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https://www.ajc.com/blog/mike-check/now-believe-the-falcons-are-good-team/h4uIhn3jtOHrfuVNbrxvdN/?ecmp=falcons&utm_medium=social&utm_source=falcons_fb&fbclid=IwAR02D9EcXuAuaAnRB8vT7DUyHumDCSWrpkIvsEXC3Ehe9j12RbNYeD8tUAY Lol. How bandwagon can you get?
http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/football/report-gonzalez-to-return-to-the-falcons/nWpxt/ Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez has informed the team that he is returning for his 17th season in the NFL, according to a report by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. The Falcons’ preparations for free agency were complicated by the issue of whether the league’s greatest tight end was set to retire. Gonzalez’s cap number last season was $5.9 million. He will be line for a modest raise that should land him a contract between $6.5 million and $7 million. Last season, Gonzalez had a stellar season. He caught 107 passes for 1,069 yards and 10 touchdowns passes over 18 games. He made one of the big catches that helped the Falcons get into field-goal range for their game-winning kick against Seattle in the NFC divisional playoff win. “Tony Gonzalez has been so effective for us. To catch over 100 balls in a season as a 36-year-old is unbelievable,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. Gonzalez recently turned 37 and was aware of the team’s desire to know about his status for 2013 “sooner rather than later,” according to coach Mike Smith. If Gonzalez didn’t retire, he wanted to start a broadcasting career. Gonzalez, cornerback Brent Grimes and quarterback Matt Ryan are all represented by Tom Condon and Ben Dogra of Creative Artists Agency, generally considered one of the top sports representation firms in football. “Tom Condon, based on my experience with (negotiating) Peyton Manning’s contracts, is a notoriously tough bargainer, and I say that with respect,” said Bill Polian, former Indianapolis general manager. In the Fox report, Gonzalez said, “"After discussing it with my family and really, truly struggling with this decision, I informed the Falcons that I would like to return for one more shot," The Falcons reached the NFC championship game and were defeated 28-24 by the San Francisco 49ers, one step away from the Super Bowl. Before last season, Gonzalez had never won a playoff game. It was just to tough for him to walk away, one step away from reaching the Super Bowl. "Considering how this season ended, I wanted to give it another run with Matt (Ryan), Smitty (head coach Mike Smith) and the guys we have in there. It was the first time I had won a playoff game and hopefully coming back once more we can take it one step further," Gonzalez said. Gonzalez is the game’s second all-time leading receiver behind Jerry Rice. He has 1,242 catches. He maintained all season that he was 95 percent sure that he was set on retiring. "I was done, I thought I had my mind made up," Gonzalez said. "This whole year I knew it would be my last but the way our final game ended and talking to all the guys in the locker room, in the end it was too difficult of a way for me to step away from the game. It's not often in a career you're around a group like we have down in Atlanta."
As a Falcon fan I find it troubling for someone who was involved in a pay to play scheme and who was disciplined for theft and kicked out of the university of Florida to have a street in Georgia named after him. Espc. When he plays for the panties. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday night on a controversial proposal to rename a street in south Fulton County for football hero Cam Newton. While it might not be as bad as, say, Nick Fairley Boulevard, the proposal doesn’t sit well with some of the residents of the road. As critics have pointed out, even though Newton played high school ball at nearby Westlake High, he played college ball at Auburn and now plays for the Carolina Panthers, a division rival of the Falcons. According to a story last week by the AJC’s Johnny Edwards: Several longtime residents of south Fulton’s Scarborough Road are irked that the county wants to change their street name in honor of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who has family living there. At a public hearing last week, neighbors said it would cost them money to change their personal records, and that Newton, age 23, is too young to have a thoroughfare named for him. One woman invoked Newton’s theft arrest [when he was at Florida] and allegations that his father solicited money from a university recruiting his son. South Fulton Commissioner Bill Edwards said personal attacks on Newton’s family aren’t warranted, that he’s a Westlake High alumnus who “beat the odds,” and if residents don’t want Cam Newton Drive, the name will stay the same. The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. at the South Fulton Service Center, 5600 Stonewall Tell Road. What’s your view: Change the street to Cam Newton Drive or retain Mr. Scarborough’s name?
