Falcons CEO Rich McKay wants Tommy Nobis in the Hall of Fame

Tommy Nobis - Atlanta Falcons - File Photos
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Tommy Nobis was the first overall pick in the 1966 NFL draft and the first ever player on the Atlanta Falcons, an expansion team that year. He went on to win Rookie of the Year, he was a five-time Pro Bowler, he was on the 1960s All-Decade Team, he’s a member of the Falcons’ Ring of Honor and his No. 60 jersey is retired. But there’s one honor that has not been bestowed on Nobis: enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay said Nobis represents an important part of franchise history, leading the team at a difficult time early in the Falcons’ existence, and has never been properly recognized.

“I got to know Tommy when I first got to Atlanta,” McKay told SI.com. “So I come here, and all of a sudden here’s Tommy Nobis. First pick of the franchise. Best player on a really bad team. Five Pro Bowl appearances in 11 years. Two times All-Pro. And he’s on the all-decade team of the 1960s. So he is recognized as an elite player. But he played with really bad teams . . . and teams that weren’t competitive. And the franchise was never competitive for an awfully long time. So I think he just got lost in the shuffle, and it bothers me because I look at franchise players, and I look at seminal players — meaning the first picks of the franchise, whether it’s Seattle, whether it’s’ Tampa Bay or wherever it may be. But here in Atlanta everybody still refers to Tommy as ‘Mr. Falcon,’ and ‘Mr. Falcon’ is not in the Hall of Fame. It does not make me happy.”

Nobis, who died in 2017, was one of the finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Centennial class, but was not selected.

12 responses to “Falcons CEO Rich McKay wants Tommy Nobis in the Hall of Fame

  1. Mike Kenn is the Falcon who most deserves enshrinement. Nobis was a cornerstone player, not arguing that. But it was Kenn who stacked 17 seasons of excellence on bad teams.

  2. Surprise the PF HoF screwing something up… I’ve said before it’s more The Pro Football Hall of Maybe Better than Average but Popular.

  3. Has to be on the list of best players not in the HOF. Had He played on any other franchise He would be.

  4. Great player who is worthy of the HOF but should have never been All-Decade of the 1960’s, playing only three seasons from 66-68, he was injured in 1969. Had Chuck Howley of the Cowboys gotten on that all-decade team like he deserved, he would already be in the HOF … tough for both great linebackers.

  5. Tommy Nobis was an all time great. Like Archie Manning playing for the Saints, Nobis was the one player the Falcons could count on every Sunday to represent the team and give the Falcons credibility as a new franchise. In many aspects, he was a foundational player for the NFL. I’m quite suprised he isn’t in the HOF. That oversight should be fixed asap.

  6. Nobis is a 1 Time AP All Pro first team Leroy Butler 4X AP All Pro first team. Nobis is in the hall of very very good.

  7. Tommy Nobis should be in the HOF. I love players who always give everything that they have. That’s Tommy Nobis. The HOF should never been about winning. There are a numbers of older players who deserve to be in the HOF who are not. That should be addressed.

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