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1968 Falcons coach, Norm Van Brocklin


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Seems to be a lot of "old timer" fans from back in the day, Ive always been interested in Norm Van Brocklin and would like to hear any thoughts or memories of him. NFL Films did a segment on him that kinda concentrated on him being a real hard a$$, and always smoking on the sidelines. Would love to hear any of ya'lls thoughts or memories.

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Seems to be a lot of "old timer" fans from back in the day, Ive always been interested in Norm Van Brocklin and would like to hear any thoughts or memories of him. NFL Films did a segment on him that kinda concentrated on him being a real hard a$$, and always smoking on the sidelines. Would love to hear any of ya'lls thoughts or memories.

I used to work with his daughter.. They owned a Pecan farm in Georgia

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I remember 'The Dutchman" as he was so called back then. Being hurt was no excuse, if you could walk, you played. I remember Tommy Nobis playing with a broken arm once and was still a beast! I remember that crazy SOB on the sidelines lighting up many a time! He was as mean as they come and cussed like a sailor. Definitely an 'old school player' back in the day but his coaching methodology left quite a bit to be desired.

Oh yeah, Brocklin only trails Dan Reeves with the second longest coaching tenure in the history of the Atlanta Falcons.

In all, the 1973 season stands out the most. Opening day in N.O. beating the Saints like 62-7 I believe and went on to a winning record just missing the playoffs by one game. Another thing about that year was RB Dave Hampton rushing for 1,000 yards and on his last play lost 3 yards on a tackle in the backfield ending the season with 997 yards. The next season with a lot of promise, the Birds really stunk it up from the start and Brocklin was replaced by Two Time Coach Marion Campbell.

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I played high school football with a kid whose father was the offensive line coach under Van Brocklin. I believe it was the 1973 year when we had nine wins with three games to play. Two wins would have assured us a playoff spot. I think we played Buffalo, St. Louis and New Orleans the last three games and they were all pretty bad teams if I recall. After losing to Buffalo my friend and I attended the St. Louis game along with his mother. I'll never forget looking at her face watching the game. The word was that the players (particularly the black players) hated Van Brocklin and laid down in the last three games so he would be fired. St. Louis, who won like four games that year, beat us something like 35-10. It was a pathetic performance and they did not make the playoffs. Van Brocklin got fired part way through the next season. Ah, sweeeeet Falcons memories!

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I remember 'The Dutchman" as he was so called back then. Being hurt was no excuse, if you could walk, you played. I remember Tommy Nobis playing with a broken arm once and was still a beast! I remember that crazy SOB on the sidelines lighting up many a time! He was as mean as they come and cussed like a sailor. Definitely an 'old school player' back in the day but his coaching methodology left quite a bit to be desired.

Oh yeah, Brocklin only trails Dan Reeves with the second longest coaching tenure in the history of the Atlanta Falcons.

In all, the 1973 season stands out the most. Opening day in N.O. beating the Saints like 62-7 I believe and went on to a winning record just missing the playoffs by one game. Another thing about that year was RB Dave Hampton rushing for 1,000 yards and on his last play lost 3 yards on a tackle in the backfield ending the season with 997 yards. The next season with a lot of promise, the Birds really stunk it up from the start and Brocklin was replaced by Two Time Coach Marion Campbell.

LOL!

I remember that.

They stopped the game and gave him the award, if I remember correctly

I felt so bad for him

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LOL!

I remember that.

They stopped the game and gave him the award, if I remember correctly

I felt so bad for him

Yeah, they were going to keep him out of the game as it was already late and Brocklin sent him in on a third and short and Hampton got tackled in the backfield only for fate to have it that he wouldn't get another oppurtunity. Hampton was a beast of a RB in his day though.

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Van Brocklin could be quite a jerk, from what I've read after the fact. He was very old school and was good for a quote occasionally. The LA Rams were the kingpins of our division. Van Brocklin HATED going to LA. He called it "The Land of fruits and nuts".

I remember that 73 season. "General" Bob Lee was our QB, the offense called Lee's Legions. On one of the biggest sports events in Atlanta history we beat the Vikings (or was it the Rams?) on a Monday Night the first time MNF came to town. It was a BIG game that the whole city was abuzz about. You have to understand that the city of Atlanta had very much a small town, underdog mentality at that point. I'd compare it to Jacksonville or maybe Charlotte today. It wasn't really until the Olympics that the city truly grew up and became the major international hub and media market that it is now.

After we won 9 straight, NO ONE could believe we dropped the last three. It was a monumental collapse, akin to our 2005 season. I never heard the story about the players laying down, but it's possible. Van Brocklin was pretty rough on the team in a lot of ways. By the 74 season the "Dump the Dutchman" T-shirts and bumper stickers started appearing...the fans pretty much forced Rankin Smith's hand.

We never got good again until Leeman Bennett built his 1977-1982 regime, arguably some of the most talented team we've ever assembled. Still cursed to ping pong between losing/winning seasons though.

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Van Brocklin could be quite a jerk, from what I've read after the fact. He was very old school and was good for a quote occasionally. The LA Rams were the kingpins of our division. Van Brocklin HATED going to LA. He called it "The Land of fruits and nuts".

I remember that 73 season. "General" Bob Lee was our QB, the offense called Lee's Legions. On one of the biggest sports events in Atlanta history we beat the Vikings (or was it the Rams?) on a Monday Night the first time MNF came to town. It was a BIG game that the whole city was abuzz about. You have to understand that the city of Atlanta had very much a small town, underdog mentality at that point. I'd compare it to Jacksonville or maybe Charlotte today. It wasn't really until the Olympics that the city truly grew up and became the major international hub and media market that it is now.

