Brooking apologized to Blank; sorry for Dallas episode

Denver linebacker Keith Brooking makes his first return to the Georgia Dome on Monday. (Associated Press)

Denver linebacker Keith Brooking makes his first return to the Georgia Dome on Monday. (Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH — When the dust settled in Dallas and Keith Brooking was back to thinking clearly, he picked up the phone and called Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

During a game against the Falcons back in October of 2009, Brooking wildly celebrated and mocked the Falcons by flapping his arms around like a wounded bird after the Cowboys won 37-21.

“Some of my antics during that game and some of my comments after that game were inappropriate,” Brooking said in a telephone interview on Thursday. “That’s something where I was disappointed in myself. After thinking about it and looking back on it, it was an emotional game. I had just recently been removed from being with that team. I was obviously feeling good in Dallas. The defense played pretty well that day, but what I did didn’t make a lot of sense.”

Brooking, who signed a one-year contract with the Broncos, is set to return to the Georgia Dome on Monday night.

“I called Arthur and explained the situation to him and apologized,” Brooking said. “I wanted to let him know that I didn’t mean any disrespect to him or the organization. I have so much respect for him and what he did for me, giving me the opportunity to extend my career with the team five years into my career to keep me from going to free agency.”

Brooking, coming out of Georgia Tech and East Coweta High, was drafted in the first round (12th overall) by the Falcons in 1998. He’s one the last members from the Falcons only Super Bowl team in the league.

He went on to make five Pro Bowls and was a staple of the defense. He’s one of the few players to play in the three biggest games – Super Bowl XXXIII and the two NFC Championship games – in franchise history.

“What the fans think means something to me,” Brooking said. “I hope they know what kind of person that I am and I hope they know that’s not how I carry myself. I have no regrets about my time there. I left it all out on the field there for 11 years.”

Brooking hopes the fans forgive him for his Dallas episode.

“I still have my memories,” Brooking said. “People, who know me really well, know that I tend to get emotional at times, but I can’t let that get the best of me. That happened during that game and after that game. But by no means did I mean any disrespect to Arthur or that organization. I have a lot of respect for them and what they’ve done there since I’ve been gone and it speaks for itself. I wanted to call him personally and kind of tell him that.”

Brooking, 36, is no longer a starter or a star. He played 11 plays in the opener against Pittsburgh after missing most of the exhibition season with a hamstring injury.

“I play a little bit on special teams,” Brooking said. “That’s something that I haven’t done in 14 years, but that is fun for me.”

Brooking, who’ll still can run and hit, is backing up weakside linebacker Wesley Woodyard and plays mostly in run situations.

“The Pittsburgh game kind of turned into a passing game,” Brooking said. “It was good to get some action since I didn’t play in any of the preseason games.”

Against the Broncos, the Falcons will try to establish the run in an attempt to limit Peyton Manning’s possessions. So Brooking could see plenty of action.

“It’s going to be exciting for me to play one last time in the Dome where it all started for me,” Brooking said. “That’s going to be pretty special to me because I’ll have my family and close friends there to be a part of it. I’m very excited. But at the end of the day, when we fly out of that tunnel and get between those lines, it’s going to be a battle.”

Brooking stays in touch with quarterback Matt Ryan and center Todd McClure.

“Keith is a good guy,” Ryan said. “He helped me out a lot when I came into the league. He was a good leader and led by example. He taught me a lot, so I’ve kept in touch with him over the last couple of years. It will be good to see him.”

When the Falcons played in Indianapolis last season, the Colts did a tribute to Kelvin Hayden, who was a star on their Super Bowl team. It’s unclear if the Falcons plan to honor Brooking, who will be a strong Ring of Honor candidate when he retires.

“That’s something I’ll think about after the game or something they could do down the road or something,” Brooking said.

Brooking is not sure how he’ll feel come kickoff. But he’s certain there won’t be any more mocking of the Falcons.

“It will be emotional, there is no doubt about it,” Brooking said. “I’m excited about the opportunity, I really am. I’ll have to contain those emotions and do my job, just go out there and compete.”

Brooking believes the Falcons are heading in the right direction.

