Welcome back to Forgotten Falcons, an offseason series we first began in 2019. It’s an opportunity to remember some quality players who have been largely forgotten by the fanbase over the years. Today, we remember a famed member of the 1977 Falcons “Gritz Blitz” defense: Fulton “Kaptain Krazy” Kuykendall.
Time with the Falcons: 1974-1984
Statistics as a Falcon: 123 games, 93 starts, a whole bunch of butt kickin’.
The NFL in 2020 is a lot different than the NFL in the 1970s. We know more about the lasting effects of this violent sport on the players than we did back then. And to be honest, that’s not a bad thing. The modern NFL relies heavily on speed and skill. It is, in many ways, a different game. Sure, NFL games in the 1970s had officials and flags were thrown, but player safety was not anyone’s first priority. And if there’s a single player in Falcons history that epitomized the style of play I’m referencing, it was Fulton Kuykendall.
The Falcons drafted Kuykendall in the 6th round of the 1975 draft. That draft had a whopping 17 rounds, and if you recall, the Falcons took Steve Bartkowski 1st overall. Kuykendall played 9 seasons in Atlanta before playing his last season in 1985 with the 49ers.
Kuykendall’s calling card was his selfless, reckless play. (Think Keanu Neal with a fu manchu and long, curly hair.) Kuykendall was famous for throwing himself at blockers and his general disregard for his own safety during games. And that’s how he earned his amazing nickname: “Kaptain Krazy.” I frankly can’t think of another Falcon with a better or more appropriate nickname.
Jerry Glanville transformed the Falcons defense in 1977, instituting a swarming style of play and breaking the record for points allowed in a regular season. Unfortunately he only played in 5 games that season, spending most of the year on injured reserve after breaking his arm tackling OJ Simpson.
Kuykendall is now in his late 60s. He joined the NFL concussion lawsuit, but as of 2017, he’d yet to receive any compensation. (He suffers from headaches and insomnia.)
Your thoughts about this Falcons legend?