Pottsville chiropractor and former NFL star Jack Dolbin died Thursday. He was 70.
The news comes as a shock to many locally.
Jack Dolbin – Well-Known Pottsville Chiropractor
Most locally know Jack Dolbin because they grew up with him, graduated from school with him, played football against him or visited his chiropractor business. Dolbin was a well-known chiropractor and some in that community are reacting to the news of his death.
The company called Fetterman Events, which hosts chiropractic seminars, posted on its website Thursday soon after the news of Dolbin’s death circulated. They write:
“It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of our friend, colleague and Chiropractic warrior Dr. Jack Dolbin. He was a true inspiration to all he taught through our seminars with a wealth of knowledge and genuine love of the profession. We will miss him dearly. His impact on Chiropractors through the years he has taught for us is immense. He truly cared for the doctors and profession and this passion showed in his seminars.”
After his football career ended in the early 1980s, he started a chiropractic business in Denver, where he’d been playing with the Denver Broncos.
One condolence message shared on social media recalls a meeting with Dolbin then that led to a long friendship:
The outpouring of grief is being expressed locally, too, of course.
Storied Football Career
Dolbin is probably the area’s most accomplished pro athlete, at least in modern history.
He played for 5 seasons in the NFL, playing his first game at age 27, when he signed with the Denver Broncos. Dolbin scored 7 touchdowns in his career with the Broncos as a wide receiver. He gained nearly 1,600 total yards in those 5 seasons in 62 total games.
But before getting to the NFL, Dolbin took the long, bruising road to the top. He played for a season with the 1970 Pottstown Firebirds. The Firebirds dressed a lot like the Eagles. They were actually considered a farm team of the Birds for a short time but Dolbin is one of the few players from that team to eventually make the jump to the NFL.
In a Facebook post from the team’s historical page, they write, “It is with our deeply sorrows that we announce the passing of a football legend not only for the Firebirds but also with the Broncos and a smart human being in general.”
It was just last year that Dolbin fondly recalled his playing days with the Firebirds. He even put the camaraderie of that team experience above starting in the Super Bowl. Dolbin wrote: “As many know, I started in Super Bowl 12. But, my most memorable year was 1970 playing for the Firebirds. I wouldn’t trade that year for anything. We played the game the way it was meant to be played.”
And in late-June, according to one social media post from a friend of Dolbin, the Pottsville legend got together with some of the members of that fabled Firebirds team.
Before getting to the big show, Dolbin stopped in Chicago to play for the Chicago Fire of the short-lived WFL. Though he impressed, the Fire were a disaster and team forfeit its final game and then folded operations
In 1985, Dolbin was inducted into the American Football Association Semi-pro Football Hall of Fame.
Dolbin Started in Super Bowl 12
Easily Dolbin’s greatest achievement in his storied football career was starting in Super Bowl 12 for the Denver Broncos.
That was a rough game for Dolbin’s Broncos. They got roughed up by Tom Landry’s Cowboys 27-10.
How bad of a night? Dolbin was Denver’s leading receiver that night in New Orleans but had just 2 catches and 24 yards.
During the tail end of the CBS Sports broadcast, announcers Pat Summerall and former Eagles legend Tom Brookshier discussed Dolbin for a bit after one of his two catches.
Brookshier said, “He was always a good player and came out here as a sort of a free agent. And they couldn’t believe it, because he could play.”
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August 8, 2019 at 5:41 pm
I met Jack in 1977 at a baptist church in Denver where he spoke to our mens group. He was an engaging speaker with a heart for Christ and for others. He spoke of driving to our meeting with his gas gauge on empty trying not to be late. He did not know how he drove so far with seemingly no gas in the tank. He told a humorous story of working in Chicago as a security guard in a department store and tackling a shoplifter running out of the store. Though the super bowl ended in a loss that season was my favorite as the Broncos were such an inspirational story all year long and Jack was a big part of it.
August 8, 2019 at 7:38 pm
What a great story! Thanks for sharing.
October 22, 2019 at 12:24 pm
I’m sitting in a hospital waiting for minor surgery on my wife. To pass the time I googled Jack’s name and both my wife and I were shocked to learn of his passing into glory.
I met Jack when I was the head football coach at Wellsboro HS and invited him to speak at our weekly in-season team devotion held at my home, it also included dinner. To my surprise, he accepted my invitation and drove the three hour trip, one way, so that he could share the Gospel with those teens. Later in the year, he spoke at our first annual football banquet.
He was an outstanding man, a quality speaker, and most importantly an outstanding Christian example.
Sorry for this late message and sorry for your loss.
October 22, 2019 at 6:36 pm
Never too late for such kind words. Thanks for sharing, Russ!