The Falcons are not well represented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Canton is reserved for those special players, and the franchise just hasn’t had many of them; after all, it is the sport’s highest honor. Claude Humphrey is the name that comes to most minds because he is the longest-tenured Falcons player to be enshrined in Canton. Deion Sanders, Tony Gonzalez, Morten Anderson, and Bobby Beathard all spent time in Atlanta but had more contributions with other organizations.
Earlier this month, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced a list of senior and coach/contributor semifinalists for the class of 2022, which included a number of former Falcons — Mike Kenn, Tommy Nobis, Clay Matthews Jr., Billie Johnson, Chris Hinton, George Kunz, Dan Reeves, and Rich McKay.
Well, Falcons fans have waited long enough because Mr. Falcon is knocking on Canton’s door. On Wednesday, it was announced that Nobis has been named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame through the Seniors category. The complete list includes Eddie Meador, Bob Kuechenberg, Joe Klecko, Chuck Howley, Randy Gradishar, Maxie Baughan, Ken Anderson, Sterling Sharpe, Ken Riley, Everson Walls, and Nobis.
A committee of 12 people will discuss and vote on which three seniors to send to the 49-person selection committee for consideration.
Nobis is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the ’60s. He is an NFL Rookie of the Year, five-time Pro Bowler, and one-time All-Pro. He’s certainly deserving of immortality in the Hall.
Mr. Falcon is probably knocked for playing on some pretty bad teams in Atlanta. In contrast, linebackers like Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke played for iconic Bears and Packers teams that won championships. Still, Nobis should be considered one of the best players at his position, regardless.
Nobis tragically passed away about five years ago, so he won’t be here to accept the honor. However, his friends, family, and all of Falcons nation are eager to see the original Falcons draft pick finally be inducted into the Hall of Fame. It’s long overdue.
Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire
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