Tommy Nobis' college eligibility ended after the Longhorns won the 1965 Orange Bowl As soon as the dust settled in Miami, both the professional football leagues of the time (AFL and NFL) began wooing the big Texan. He had little choice in terms of teams, though, as both leagues used a draft system to select players that gave preference to their expansion teams, Houston and Atlanta, respectively. The NFL sent Tommy to New York City where he got to meet the showgirls at the famous Latin Quarter nightclub, shown above. The AFL actually had Houston based astronaut Frank Borman send him a message from orbit urging him to choose them. Mr. Nobis decided to go with the longer established NFL rather than his home state team, and he was the first round choice of the brand new Atlanta Falcons.
If you saw this coming at you at full speed down a football field, you should
have been afraid, very afraid. The Falcons let Tommy keep his Texas jersey
number, 60. Both teams would eventually retire it in honor of him.
Predictably, the Falcons did not do too well, but Tommy Nobis
gave it all he had every time he went out on the field.
Even being on a struggling team didn't keed Mr. Nobis from being named First Team All-Pro in 1967. Here Falcons owner Rankin Smith presents him with a portrait to go with his trophy.
In addition to being All-Pro, Tommy Nobis appeared in no less than five Pro Bowl all star games. I chose this photo because it was made here in Hawaii at Waikiki Beach just before one of them.