(not sure if already posted but defiantly worth a read if you haven't seen this) With the Saints in bountiful disarray, the rest of the NFL laughs 11:00 am March 5, 2012, by Mark Bradley If you listen hard, you’ll hear giggles. But you have to listen hard. The NFL, which has a deft hand for publicity, hasn’t gone to great lengths to advertise just how despised the New Orleans Saints have become. Within football circles, they’re regarded as the spoiled child who wears a sense of entitlement on his shoulder pads. The formerly feckless Saints rising to excellence in the wake of Katrina and finally delivering a Super Bowl to New Orleans? A feel-good story of the first rank. Alas, not all of its architects were such swell guys. On Friday the NFL released the findings of what it termed “a lengthy investigation” into the Saints’ pay-for-mayhem scheme, and this probe — unlike, say, those conducted by the NCAA — wasn’t the product of some media report. This was all the league’s doing, and from its pointed language we’re left with only one conclusion: The Saints are in real trouble. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who will decide the penalties, has already tipped his hand, saying: “The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance’ but also for injuring opposing players.” From the NFL’s findings: The Saints’ bounty scheme spanned three seasons — the Super Bowl run included — and involved 22 to 27 defensive players; it was “administered” by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams; it was no secret to either head coach Sean Payton or general manager Mickey Loomis, the latter of whom lied to the NFL about its existence and then failed to heed owner Tom Benson’s instructions that the practice be discontinued. The Washington Post has reported that “lengthy suspensions” could be levied against Loomis, Payton and Williams (who’s now with the St. Louis Rams). How lengthy? According to the Post’s Mark Maske, quoting an unnamed source: “A half-season or longer.” It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch. The same audacity that enabled Payton to lift the Saints from mediocrity has been allowed to shape operational policy. The Saints act as if they’re better and smarter than everyone else. The NFL was aghast over the Saints’ behavior during its Super Bowl week: The team was late for Media Day, Payton was late for nearly everything and then, as a capper, he tried to duck the winning coach’s morning-after briefing. In his autobiography, Payton admits he did some celebratory drinking and barely slept. Only through the entreaties of his pal Mike Ornstein did he make the press session, of which Payton wrote: “I’m lucky I could string a sentence together at all.” The same Mike Ornstein, according to an NFL memo obtained by Mike Freeman of CBS Sports, pledged money to the Saints’ bounty fund in both 2009 in 2011. In 1995 Ornstein pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud: While the NFL’s director of club marketing, he’d submitted $350,000 in invoices for goods never received. In 2010 Ornstein, then described as “a marketing agent,” pleaded guilty for conspiring to scalp Super Bowl tickets. Question: Why is an NFL coach consorting with a felon? (To Payton, appearances apparently mean little. He caused a stir in New Orleans — which is, post-Katrina, hugely sensitive to relocations — when he moved his family to Dallas in 2011. And whose house did the Paytons lease in the posh Westlake suburb? Why, Atlanta-Brave-for-a-year Mark Teixeira’s.) In 2010 the Saints were sued by former security director Geoffrey Santini, who accused “senior staff members” of stealing Vicodin from the team’s prescription-drug supply. Payton was identified as one of the senior staffers but denied any wrongdoing. In an interview with Glenn Guilbeau of USA Today, Santini accused Loomis of trying to oversee a coverup. The lawsuit went to arbitration; no resolution has come to light. On Dec. 27, 2010, some Saints players and coaches celebrated victory in the Georgia Dome by posing for a photo at midfield. Defensive tackle Remi Ayodele told Pete Prisco of CBS Sports that he’d urinated on the Falcons logo. A year later, Payton allowed quarterback Drew Brees to keep throwing at the end of a nationally televised rout of the Falcons in the (successful) attempt to break Dan Marino’s record for passing yards in a season. The Saints are such a classy crew that they don’t know real class when it lives in their locker room. Last week Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported that Loomis had referred to Brees, whose contract is expiring, as merely a “very good” quarterback. Unable to work out a long-term deal, the Saints slapped the franchise tag on Brees, which means they’ll keep him for 2012. But why run the risk of alienating the best player that city has known? Why not lock him up for five more years? (And thereby save the franchise tag for guard Carl Nicks, who could be targeted by the Falcons?) If you listen hard, you’ll hear giggles at the thought of the Saints getting their comeuppance. The loudest of those might well be emanating from Flowery Branch, although the Falcons are too smart to admit such a thing. Old political adage: When your rival is in the process of destroying himself, get out of the way. By Mark Bradley http://blogs.ajc.com...rk_bradley_blog