Archive for June, 2010

Curtis Lofton, cheerleaders to visit kids’ hospital today

Curtis Lofton being interviewed by Britton Lynn, a University of Alabama student who's a finalist to become the Falcons Taco Maco Insider. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Curtis Lofton being interviewed by Britton Lynn, a University of Alabama student who was a finalist to become the Falcons Taco Maco Insider. Lofton is set to visit the hospital and play with kids today. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

BIRDLAND — Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton, the cheerleaders and Freddie the Falcon will visit the Child Life Zone at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite today.

The cheerleaders will visit the kids today along with Freddie Falcon.

The cheerleaders will visit the kids today along with Freddie Falcon.

The group will play bingo, sign autographs, take pictures and hand out prizes to the children.

This state of the art therapeutic play environment offers patients and their family relief from the stress of illness and time in the hospital. The Zone includes a putting green, basketball court, Koi Pond, big screen theater, performance stage, reading nook, demonstration kitchen and a host of high-tech electronics.

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC …

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Roddy White may have to discuss Vick’s timeline with NFL

Will Roddy White do a flip for the kids at Michael Vick's camp in Virginia this weekend.

Roddy White is probably wishing he didn't decide to attend Michael Vick's "all-white" linen birthday bash.

BIRDLAND – Falcons Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White may have some explaining to do to NFL authorities.

Reports have surfaced that Michael Vick did not leave the party as early as his lawyer previous stated. White, the Falcons two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, also stated that they’d left the party long before the shooting occurred.

Video has surfaced showing that Vick left three minutes before the shooting occurred, which is in direct contradiction of the statements of Vick’s attorney Lawrence Woodward and White.

The NFL has already said that it wanted to investigate the facts of the case and it’s likely that White will have to meet with NFL security to go over his version of the story. (Just a bit of advice for No. 84, tell the truth!)

He’s probably not in any trouble under the personal conduct policy, but maybe he just should have sent Vick a birthday card instead …

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Does a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome make sense?

Would putting a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome solve the Falcons' revenue problems?  (POUYA DIANAT / pdianat@ajc.com)

Would putting a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome solve the Falcons' revenue problems? (POUYA DIANAT / pdianat@ajc.com)

BIRDLAND – It’s been kind of quiet on the stadium front.

But today, AJC staff writer Leon Stafford reports on the  possibility of a retractable roof being placed on the Georgia Dome.

There’s some political bigwig meeting tonight where the bigwigs will discuss a recently completed study. The study doesn’t tell how much it would cost to put a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome, nearly triple the parking spaces and have enough space for a practice facility.

Architect's rendering of what renovated Georgia Dome could look like. (Populous)

Architect's rendering of what renovated Georgia Dome could look like. (Populous)

Ofcourse, last month the Falcons said that they prefer a new open-air stadium and that they want to stay downtown in a public-private partnership type deal.

Check out the story. Does a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome make sense to you all? How about selling the naming rights? Coca-Cola Dome? Home Depot Dome? …

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Falcons rookie Sean Weatherspoon shines at symposium

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is star at the rookie symposium. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is star at the rookie symposium. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

BIRDLAND — All of the Falcons rookies are present and in their seats for the NFL’s Rookie Symposium in California.

Each day, first round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon is doing a  video tour. He’s a natural and loves the camera. Here’s a look at his report from day one.

When the subsequent reports are posted, I’ll send them out on twitter.com, where you can follow my blog and the fan blog at ajcfalcons. Check out the new design of the twitter page and follow it.

Also, Britton Lynn, one of the finalists for the Falcons Taco Mac Insider contest, is doing some work for Fox Sports at the Symposium. Lynn, who attends Alabama, was taken upset  that Detroit rookie Ndamukong Suh wouldn’t do an interview even after she begged for two minutes.

That used to be against the rules. Rookies are not allowed to stand up the media. I hope the veterans in Detroit get that kid turned …

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Falcons rookie Joe Hawley is saving most of his stacks

Falcons fourth round pick Joe Hawley plays with a mean streak. He will do some car shopping before returning for training camp.

Falcons fourth round pick Joe Hawley plays with a mean streak. He will do some car shopping before returning for training camp.

BIRDLAND – Falcons draft pick Joe Hawley is a simple man.

When the fourth round pick from UNLV signed his contract he received 480 stacks for his bonus money.

(BLOG ASIDE: Urban dictionary: A stack is $1,000 dollars. I found this out when the contractor working on my basement said, “I need at least 2 stacks to get started.” I said, “Hmmmm. What’s a stack?”)

So what’s Hawley going to do with some of stacks?

Hawley probably won't be peeling rubber in his new F-150 in the Flowery Branch parking lot.

Hawley probably won't be peeling rubber in his new F-150 in the Flowery Branch parking lot.

“I’m going to get a new car just because I don’t have one,” Hawley told the AJC’s Ken Sugiura on one of the last days of OTAs. “It’s not going to be anything crazy, probably just a truck or something. I’ve actually been riding with Mike (Johnson), so I need to get a new car in the first place.”

