Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Taking Care of Business:Dennis Havig

Dennis Havig was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the 8th round of the 1971 NFL draft. Havig and fellow Clemson teammates Cliff Branch, Herb Orvis and John Tarver entered the NFL in 1972.
Havig played 6 seasons. After four seasons with the Falcons, Havig played one season for the Houston Oilers and one final season with the Green Bay Packers. He retired after the 1977 season.
After retiring, for the last 30+ years, Havig has been a State Farm Insurance Agent in the Atlanta area. Recently, I asked Havig how he got started in the business. Havig told me that former teammate QB Pat Sullivan told him about the opportunity.
Sullivan was the 1971 Heisman Trophy winner out of Auburn. Havig and Sullivan joined the Falcons in 1972 and played together for four years.
Sullivan is just one of Havig's notable teammates. Havig said he keeps in touch with many of them. "I have many insured and the out of town ones will always be friends. Reunions are fun," said Havig. I asked Havig if he ever soaked it all in while he was playing in the NFL. Havig replied, "I did after my first training camp when it was clear that I was going to make the team. Then every year after, you had to again make the team, so I was continually realizing that just making it each year was an accomplishment."
Another accomplishment was appearing on a football card. Havig actually had two cards, Topps 1974 and '75. Havig describes that as "a proud moment, although one of my cards (1975) lists Boise, Idaho as my home town and that was a mistake. My roots are in Powell, Wyoming."
Having has accomplished a lot, both on and off the football field. When talking about lessons learned in football and applied as a State Farm Agent, Havig said, "Perseverance. No matter what obstacles come your way, just grit it out."
Havig's 1974 card is one of my all-time favorites. Havig (#56) is far left, ready to block, while offensive tackle Len Gotshalk (#55) trails the play. Bob Lee (#19) is the quarterback and I believe the defender (#47) is Charley Stukes of the Los Angeles Rams. That's a lot of action for one card.
His football career ended a while back, but Havig is still remembered fondly. Recently Sportsviews named Havig as an Honorable Mention right behind R.C Thielemann for the right guard spot on the All-Time Falcons Offensive Team.
I appreciate Dennis Havig taking the time to answer my questions and help me with this piece. It was a lot of fun following Havig's football career. I am happy to hear that Havig is still going strong after 30 years as a State Farm Insurance Agent.
Dennis Havig's 1974 Topps football card.


J\/\/ said...

Hey, just saw your comment on my blog. That'd be great! Lemme know if you need anything. You can grab any photos from my FB that you want. Thanks!


Alan Wayne said...

Oh wow. This brought back memories. I loved that card of Havig. Great to hear he is doing well. Tell him he has a fan out in Utah!

Robin said...

I remember Havig. How did you ever find him? Great that he was willing to update fans on his status.
Thanks Johngy and Mr. Havig.

mallory said...

That is my dad-Dennis. Your entry was fun to read.