Atlanta Falcons

By | Aug 10, 2008

The Atlanta Falcons had their first season in the NFL in 1966. The year before on June 30, 1965 Rankin Smith Sr was granted the franchise. The name Falcons came from Julia Elliott’s essay when entering a contest to name the team. In her essay she wrote; “The falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey. It’s deadly and has a great sporting tradition.” They currently play in the NFC South.

For most of the first decade of their existence they weren’t a very good team. They only won 12 games in the 1960’s and didn’t have their first winning season until 1971. Their first playoff team came in the 1978 season. They won their first playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but lost the next one to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Falcons have only appeared in 1 Championship game losing 34-19 to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. They won their division, NFC West in 1998 and also 1980. As part of the NFC South Division they won it in 2004.

There hasn’t been a player inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame as an Atlanta Falcon, although Eric Dickerson in 1993 and Tommy MacDonald in 1967 are Hall of Famers who have played for the Falcons. The following player’s numbers have been retired by the team. 10 Steve Bartkowski, QB, 1975-1985; 31 William Andrews, RB, 1979-1983, 198; 57 Jeff Van Note, C, 1969-1986; 58 Jessie Tuggle, LB, 1987-2000; 60 Tommy Nobis, LB, 1966-1976; and 78 Mike Kenn, T, 1978-1994.

The Atlanta Falcons would be the answer to the trivia question, “Which team drafted Brett Farve?” Farve was drafted in the second round as the 33rd pick by Atlanta in 1991. The Falcons trained him to the Green Bay Packers after the season for a first-round pick (19th overall, RB Tony Smith, Southern Miss).

The team is in a rebuilding phase brought on by the legal problems of their once promising Quarterback, Michael Vick. Vick was their offense in 2006. 2007 found them without a Quarterback, but they have been making moves to bring them back into contention for the playoffs.


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