bay Times polled a panel of 43 NFL writers and asked them for the top three most "badass" teams and players in the NFL.

MORE PATRIOTS

The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots came out on top with 29 top-three votes. 

Here's a sampling of the panelists' comments:

"They keep winning in a league designed to discourage dynasties." -Terez A. Paylor, Kansas City Star

"Hands down. They take a three-touchdown lead and keep throwing, and throwing, and don't give a damn what anybody thinks." -Tyler Dunne, Bleacher Report

"For a decade they've been toying with and laughing at the rest of the league. The biggest bullies on the block." — Ralph Vacchiano, SNY

"Behind the glitz and glamour of having the game's greatest quarterback, the Patriots ranked among the league's top 10 scoring defenses each of the past five seasons, including No. 1 in 2016." — Ryan Wood, Green Bay Press-Gazette

The most badass player? Veteran Steelers linebacker James Harrison. The highest-ranked Patriot on the list? Tom Brady at No. 6. Rob Gronkowski was tied with Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack at No. 8. Julian Edelman was among the others receiving votes. 

Here are the full rankings: 

MOST BADASS TEAM 

1. Patriots (29 votes)

2. Seahawks (27)

3. Steelers (18)

4. Raiders (9)

5. Ravens (8)

6t. Broncos (6)

6t. Cowboys (6)

8. Bengals (4)

9t. Cardinals (2)

9t. Packers (2)

9t. Panthers (2)

9t. Texans (2)

Also receiving votes: Chiefs, Falcons, Rams, Titans (1 each)

MOST BADASS PLAYER

1. James Harrison, Steelers LB (14 votes)

2t. Marshawn Lynch, Raiders RB (10)

2t. J.J. Watt, Texans DE (10)

4t. Kam Chancellor, Seahawks S (8)

4t. Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins DT (8)

6. Tom Brady, Patriots QB (7)

7. Von Miller, Broncos LB (6)

8t. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots TE (5)

8t. Khalil Mack, Raiders LB (5)

10. Aaron Donald, Rams DT (4)