Tag Archives: Atlanta Falcons

Bartkowski, Steve

Cards: Topps 1978, Topps 1983
Acquired: In Person, CGA Youth Golf  Tournament 1993.

I got to the Golf Tournament early in the morning (before 8am) and was able to catch the early birds on the course before the crowds got there. The first three I got were the trio of quarterbacks, Steve Bartkowski, Billy Joe Tolliver and Browning Nagle. Bartkowski and the others were extremely nice and even let me ride around in a golf cart for a hole or two with them. They were more than happy to sign any cards I had, and Steve signed these two cards for me after I gave him and the others the drawings I did for them.

Steve was the #1 pick of the NFL draft of 1975 for the Atlanta Falcons, and garnered NFL Rookie of the Year Honors that year. Bartkowski lead the Falcons from 1975 to 1985 (and Rams in 1986).  He still owns many of the Falcons passing records to this day. Bartkowski’s career got off to an extremely rough start but blossomed as his career continued under center leading the team to division championships in 1980 and 1982. (You see in those days #1 choices and quarterbacks were given 5 or 6 years to blossom.) Steve was a two time Pro Bowler and threw 22 touchdowns to 5 picks in 1983. (He is also notable for being Leigh Steinberg’s first client and for being taken ahead of HoF runningback Walter Payton.)  After retirement Steve has continued to live and work in the Atlanta area, working for contractual commercial building firms, in sports broadcasting and television as a color analyst, sits on the board of directors for the Atlanta Falcons and is an avid golfer with a scratch handicap.

G 129    Att  1932    Comp 3456      Pct 55.9      Yds  24124
Td  156       Int  144       Rat  75.4

Doleman, Chris

Cards: Action Packed 1991, Pro Set 1990, GameDay 1992.
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Minnesota Vikings

Chris Doleman was the 4th overall choice of the 1985 draft. Originally drafted as an outside linebacker, where he was converted to a defensive end in 1987 where he formed a dynamic duo with Keith Millard at DT.  The change was immediate as Doleman became a force at right end, dominating the sack charts for the next 13 seasons notching at least 7 sacks in each season for the Vikings, Falcons, and 49ers.  In the 1987 playoffs the defensive line of the Vikings crushed the Saints and 49ers in the playoffs.  He was traded to the Falcons after the 1993 season, and played there 2 years before going to the 49ers. In his final season he returned at the grand old age of 38 to the Vikings and notched 8 sacks before retiring.  Doleman was named All Pro from 1987-1990, 1992 and 1993, lead the league in sacks with 21 in 1989, and made the Pro Bowl 8 times. His sack totals currently rank him 4th overall in league history and he is listed on the NFL All 90s team. Unfairly cast as a ‘pass rush specialist’ Doleman had a streak of seasons with 90+ tackles (1989-1991) in addition to his high sack totals demonstrating his overall ability against both pass and run.

I sent off for Chris’ autograph in 1992, on a whim not expecting to get his autograph for my collection and received back all 3 cards signed.  Most people still don’t respect ‘sackers and tacklers’ but the league over the last few years has made a concerted effort to induct more of them into the HoF. With John Randle’s impending induction scheduled for 2010, the hope is Doleman should be next in the logger jam of defensive sack talent to go in.

In 2011, Chris was honored by the Vikings who selected him to announce their 2nd round pick during the NFL draft.

Games  232       Tac  914        Sac  150.5        Fum  44       Int   8        Yds  121      TD  2