Cards: Topps 1976, Topps 1981
Acquired: In Person 5/19, Houston 610 Fan Fest 2013
See Also: Robert Brazile “Dr Doom”
Robert Brazile is another guy who was clearly ahead of his time and warrants merit into the Hall of Fame. Brazile was the forerunner to such guys that terrorized the scene of the 80’s, like Andre Tippett. He embodied everything that a 3-4 linebacker could do, playing the pass, run, and rushing the quarterback with frightening efficiency. He’d set the NFL on fire his rookie season, earning Defensive RotY honors in 1975. A cornerstone of the Oilers defensive front, Brazile was relied heavily upon by the team to put pressure up front during the Luv Ya Blu’ heyday of the franchise. He played 10 seasons for the team, contemplating retirement, but ultimately decided to do so after the sudden passing of his wife in 1984.
Brazile had probably the longest of all the lines at Fan Fest in 2013. I am sure that surprised him that so many people remembered him, and I’m sure he enjoyed that immensely. He loved it when I called him Dr. Doom, but he also told me that he hasn’t played tennis in a few years when I asked him about it. A bit disappointing, but I could find no card of Robert with him in an action pose. Every Topps card printed during this period was either a profile shot, him standing on the sidelines or sitting on the bench.
Card: ProSet 1990, Topps 1977
Acquired: In Person 1991,1993 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, Autograph Signing
Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1973 draft by the Dallas Cowboys Harvey Martin was a powerful member of the famed ‘Doomsday Defense’ and made 8 sacks out of the gate as a rookie that season. Nicknamed ‘Too Mean’ by his teammates to go along with ‘Too Tall’ Jones, Martin had a 20 sack season in 1977, was NFL defensive MVP, and was co-mvp of SuperBowl XII with defensive tackle Randy White. A member of the All 1970s team, Harvey was an embattled individual who dealt with drug, domestic and financial issues throughout and after his career ended in 1983. He also was named to the Pro Bowl and was first or second team AP 4 times over his career. Upon his retirement he held the team record for career sacks with 114.
I’d get his autograph in 1991 packing former players at training camp. He’d curiously sign his card with only his garbled initials. Josh and I looked at each other so disappointedly thinking that Harvey had just ruined this card with his half-assed signature. Later we’d go to an autograph signing where there was Drew, Preston, Harvey and a few other players that were just charging 5 bucks a signature and we would get his full signature this time. He’d continue to battle his inner demons post retirement, and occasionally do commentary for wrestling circuits such as the WWF and WCC but sadly in 2001, Harvey passed away from Pancreatic Cancer at the age of 51. At this time Martin is the only player who is a Super Bowl MVP who is deceased and is also of a slim minority who have won the award and not been inducted into the NFL HoF.
G/Gs 158/71 Tac N/a Sac 114 Fum 6 Int 2 Yds 7 Avg 3.5 Td 0
Cards: Topps 1981, Topps 1982
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o home (signing fee)
Sent: 8/27 Received: 9/11 (14 days)
Robert Brazile was a member of some of the underrated Houston Oilers defenses that were overshadowed by the Steelers in the AFC Central during the 1970’s. The Houston Oilers would draft Brazile in the first round of the 1975 draft with the sixth overall pick under the direction of Bum Phillips who was looking for fresh bodies for his new 3-4 defense. Brazile was a perfect fit for defensive coordinator Bum Phillips who was enamored with Robert’s (6’4″,230) combination of power, speed and size. After pulling the trigger Brazile would not disappoint- winning NFL rookie of the year honors after the conclusion of the 1975 season. A key cornerstone to the Oilers 1970’s AFC Championship runs during the “Luv Ya Blue” era, Brazile would earn ProBowl honors from 1976-1982 and was named AP from 1976-1980. Brazile would be nicknamed “Dr. Doom” by his teammates for his ability to blanket the field and make incredible bonecrunching hits. More importantly it was because he got thrown out of a game his rookie season for crushing Washington Redskin quarterback Billy Kilmer’s skull. A complete player, Dr. Doom was an incredibly intelligent player who could play both the pass and the run with frightening efficiency. Brazile would terrorize opponents through 1984, and is considered the forerunner to Lawrence Taylor as a blitzing linebacker- but because sacks did not become a tracked statistic until 1982, Brazile’s contributions to the transformation of the linebacker position are largely ignored.
As a dominating force from the outside Brazile is unofficially considered the #2 tackler in the history of the Oilers franchise with 1285 tackles and never missed a game over his 10 year career. He’d also be named to the NFL’s All 1970s team. Despite Brazile’s notable statistic and presence on the field, he is one of the major players who has not been inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, but with teammate Elvin Bethea‘s recent induction- hope has been given anew that this stalwart defender will get his due. Brazile currently lives in Mobile, Alabama and briefly coached minor league football. An avid tennis player, Robert signed these cards for me for an extremely nominal fee, and even put his nickname on it that harkens to the Marvel Comics bad guy.
G/Gs 147/147 Tac 1285 Sac N/a Fum 14 Int 13 Yds 201 Avg 15.4 Td 0 lg 33