Former quarterback rooting on Falcons as they head to NFC championship game

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

Bartkowski, or "Bart" as his fans called him, played for the Falcons for a decade. He was the first overall draft pick in 1975.
ATLANTA —

The Atlanta Falcons are one game away from the Super Bowl.

Wednesday, Channel 2's Erica Byfield talked to the man some consider to be the greatest quarterback in Atlanta's history, Steve Bartkowski.

Bartkowski, or "Bart" as his fans called him, played for the Falcons for a decade. He was the first overall draft pick in 1975.

He told Byfield he's a huge Matt Ryan fan.

"I just hope this game comes down to the last minute and Matt has the ball in his hands," said Bartkowski. "I'm the best until, I mean this guy has come around, Matt Ryan, in half the time he is going to surpass all of the passing records that I had."

In 1978, Bartkowski led the Atlanta Falcons to the franchise's first playoff win.

Bartkowski now works in the construction field, but said not a day goes by that he doesn't think about the team he spent most of his career with.

"I miss the competition with the guys on Sunday," he said.

It is fitting that some of his biggest games were against the 49ers and this Sunday the current team will host San Francisco.

"We'll have a lot of weapons and they'll have a game plan to utilize each one of them," Bartkowski said.

The Falcons asked him to be an honorary captain for the NFC championship.

"This is the pinnacle of a sports moment for the city and at the end of the day this is one of the times we can all hang our hat on and say we were there, we were supporting this team," Bartkowski said.