Hawley and the rest of the team’s rookie class is at the …

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NFL looking into shooting at Vick’s birthday party

Roddy White attended Michael vick's football camp, but had left the party before an early a.m. shooting occurred.

Roddy White attended Michael Vick's football camp, but had left the party before an early a.m. shooting occurred.

Updated, Mon. 7:36 a.m.

The National Football League and the Philadelphia Eagles are gathering information on the shooting that occurred after Michael Vick’s birthday party last Thursday outside of Virginia Beach.

The league is checking to see if the player conduct policy was violated or if Vick violated his federal probation order. He’s under probation for three years as part of his federal dogfighting conviction.

Vick’s attorney stated that he was not involved in the shooting.

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White, who went to help at Vick’s youth football game and was at the party, said they both had left long before the shooting occurred.

“We have been looking into it to determine the facts,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an e-mail Sunday sent to USA Today.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Vick’s plight at the rookie symposium to reporters last …

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Falcons, DAVE FM announce National Anthem competition

BIRDLAND – For all of you singers who didn’t make the American Idol cut, the Falcons have another opportunity for

Whitney Houston has set the standard on how to perform the National Anthem.

Whitney Houston has set the standard on how to perform the National Anthem.

stardom.

The team along with its radio partner, 92.9 Dave FM, will conduct a National Anthem competition to determine a performer for a home game this season.

(My repeated requests of the team to line up Decatur’s Keri HIlson for the National Anthem have fallen on deaf ears. Also, Monica, who did a great job with the anthem during the NBA Finals in Boston, should be considered.)

Participants must submit their video performance via YouTube by July 5.

The top finalists will be posted online at www.atlantafalcons.com/perform and fans will be given the opportunity to vote for who they would like to see perform the National Anthem at a game this season.

Monica sang the National anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

The lovely Monica sang the National anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

Before we get to the rules, let me …

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Roddy White was at Vick’s camp before the shooting

Ovie Mughelli, Atlanta Falcons starting Fullback and Eco-Athlete, is welcomed by Green activist, Former Vice President Al Gore during his recent environmental seminar in Atlanta to discuss "Solutions to the Climate Crisis".  Phot by Chris Savas.

Ovie Mughelli, Atlanta Falcons starting Fullback and Eco-Athlete, is welcomed by Green activist, Former Vice President Al Gore during his recent environmental seminar in Atlanta to discuss "Solutions to the Climate Crisis". Phot by Chris Savas.

UPDATE

Falcons Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White attended Michael Vick’s football camp at Hampton University on Thursday but was not at a party later that night when a shooting took place.

“Just got off the plane. Goin(g) to Mike Vick’s football camp in VA. Should be good,” White tweeted at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday off his Twitter.com account.

Later, at 11: 05 he tweeted, “Camp was nice. It was hot, but fun.”

Jonathan Feinsod spoke to White’s mother and she said Roddy was fine. He wasn’t sure if White was in Virginia or back in Atlanta, but he was not present at the time of the shooting.

“Roddy is pretty loyal to his friends,” Feinsod said on Friday. “I’m sure he wasn’t involved in anything.”

Several Virginia media outlets have …

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4 Summer “real” football survival tips

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) tries to break a tackle by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Roderick Hood (26) during the first quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. The former UGA standout goes to the NFL's Broadcast Bootcamp on the NFL Network. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) tries to break a tackle by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Roderick Hood (26) during the first quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. The former UGA standout goes to the NFL's Broadcast Bootcamp on the NFL Network. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

BIRDLAND – I know most of you all are having the shakes right about now, waiting for training camp to open later in July.

I’m passing time in a fitness bootcamp and working on my ragged golf game.

Here are a couple of NFL Network programs to help you fight through baseball season, the boring World Cup that they are trying to shove down our throats and something to look forward to while you’re working through that list of yard chores.

While the rest of the world is enraptured with “Fake” football, I call it what it is: Kickball.  “Real” football starts up later next month.

Here are four tips to help you get through this weekend:

  1. They will show …

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Mike Mularkey dusting off his Inspector Gadget material?

Falcons offensive coordiantor Mike Mularkey and quarterback Matt Ryan are ready to expand the use of the no-huddle attack and maybe throw in some gadget plays.  (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

Falcons offensive coordiantor Mike Mularkey and quarterback Matt Ryan are ready to expand the use of the no-huddle attack and maybe throw in some gadget plays. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

BIRDLAND – They called Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey “Inspector Gadget” for his creative play calling in previous NFL stops.

He’d be the first to admit that he’s had to hold his cards close to his vest while the team has been developing young quarterback Matt Ryan, implementing his system and still winning 20 of 32 regular season games.

As the Mularkey and Ryan are about to enter their third season together, we should see more creativity in Mularkey’s

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

play-calling and Ryan’s play.

“Obviously, we’re light years ahead of where we were when we got here three years ago,” Mularkey told the AJC’S Ken Sugiura after the last open OTA practice. “We can experiment a little more with things because of these guys’ experience with the offense. It’s …

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