The folks at the Buckhead Business Association luncheon got some prophetic information from Falcons owner Arthur Blank last Thursday at the Atlanta Historical Center.
While Blank was clearly still coming to grips with the Falcons’ early playoff exit, one of the fans asked him for his Super Bowl prediction.
Here’s what Blank had to say:
“A lot of it is who is playing well at the end of the season.
“If the Patriots had gotten past the Jets, I would have bet on the Patriots because of their quarterback, personally. I don’t like to bet against the Steelers and they have a great quarterback. He’s not the prettiest quarterback, but he knows how to win. His record in the playoffs is outstanding. They are a strong choice and the Packers are playing very well. Chicago has a very good team, they have a good defense, their quarterback is excellent, but he can make mistakes. The quarterback for the Packers makes fewer mistakes. It wouldn’t shock me if we see a Packers vs. Steelers Super Bowl.”
Blank discussed several local topics of concern at the Buckhead Business Association.
Lolita B. Jackson, an executive from Georgia Power was installed as the BBA’s president. It was noted that she’s the first African-American female to head the powerful and influential civic minded organization. My man Caesar C. Mitchell, the president of the Atlanta City Council, was also in the building.
Here’s the Falcons story on Blank, but he spoke on other Falcons and football topics and I’ll share those here:
ON THE RISE UP COMMERCIAL: “You will see reflections of this campaign over the next few years. It will be evolving and changing somewhat.”
ON THE PLAY 60 COMMERICAL: “One of the reasons we were selected to do the PSA commercial that you’ve all seen, the Play 60, which is the NFL effort to deal with childhood obesity. It’s the one where I’m in tune and everybody else is not. . . I’ve taken so much heat from my wife and children for that commercial because I’m obviously the only one that’s not in tune with everybody else.”
SKY IS NOT FALLING: “(Falcons coach Mike Smith) has said, ‘the sky is not falling.’ We are going to learn from this. We are going to get better from this. We have to put it in context of the body of work over the last three years and we have to be sensitive to people about doing that as well.”
FANS HAVE STOOD UP: “I could not be prouder of the way our fans stood up for this team and for this franchise since I’ve been the owner of this franchise. Over a nine-year period of time, we’ve had two games that were not sold out. That’s a tremendous credit to you in supporting this franchise. I want to thank you on behalf of the franchise and the players.”
(He didn’t rip the fans for leaving early.)
ON DISAGREEMENTS: “Disagreements – we do have them. But they are done respectfully. But overall, we are all moving together.
ON THE NFL’S LABOR SITUATION: “Yes, I think there will be football in 2011. We continue to work as hard as we can. We had an owner’s meeting here in Atlanta on Tuesday of (last) week. I had a smaller meeting, a dinner with the commissioner on Monday night, with other owners as he arranged small owner meetings as he continues to pull the ownership together.
“The owners are looking forward to having a successful conclusion to the bargaining process . . . We want a healthy league. A healthy league for all of the stakeholders. That’s starts with our fans, includes our ownership, our players, everybody that is connected to the NFL, our media partners, etc.
“My view is that we are in these negotiations. I’m hoping they will accelerate. The Commissioner is prepared to go 24/7. The commissioner and the negotiators that are involved are ready to do whatever it takes. Throwing themselves in the room, throwing away the key and have them feed them food under the doors, whatever it’s going to take . . . we need to get the NFLPA to step up with the same sense of urgency to make that happen.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, Atlanta Falcons beat blog