“Matt has done everything that they said he was going to do when he first got there,” Brooking said. “It’s his team now. He’s got them up on his shoulders. The sky is the limit for him and that football team. I’ll get to admire him from afar once we play. Week in and week out his consistency is something I see from him.”

Brooking is expecting a battle between the 1-0 teams.

“It’s going to take a heck of a job to beat the Falcons,” Brooking said. “We’re going to have our hands full.”

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73 comments Add your comment

Statick

September 14th, 2012
9:42 am

Thanks a alot for the apology, Mr. 3rd and 16. By the way, have you ever apologize for that?

Brad

September 14th, 2012
9:46 am

Buckeye

September 14th, 2012
9:49 am

He’s still a step slow `- even to aplogize

Dr. Phil

September 14th, 2012
9:49 am

In the grand scheme of tacky (and criminal) NFL behavior, Brookings’ lapse of sportsmanship doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

Seen This B4

September 14th, 2012
9:57 am

LOL!

Personally, I think he DID mean to disrespect the falcan’ts, Blank and the feeble-minded falcan’t fans, especially the ones that blog here! I toasted him for that! That apology was as sincere as a handshake between Goodell and Vilma.

Say It Aint So

September 14th, 2012
9:58 am

He’s still the king of pile jumpers.

2nd grader

September 14th, 2012
9:59 am

once again- an article filled with typos, shouldn’t get that from a professional writer, if so then let me have your job sir

Say It Aint So

September 14th, 2012
10:01 am

Seen This B4 40-32 how about that!

Big Ray

September 14th, 2012
10:12 am

Personally, I think he DID mean to disrespect the falcan’ts, Blank and the feeble-minded falcan’t fans, especially the ones that blog here! I toasted him for that! That apology was as sincere as a handshake between Goodell and Vilma.

This world has no shortage of retards or idiots in search of a village…..

But the last sentence was absolutely on the money. At least a diehard Saints fan knows Vilma is a living lie. So I wonder who has fallen further from “prime time” playability? Vilma or Brooking?

Well, Brooking is actually playing. Vilma is just posturing on the sidelines. Ha….

SirReal

September 14th, 2012
10:14 am

Dont try to backtrack now Kieth. You were a BUM in your later years here and most of your entire career. You went to the Pro Bowl b/c other LBs either didnt feel like going or because of your padded stats. Derrick Brooks will always be the best LB in the NFC South. Tuggle will always be the best LB in Falcon history….and Spoon has a chance to make his own case for that as well. Like Statick said, did he apologize for his GARBAGE performance against Arizona? He’s such a joke at this point. He lost a lot of fans with that incident and the doofus move in Dallas cemented it.

Dirtybirdnation

September 14th, 2012
10:21 am

Noble, but years late.

SCREW HIM.

and he was one of my fav. Falcons.

like above posters have pointed out.

THE KING OF PILE JUMPERS!

3rd and 15 anyone….

Dirtybirdnation

September 14th, 2012
10:22 am

BUM and Child-like…..

Props to SirReal for pointing it out…

Brooking = Child like BUM!

sam

September 14th, 2012
10:25 am

There’s no question that Brooking meant to disrespect the Falcons team, ownership, and fans. If he is serious about making amends he still has a few more apologies to make.

Innocent Bystander

September 14th, 2012
10:25 am

We know exactly what kind of person you are. Apology not accepted.

LOL At The Aints

September 14th, 2012
10:26 am

Enter your comments here

MaxxFalcon

September 14th, 2012
10:26 am

Again, fans need to let this go

*Frederick(Bailey)Douglass*

September 14th, 2012
10:35 am

Brooking, I hope the Falcons bash your head in on Monday night.

I can never forgive your performance in (1) Arizona during the playoffs as a Falcon and (2) in Dallas as a Cowboy.

#56 is now ‘Spoon.

Ken

September 14th, 2012
10:44 am

How long ago was the Dallas game?? Now he apologizes just before he is to return to the GA Dome!!! I would have thought an apology would have come sooner espcially if it was sincere. Keith wants a job when his playing days are over now he is trying to rebuild the bridg he burned!! No thanks Keith!!

breadslicer

September 14th, 2012
10:46 am

Apologies don’t mean a thing. It was confirmation that he was always a classless, dumb meathead.

