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40 years' ago today, Oct26 1980, I fell in love with the Falcons because of this one play


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Check the video between the 1:04 to the 2:00 minute mark:

I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (about a 90 minute drive to Buffalo) and I was a huge Vikings fan when the Purple People Eaters defense and Tarkenton, Foreman, Rashad, etc were on those mid-70s teams. All my fav players from those Vikings teams retired by 1980 and the Vikings became just a .500 team in the weak NFC Central (back then).

I was in my freshman year in HS just watching games that Sunday afternoon when whatever game was on TV concluded and CBS gave us bonus coverage to see how the Falcons-Rams game would finish. I hated the Rams because they were an absolute rival to the Vikings in the 70s. When they went to the Falcons' game, there was just over a minute remaining in the 4th and the Falcons had 3rd and 38 from their 18-yard line. Just watch what happens between 1:04 and 2:00!

The crowd went nuts and I went nuts, and the beauty of those 1980 Falcons home unis with the amazing shade of red - they became instantly my new fav team and that's the way it's been for 40 years!

After watching yesterday's loss, it crossed my mind it might have been Karma's plan to make me a Falcons fan that day. I grew up a Boston Celtics fans and a Montreal Canadiens fan and I've enjoyed those teams win a combined 11 championships, so this is Karma's way of balancing my sports pleasure, I figure. 

A few thoughts about yesterday and the rest of the season:

1) I'd have to rewatch Gurley's last TD run but I just can't shake the nagging feeling that he really didn't want to stop at the 1-yard line. I wonder if he has a bonus for TDs? Now, the lasting memory of the game for me won't be Gurley's TD. It will be watching Stafford face 1st and 10 at their 38-yard line with 34 seconds left and no TOs - and 3 passes later they have a TD! Now you see what I mean about Karma getting back at me?

2) When we beat the Vikes in week 6, I figured we could win the next 3 games and be 4-5, then have a bye before we play the Saints. That would give me hope for a playoff spot. Now at 1-6, consider me a conscript for the Tank Brigade. I never watch the Falcons and want them to lose. As the game starts my fandom takes over and I want to see a win. But from a strategic perspective, for the best chance at improving next year, the highest draft position possible is what we need. I hope we go 3-13, beating only the Saints and the Bucs once each (just because), and I will be cheering for the Bengals, Jets, Giants, Cowboys, Washingtons, Texans, Broncos, and Vikings every week, so that they end up with a better record than the Falcons. AB can then fire the entire coaching staff as far as I'm concerned.

 

 

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Man...what a time.  I was a kid....but if you've never seen one William Andrews run the football, Lynn Cain, that Oline...wow! All of the the WR'S came to my church once....they were a special bunch.  Steve Bartkowski was fun with his pitter patter feet. I just enjoyed that team so much.

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14 minutes ago, Black Francis said:

And then our hearts were ripped out against the hated Cowboys. Danny White...smh. 40 years later...it got worse.  

Man, you said it! That loss to Dallas is one of the toughest sports losses I've had to endure. But man, just watching that video brought back some great memories of Andrews, Cain, Jenkins and Jackson, Wallace Francis, the O-line, a pretty LB corp. And my man Bart. And those home unis, that deep shade of red with the original Falcon logo on the sleeve, the best unis the Falcons have ever had - I have to find a replica!.

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I became a fan the first year I played Football two years after the 1980 season.  I think the 1982 season was cut in half with a strike that year but William Andrews,Lynn Cain and Gerald Riggs, and so on . Yeah great to watch.. Loved the Running backs!! We lost to Minnesota in the wild card round i think but I have been a fan and  hooked ever since..

 

38 years later and we are still rebuilding.. :( Man I hope something works before I croak! Would be a lifetime event for me to see US win it all before I am 6 feet under...

Would love nothing more than to have a real running game again!! Feels like decades since we had a few years of good backs.. Oh well, all we can do is have patience and hope..

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5 hours ago, Black Francis said:

And then our hearts were ripped out against the hated Cowboys. Danny White...smh. 40 years later...it got worse.  

