There are several thorny issues in Rose Stabler's attempt to join a concussion lawsuit against the NFL, or otherwise seek financial gain, as the widow of Oakland Raiders Hall of Fame quarterback Ken Stabler.
First and foremost, Rose is not Ken's widow because they were officially divorced in 2009.
Stabler died last July 8 from colon cancer. He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February.
According to legal documents obtained by The Sports Xchange that were filed August 5, 2015, in Maricopa County, Ariz., Stabler's oldest daughter, Kendra Stabler Moyes, was declared the personal representative of the quarterback's estate "without restriction."
"I'd like to say I was surprised that Rose pulled this, but she is certifiable," Kendra told The Sports Xchange on Friday. "She is seriously whacked. I mean you can't make up the stuff she does because nobody would believe you. That woman is made-for-TV crazy.
"Rose really has no standing representing my father's estate, and certainly no right to receive money from any lawsuit. That has been a theme ever since they divorced. She is an opportunist trying to leverage her relationship with my father for financial gain. It's sad."
Kendra is from Stabler's first marriage, to Isabel Clarke from 1968 to 1973. His third marriage was to the former Rose Molly Burch from 1984 to 2009, although they split up before 2002.
Kendra said Stabler's estate has worked diligently to follow the former quarterback's last wishes. She cited the constant work by Kim Bush, Stabler's partner for the last 16 years.
"At the request of my father, we are actively involved in addressing concussions in the NFL in a manner that will honor my father's legacy as the compassionate man that he was," Kendra said. "For Rose, this is just another opportunity for a money grab."
Kendra is also the mother of the twin Arizona high school football stars, Jack and Justin, nicknamed Grand Snakes. They stood in for their grandfather upon his selection to the Hall of Fame in February.
Late Friday, the Palm Beach Post reported, in a revised perspective, that Rose was filing a "class action lawsuit." Unlike a previous story by the PBP, this one properly identified Rose as Stabler's ex-wife rather than his widow.
Bush had her own descriptive words.
"She was a vicious, manipulative and unstable woman," Bush said. "She had no relationship with Kenny, they broke up years before the divorce was final. He was very specific about naming Kendra as personal representative with specific directions about Rose -- she gets nothing."
A book on Stabler that was begun three years ago is due to be published at the end of summer and is authored by Tom LaMarre and this writer. In the book, Stabler says marrying Rose was "the biggest mistake I ever made in my life."
However, Bush points out that he continued to be responsible and caring toward the two daughters from that marriage, Alexa and Marissa.
"After he died, we saw Kenny wrote checks to those daughters in his final days," Bush said. "Hell, he didn't have the money in the bank when he wrote those, he was just counting on his monthly retirement check from the NFL to cover for them."
USA TODAY and the Palm Beach Post reported early Friday that Rose Stabler was among those who joined a civil racketeering lawsuit in documents filed in federal court on Friday. The amended complaint submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida lists former NFL players Tracy Scroggins, Quinn Gray and Danny Gorrer along with Rose Stabler as plaintiffs.
That report triggered a response by Arizona Attorney Gerald F. Erlich, who sent a letter to Alabama attorney Tim Howard -- who authored the amended federal filing to include Rose Stabler. Erlich, of Lane and Erlich Ltd. in Phoenix, apprised Hunt that Kendra Stabler Moyes was the sole representative of the Stabler estate.
In the letter, Erlich also said that although "Rose Stabler purports to represent herself as the widow of Mr. Stabler, Mr. Stabler, in fact, was divorced from her over six years ago. ... Accordingly, Ms. Stabler has no standing in your class action."
Before Stabler died, he left instructions for his brain to be donated to the Boston-based Concussion Legacy Foundation to be help advance research on the causes of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, the disease linked to repeated blows to the head.
Shortly after it was learned that Stabler did, indeed, have a severe case of CTE, several of his former teammates, including Art Thoms, George Buehler and George Atkinson, vowed to leave their brains to the same foundation.
Stabler, who led the Raiders to five consecutive AFC Championship games and their first NFL title in Super Bowl XI, in his fourth try as a finalist was selected in February to be inducted with the Class of 2016 into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
-- Frank Cooney, founder and publisher of The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com, is in his sixth decade covering football and 26th year on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.