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts

September 14th, 2012
10:49 am

Wow….Some of you just can’t let go of that one play……3rd and 16…….Neither can I!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BROOKINGS!

Jimmy Crack

September 14th, 2012
10:51 am

Awww, let’s give him a break. Keith was a Falcon for a long time and he played well for us, mostly. I chalk up the Dallas thing to being in the company of egotistical idiots and he just got carried away. The 3rd and 16 thing is still a bad memory, though. Oh well, none of those in our Ring of Honor were perfect either.

Sage of Bluesland

September 14th, 2012
11:07 am

After all this time, I’m finally able to forgive Keith. He’s still my favorite Falcon, and he absolutely should be a lock for the Ring of Honor.

In a few years, I’ll be able to forgive Don Waddell too. He really wasn’t such a bad guy, I just felt underappreciated as a Thrashers fan. Water under the bridge.

Welcome back, Brooking.

Esquire

September 14th, 2012
11:07 am

Big Ray

September 14th, 2012
10:12 am

Personally, I think he DID mean to disrespect the falcan’ts, Blank and the feeble-minded falcan’t fans, especially the ones that blog here! I toasted him for that! That apology was as sincere as a handshake between Goodell and Vilma.

This world has no shortage of retards or idiots in search of a village…..

But the last sentence was absolutely on the money. At least a diehard Saints fan knows Vilma is a living lie. So I wonder who has fallen further from “prime time” playability? Vilma or Brooking?

Well, Brooking is actually playing. Vilma is just posturing on the sidelines. Ha….
_______________________________________________

Post of the day!!

Hamp

September 14th, 2012
11:08 am

I think he was sore and he meant everything. He knows his playing days are numbered and wants either a job with the org or a ring of honor spot. Probaly both. I say his play speaks for itself. He is an idiot and I don’t care if he makes it or not. Well put him in the ring but NEVER EVER EVER EVER give him a job in the org!!!

Tom

September 14th, 2012
11:22 am

No disrespect to Tuggle but Tommy Nobis was and still is the best linebacker to wear a Falcons uniform.

PreyDawg

September 14th, 2012
11:29 am

First thing get off @DLO’s back. He is the man and keeps us informed.

Second: I accept the apology as a 35 year long fan. But I still think he spoiled his ring of honor chances. I don’t want to see him up there with other great Falcons. Forgive but dont forget.

PMC

September 14th, 2012
11:31 am

He was an excellent player during his time here at Senoia, GT and then the Falcons, and he did a lot in the community. I absoutely forgive him for being a douche for one day and then appologising.

I appreciate all he did here during his time. I wouldn’t cheer him as a member of another team but neither would I boo. He played as hard as he could here whether it always went well or not.

Big Crimson 75

September 14th, 2012
11:32 am

Another Jeff George.

PMC

September 14th, 2012
11:33 am

Dallas is a clown organization run by clowns. That by nature breeds clownish behavior.

PMC

September 14th, 2012
11:35 am

Big Crimson, Jeff George? No way. Jeff George was completely worthless save one good statistical year and he was the emotional equivilant of Jay Cutler, perhaps even more so. That A Hole came into the dome and did a victory lap. If I’d had a car battery to throw at that idiot from the upper deck I’d have done it.

If Jeff George even comes through Atlanta he should be acosted. Horrible human being.

5150 UOAD

September 14th, 2012
11:43 am

It sounded to me like brooking called BLANK a few days after the game not YEARS after the game. If is the first time he is back facing the Falcons so the story is being written about the apology NOW.

English Teacher

September 14th, 2012
11:54 am

Big Crimson 75

September 14th, 2012
11:59 am

PMC — just because the guy has local ties, don’t cut him any slack.
He embarrassed the Falcons, just like George did with his victory lap.

I know Deion came back — kicked Andre’s a$$ — then proclaimed the Dome his house — but Prime did it with style!! Plus, he was responsible more than any other Falcon for the Dome being built & Andre deserved an a$$-whipping!