Still hate the Cowboys until this day because of it. Ruined my childhood memories. That 1980 season felt magical as a kid in the Atlanta area. The Christmas song was great also. 

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The 80s team is still my favorite Falcons team. Bartkowski remains my favorite Falcon of all time.

Leeman Bennett was one of the best coaches IMO the Falcons ever had. Dan Reeves was another good coach. Reeves could get the most out of just an average player. 

Will never forget Bartkowski to Jenkins, Wallace Francis and Alfred Jackson. William Andrews, Lynn Cain. The Grits Blitz! Good ole days!

Hopefully those of us who have watched this team this long will see us finally win a SB before we leave this life. 

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2 hours ago, AvidFalconFan said:

The 80s team is still my favorite Falcons team. Bartkowski remains my favorite Falcon of all time.

Leeman Bennett was one of the best coaches IMO the Falcons ever had. Dan Reeves was another good coach. Reeves could get the most out of just an average player. 

Will never forget Bartkowski to Jenkins, Wallace Francis and Alfred Jackson. William Andrews, Lynn Cain. The Grits Blitz! Good ole days!

Hopefully those of us who have watched this team this long will see us finally win a SB before we leave this life. 

Going into 1981 the Falcons were a SB favourite. They started the year 3-0 but limped home and finished the year 7-9 (losing their last 3 games). I'd love to ask one of the players what happened, I heard a lot of injuries. Seven of the nine losses came by 5 points or less. What could have been.......

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On 10/26/2020 at 8:43 AM, AvidFalconFan said:

The 80s team is still my favorite Falcons team. Bartkowski remains my favorite Falcon of all time.

Leeman Bennett was one of the best coaches IMO the Falcons ever had. Dan Reeves was another good coach. Reeves could get the most out of just an average player. 

Will never forget Bartkowski to Jenkins, Wallace Francis and Alfred Jackson. William Andrews, Lynn Cain. The Grits Blitz! Good ole days!

Hopefully those of us who have watched this team this long will see us finally win a SB before we leave this life. 

I still remember during the broadcast of our game against the Patriots, John Madden saying that our team was the best he had seen all year so far while watching us putting it to the Patriots.

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3 minutes ago, E. T. said:

That 1980 team, much like the 1998 and 2016 teams, had the championship in the palms of their hands! 

They all fell apart at the worst possible times! Still stings after all these years.

Yep. I remember thinking at the time if we would have beat Dallas we would have won the SB. After the 28-3 debacle now I can't be so sure.

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2 hours ago, E. T. said:

That 1980 team, much like the 1998 and 2016 teams, had the championship in the palms of their hands! 

They all fell apart at the worst possible times! Still stings after all these years.

1998-1980  18 years

 2016-1998 18 years

 don’t tell me that we would have to wait until 2034 now

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On 10/26/2020 at 11:31 AM, Bart2Ryan+beyond said:

Going into 1981 the Falcons were a SB favourite. They started the year 3-0 but limped home and finished the year 7-9 (losing their last 3 games). I'd love to ask one of the players what happened, I heard a lot of injuries. Seven of the nine losses came by 5 points or less. What could have been.......

3-0 start in 1981.... the Falcons looked like they had arrived.   Problem is the Falcons lost Joel Williams to a knee injury, it happened against Green Bay in game three.   Couple of other starters went down too.    Joel Williams had posted, like, 16 sacks in 1980.   Losing him was a -huge- blow.

Joel was never the same after that injury.  As I recall, Williams wanted more money, and the Falcons ended up trading Williams to Philly for a 2nd round pick.   Later on in his career Williams did return to the Falcons.

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8 hours ago, Falcons_own_nfc_south said:

1998-1980  18 years

 2016-1998 18 years

 don’t tell me that we would have to wait until 2034 now

Good analysis.    Depressing.... but good.  😗

Here's a slightly more positive one.   Both times the Falcons went to the Super Bowl?   Was in year two of our new coach's tenure.  And both coach's first name was Dan.

Hmmm.... I wonder if this season would count as Morris' first year..... 🙄

Edited by egoprime II
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