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.
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
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