Nique

September 14th, 2012
12:05 pm

He’s a jerk, I don’t respect him. After playing like he did his last year & to then be mad that you got let go, & then come back here & act like a little punk, that was clearly premeditated! & a phone call after acting like a jerk on the field & in interviews afterwards, aren’t solved by a private phone call!!! It was a string of classless actions by a washed up punk. Let’s just call it what it was!!! & his GT affiliations should have no bearing on how we see this nor how we boo the hell out of him on Monday night!!!!

PMC

September 14th, 2012
12:24 pm

Big Crim, He’ll always have to live with 3rd and 16. I’m just saying, when he was here, he played hard, and did good for the community. After he was fired, he undid any good will he had left, but he appologised. I don’t necesarily like the guy, but I don’t dislike him either. I’m fairly indifferent on Brooking.

Dabo

September 14th, 2012
12:30 pm

what a douche

Symptoms of Atlanta Curse

September 14th, 2012
12:33 pm

@SeenThisB4….go blow your tuba !!!!!!!

Symptoms of Atlanta Curse

September 14th, 2012
12:35 pm

@SeenThisB4….go blow your tuba…gooba

Falcon James

September 14th, 2012
12:35 pm

I am with most of the fan here. Brooking had a chance to appologize immediately following that game. But he didnt. He applologized to Blank in private because he know he just burned a bridge. He didn’t bother to come out publicly and appologize to the fan because he didn’t think he need to. He think he don’t owe the fan nothing. One day this will be forgotten but as of right now, he is the enemy and the enemy deserve no mercy.

true falcon

September 14th, 2012
12:44 pm

yea right! man FORGET Mr. 3rd and 16!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ParanoidAndroid

September 14th, 2012
12:48 pm

I will give Mr. 3rd and 16 the welcoming he deserves Monday night

ParanoidAndroid

September 14th, 2012
12:51 pm

He see the light at the end of the tunnel and is trying to get back in the good graces of Mr. Blank. The Falcons HOF will retire 56 when Weatherspoon decides to hang it up.

Big Crimson 75

September 14th, 2012
1:03 pm

Also, I doubt TD or Smitty ever told Brooking this is a young mans game.
The Falcons have brought the likes of Tony G, Mike Peterson, Brian Williams, James Sanders……to the team post Brooking.
Not only is he a jerk — he’s a liar.

FalconsFam

September 14th, 2012
1:28 pm

I wish I could get some indication when a long blog post is gonna get eating TF up. MFers in here calling each other names and shid and I just typed up a long post with no curse words and no BS banter and it ends up up somebodies a$$hole. WTF?

FalconsFam

September 14th, 2012
1:29 pm

Lol but that one posts. Wow.

Mr. Hankey

September 14th, 2012
1:34 pm

He has 3 strikes IMO. 1. Went to tech. “Nuf said. 2. 3rd and 16. 3. Nutso after the Dallas game.
Three strikes and YOU’RE OUT, DOUCHE. I can accept he went to Tech. I truly only dislike Tech one game a year when the Dogs whip their butts. 3rd and 16, well, there’s been plenty of gaffs in Falcons history. See Travis Clarage holding penalty in playoff against the Eagles on the goal line for go ahead touchdown. Or “the catch” in 79 in the Dallas game with about a minute left when Danny White made his bones. You catch my drift. But — there’s always a but or in Brooking’s case a BUTT — the post-Dallas display sickened me then, sickens me now and will sicken me in the future. You were the pile on king, pal, and I TRULY BELIEVE you do not deserve a spot in the ring of honor anymore that Roger Clemons deserves to be in the HOF. You burned that bridge in my mind and I plan on excessive booing Moday. Go FYourself.

dean p.

September 14th, 2012
2:09 pm

Brooking had a very lengthy career and sort of a home town favorite but was never great.
His emotions always got the best of him and was never in control.
Being a Falcons fan since the birth in “66″ I say good riddens….that Dallas antic was uncalled for!

Redcoat

September 14th, 2012
2:09 pm

People please give it up, he not playing for the Falcons any longer……….We still have some problems today with those third and longs……….Now Go falcons and kick some Bronco @zz and Brookings too, if he gets in the way!

rushing attack

September 14th, 2012
2:22 pm

the burner is tuned up.

Knower

September 14th, 2012
2:43 pm

He went to east coweta, never expected him to have any class.