After we won 9 straight, NO ONE could believe we dropped the last three. It was a monumental collapse, akin to our 2005 season. I never heard the story about the players laying down, but it's possible. Van Brocklin was pretty rough on the team in a lot of ways. By the 74 season the "Dump the Dutchman" T-shirts and bumper stickers started appearing...the fans pretty much forced Rankin Smith's hand.

We never got good again until Leeman Bennett built his 1977-1982 regime, arguably some of the most talented team we've ever assembled. Still cursed to ping pong between losing/winning seasons though.

Yes sir, i believe it was the Vikes.... :D

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Van Brocklin could be quite a jerk, from what I've read after the fact. He was very old school and was good for a quote occasionally. The LA Rams were the kingpins of our division. Van Brocklin HATED going to LA. He called it "The Land of fruits and nuts".

I remember that 73 season. "General" Bob Lee was our QB, the offense called Lee's Legions. On one of the biggest sports events in Atlanta history we beat the Vikings (or was it the Rams?) on a Monday Night the first time MNF came to town. It was a BIG game that the whole city was abuzz about. You have to understand that the city of Atlanta had very much a small town, underdog mentality at that point. I'd compare it to Jacksonville or maybe Charlotte today. It wasn't really until the Olympics that the city truly grew up and became the major international hub and media market that it is now.

After we won 9 straight, NO ONE could believe we dropped the last three. It was a monumental collapse, akin to our 2005 season. I never heard the story about the players laying down, but it's possible. Van Brocklin was pretty rough on the team in a lot of ways. By the 74 season the "Dump the Dutchman" T-shirts and bumper stickers started appearing...the fans pretty much forced Rankin Smith's hand.

We never got good again until Leeman Bennett built his 1977-1982 regime, arguably some of the most talented team we've ever assembled. Still cursed to ping pong between losing/winning seasons though.

I remember that MNF vs Minnesota. They were a powerhouse in those days with a stifling defense. Beating them felt almost as good as beating the Rams. I remember it was the Monday before Thanksgiving and I was supposed to go to that game but came down really sick with the flu. Posters were always around that picked on Howard Cosell and I had made on that simply said "Thursday's Dinner" which I had found a pic of Cosell out of a MAD magazine and drew it's head onto the body of a Turkey. Cosell was a real Atlanta Falcons hater from the start and it was so good to see the 'lowly Falcons tee off on a team he just never shut up about (The Vikings).

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Wow its pretty cool to hear you guys talk about the falcons before i was even born ....

i was born in 1986 btw... :)

I believe that was around the time Rankin Smith flirted with taking the Falcons to Jacksonville. I recall some disgruntled fans sportning bumper stickers that were saying: Move the Falcons and take the Braves with you! Not long afterwards, the Braves brought Bobby Cox back to Atlanta and things have never been the same since.

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Wow its pretty cool to hear you guys talk about the falcons before i was even born ....

i was born in 1986 btw... :)

1981 here, Van brocklin has always seemed like an interesting player/coach. When he was a player for the rams he was a QB, and shared snaps with another QB, from what I remember they had some records together. His rookie year was 57 or 58, I believe,

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From Wikipedia: "Van Brocklin was drafted in the fourth round (37th overall) of the 1949 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He joined a team that already had a star quarterback, Bob Waterfield. Beginning in 1950, new Rams coach Joe Stydahar solved his problem by platooning Waterfield and Van Brocklin. The 1950 Rams scored an (at that time) NFL record 466 points (38.8 per game) with a high octane passing attack featuring Tom Fears and Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch. Fears led the league and set a new NFL record with 84 receptions. Van Brocklin and Waterfield finished 1-2 in passer rating as well. They were defeated by the Cleveland Browns in the 1950 title game, 30-28.

In 1951, Van Brocklin and Waterfield again split quarterbacking duties and the Rams again won the West. That year, Hirsch set an NFL record with 1,495 receiving yards and tied Don Hutson's record of 17 touchdown receptions. This time, the Rams won the title rematch against Cleveland, 24-17. Waterfield (9-24, 125 yards) took most of the snaps, but Van Brocklin (4-6, 128 yards) threw the game winner of 73 yards to Fears. This was the last Rams championship until 1999. Also in 1951, on September 28, he threw for 554 yards, breaking Johnny Lujack's single-game record of 468, a mark that still stands more than a half-century later.

From 1952 to 1957, Van Brocklin continued to quarterback the Rams, leading them to the title game again in 1955. In that game, the Browns defeated the Rams 38-14 while Van Brocklin threw six interceptions."

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I used to work with his daughter.. They owned a Pecan farm in Georgia

Social Circle.For quite a long time I believe.He was a hard nose no doubt.They used to run their TC's in the strangest places.Black Mountain,NC.Johnson City,TN.Maybe so Harmon Wages wouldn't get into any trouble. ^_^

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Seems to be a lot of "old timer" fans from back in the day, Ive always been interested in Norm Van Brocklin and would like to hear any thoughts or memories of him. NFL Films did a segment on him that kinda concentrated on him being a real hard a$$, and always smoking on the sidelines. Would love to hear any of ya'lls thoughts or memories.

Cards164.jpg

The Dutchman.

You're right he was an as kicker. He didn't subscribe to the kindler, gentler BS these current fans seem to like. He was good with one liners, some of which I've seen on NFL Films shows. Yes he'd smoke a pack of cigs on the sidelines during the game.

He was a decent coach. Had three pretty good teams from 71-73. Sorry offense but just hellacious on defense. Nobody liked to play against those defenses.

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