Who's the ultimate Falcon? And who's the ultimate anti-Falcon? That's what we're going to find out with our summer project: the Scale of Falconliness. We'll rate former Falcons on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most Falconly. The rule: minimum of three seasons with the Falcons for coaches, five seasons for players.
Steve Bartkowski, Quarterback (1975 - 1985)
Played 123 games as a Falcon, 17th all-time and many, many more than any other Falcons quarterback was ever able to endure. Eleven seasons as a Falcon, tied for sixth all-time.
- Franchise passing attempts, completions, yardage, and touchdowns leader.
- Survived a brutal offensive line. Among the league's eight most sacked five times, and the 21st most-sacked quarterback ever. His backups got sacked at least as often, so his charming lack of wheels wasn't the prime culprit.
- 1975 Rookie of the Year. Pro Bowler in 1980 and 1981.
- Led the Falcons to a share of the league's best record in 1980 and on three playoff trips in five years. No other Falcons quarterback has done these things. Duh.
- Completion percentage improved just about every year of his Atlanta career, rising from 45.7% as a rookie to a league-leading, franchise-record 67.3% in 1984.
- #10: retired by the team.
- Inaugural Falcons Ring of Honor inductee.
- Still lives near Atlanta.
- Member of the Falcons Board of Directors, several charitable organizations, and the Atlanta Athlete Agent Regulatory Commission, whatever that may be.
- Current golf handicap: scratch.
From SI, 1984: "Atlanta quarterback Steve Bartkowski, who's in the final season of a $450,000-a-year contract, lost negotiating leverage when he admitted last week that he likes it just fine down Georgia way. 'Atlanta is definitely my home,' Bartkowski says. 'It will be until the Lord comes back or takes me home to live with Him. I have no desire to play somewhere else.'" Tingles.
- Helped develop DPR Construction, an Atlanta general contracting company and one of Forbes' best 100 companies to work for. Arthur Blankly!
- Never electrocuted a goddamn puppy dog to death.
- Played a handful of games for the Rams in 1986 after David Archer took over Atlanta's sack-victim duties in 1985, all well before the Lord came back.
- You're all going to get all huffy because I put that over here, but what am I supposed to do with the fact he played for the Rams? Put up a third column called Ramly?
- Somewhat intercepty on the whole, throwing a higher rate of picks than any of our other eligible quarterbacks. Thrice finished in the league's top ten most intercepted.
- Despite his iron man reputation, played a whole season's schedule only twice.
Current standings after the jump: