Ex-Kansas City Chiefs tight end Fred Arbanas dies at 82

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Barry Werner
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One of the greats in Kansas City Chiefs history, tight end Fred Arbanas, died on Saturday at 82.

Arbanas was a six-time all-AFL selection in 10 seasons despite losing the sight in his left eye in an off-field incident in 1964.

He was named to the All-Time AFL Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was also a Chiefs Hall of Famer and played on the first two Kansas City Super Bowl teams, including the victory over the Minnesota Vikings in IV.

Per KansasCity.com:

He was enjoying his most productive season with the Chiefs in 1964 — 34 receptions for 686 yards and eight touchdowns — when a stranger came out of nowhere on Troost Avenue and approached Arbanas and teammate Al Reynolds. When Arbanas offered to shake hands, the man slugged Arbanas in the left eye, bolted and was never apprehended. Arbanas required several surgeries and though partial vision eventually returned, he was declared legally blind in the eye.

“When I get on the field, I don’t think about it,” Arbanas once said of the damaged eye. “I don’t pay attention to it. If I worried about it, I wouldn’t be able to play. … It’s not a handicap. If a person likes to play, he can adjust to about everything, and I’ve adjusted.”

(AP Photo)

Arbanas played from 1962-70 and caught 198 passes for 3,101 yards — an almost-unheard of 15.4-yard average for a tight end in the 1960s — with 34 touchdowns. He had a pair of catches for 30 total yards in Super Bowl I,

Arbanas served more than 40 years in the Jackson County Legislature after his football career.