The College Football Hall of Fame, that is. When Steve Bartkowski was playing for the California Golden Bears 1972 to 1974, I was either not born or still trying to figure out how I got into this world. Bartkowski’s college numbers don’t exactly jump off the page at you (20 career passing TDs vs 27 INTs) but it was a different era of football back them.
In 1974, Bartkowski led the Nation in passing with 2580 yards. As a comparison, Case Keenum led the Nation last year with 5631 yards passing. Bartkowski’s final year at Cal Berkeley was enough to get him drafted first overall in the 1975 draft by our Atlanta Falcons. From there, Bartkowski has gone on to be known as one of the best quarterbacks in our franchise history.
Bartkowski played for the Falcons from 1975 to 1985. I don’t remember too much of Bartkowski’s tenure with the Falcons but what I do remember is having a signed jersey from Bartkowski that I still actually have to this day. For that reason, he will always have a special place in my heart.