Greatness is not overrated, but often not recognized.
In six years his team only won twenty games.
There are more syllables to his name than there were good players on his team.
He was an all pro the year Billy Kilmer threw for the most yards of his career.
He had 4.8 speed in the 40, yet led the NFL one year in catches and had over a thousand yards in an era when almost no one caught for a thousand yards (there were only 3 that year).
He didn’t even start a game until his 4th year in the league, the year after he led the NFL in catches.
He played in the era of Fred Belitnikof, Charlie Taylor, Paul Warfield, and Bob Hayes, all of whom are in the hall of fame, and yet his numbers through the six years he played before being traded stack up with theirs easily. Belitnikof and Warfield did have more total yards, but not by much Fred outdid him by 392, but Warfield nipped him by less than a hundred yards. Only Belinikof had more catches in those years and not by much, a mere 12 catches over 6 years.
So, what happened, why have we never heard of this guy?
I believe it was just bad luck. First of all, they traded away Billy Kilmer because they drafted a highly touted and very gifted young quarterback by the name of Archie Manning. Of course, Archie’s rookie and sophomore years left much to be desired. His porous offensive line led to wild scrambles and tons of interceptions. Those two years he and Archie played together did his numbers no service; they dropped off, but were still decent enough.
But then he left New Orleans for San Francisco. They had been a good team, especially on offense. But in 1973 Brodie went down and of course they already had a number one receiver on their team who was the first option, a man by the name of Gene Washington. But Gene only had 600 yards that year and their leading receiver was their tight end, unusual in those days.
The next year was no better really. In fact, statistically speaking the bottom fell out. Brodie never made it back and their leading passer was a 22 year old who threw for 1327 yards, 10 TDs and 15 INTs. Brutal.
Then, when both his wife’s and his own father got sick, he decided to hang up the cleats, and they moved back to Ohio to care for them.
I’m not sure that his luck would have changed had he remained in the NFL, I am convince he had at least 2-3 more good years in him, but I guess we will never know now.
All I know is that I enjoyed watching Danny Abramowicz play football immensely, and I wish he had had better luck.