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Why I'm A Falcons Fan....a Personal Story


Falconwhit
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With the playoffs coming up, I thought I'd share my story with you guys on why I even became a Falcons fan. This is from my profile. I guess this is just more personal than you guys simply knowing me as "Falconwhit." I'll bet all of us have stories like this.

Why I became a Falcons Fan

by Falconwhit

I've been a Falcons fan since 1978 when I was 10 years old and my Dad took me to my first game, the 1978 playoff game against the Eagles. He waited in line for 4 hours outside Fulton County stadium to get tickets and left empty handed. Sold out. On his way back to his car, a guy getting into a car next to him asked my Dad: "Did you get any tickets?" My Dad said "No, it sold out and I really wanted to take my 10 year old son to his first game." The other guy says "Well I have two extra tickets" and he held them up as a ray of light from heaven blanketed these holy tickets. My Dad started reaching for his wallet while he asked "how much?" thinking scalp city. The guy just says "they're yours for whatever it says on the ticket." It was $12.50 each. How about that.

That first game, MY first game, happened to be the Falcon's first ever home playoff game against the Eagles on Christmas Eve at Fulton County Stadium. It was raining. It was cold. The Falcons were down 13-0 with 5 minutes to go in the game. Steve Bartkowski hit Jim Mitchell for a TD and then Wallace Francis for a touchdown with 1:39 to go to pull ahead 14-13. The Eagles drove all the way down the field and tried a 34 yard field goal with 13 seconds left. I was in that end zone. The ball was kicked. It was heading right towards me right through the middle. Then....a little gust of wind came out of the west and the ball started turning over...turning over....turning over. It missed by a foot! Falcons fans stormed the field and Bartkowski kneeled down with fans lining the field the entire edge of the field. After the game, everyone was honking horns, cheering out their windows, screaming in delight as we drove up the downtown connector. That's when I became a Falcons fan for life. That's what I've been trying to capture again for 34 years.

78_wc_falcons_eagles.jpg

Steve Bartkowski vs. the Eagles

in the 1978 playoff game

As I've grown, I've had season tickets for over 20 years. I lived in NYC from 1997 - 2001, kept my season tickets and flew back for home games. I usually travel to one away game a year. I've witnessed some interesting things - such as one of the lowest attendance for an NFL game in modern history, which was Christmas Eve 1987 in Fulton County stadium December 27th vs. the Detroit Lions. It was so cold that day (12 degrees with the wind chill) that all of the fans in the stadium sat where ever the sun moved. I went to Miami for the super bowl in '98. I was in Kansas City when the Chiefs set a modern day record against us for rushing touchdowns. I went to New Orleans in 2006 for the first game to re-open the Superdome when we had the punt blocked.

All in all, being a Falcons fan has been bitter sweet. I've gone through too many heartaches through the years, but I'm always a fanatic. I've taken a lot of grief for my Falcons passion from friends, relatives, co-workers and my wife. But in the end, my dream is to go to a super bowl and see the Falcons win. I will likely cry in jubilation - from all of the years of ups and downs culminating in the big prize. I hope this is soon!

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Me too - I pretended to be 'Bart all of the time. He was my hero. Crazy story. 1994 I was tailgating after a game outside the dome throwing the football with a buddy and Bartkowski walks right past me with another guy. He gets about 30 yards away and I yell "Bart!" and before he knew it, the ball had left my had and was flying towards him. He caught the ball and then gestured with his hand several times for me to "go long" and he threw a 40 yard bullet to me as I ran a fly pattern. I caught the ball, spiked it and yelled "I just caught a touchdown from Steve Bartkowski !!!" Unbelievable. I still think about it often.

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20 years later, we were living in Mississippi. We went to the game in New Orleans that year, but then my dad took me to the playoff game against the 49ers in Atlanta. We had to have left at 2 or 3 in the morning that day. Drove straight to Atlanta. I remember waiting for what seemed like hours in the truck so that we could go in. Finally we get in, watch the game(that was the day Garrison Hearst broke his leg). After the game, drove all the way back to Gulf Coast Mississippi. I've been obsessed ever since.

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Boy, i think that there are alot of us old timers that have, mostly suffered through the mostly lean Smith ownership of our Falcons. I remember waiting on Sunday mornings to go to Fulton county for those games.

We have been waiting for a long time for a team like this. I guarantee that if the Falcons hold that Lombardi trophy up I will be weeping right along with you.

Here's to the old timers finally having a dream come true.

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