Atlanta Falcons: Brooking didn’t have a good homecoming

September 17, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga.,: Atlanta Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud celebrates with the home crowd after he intercepted Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in the first half of their game against the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome Monday night in Atlanta, Ga., September 17, 2012. The Falcons defense intercepted Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning three times in the first quarter. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

September 17, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga.,: Atlanta Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud celebrates with the home crowd after he intercepted Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in the first half of their game against the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome Monday night in Atlanta, Ga., September 17, 2012. The Falcons defense intercepted Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning three times in the first quarter. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

By Michael Cunningham

The ball popped out of Falcons running back Michael Turner’s grasp and, for a brief moment, it appeared linebacker Keith Brooking was going to come home and save the Broncos.

Brooking would get the ball back after Peyton Manning’s interception set up Falcons for a quick scoring chance. He’d stun Falcons fans who jeered him before the game. After 16 years in the game, here was Brooking making a game-saving play.

Alas, Turner collected his fumble and scored a touchdown on the next play. Brooking was denied his big moment and the Falcons went on to defeat Denver 27-21 at the Georgia Dome.

“Not a very good homecoming for me,” Brooking said.

Brooking was back in the place where he’s spent most of his life, from East Coweta High to Georgia Tech to 11 seasons with the Falcons. He got a chilly reception from the home folks.

Falcons fans booed whenever Brooking’s name was mentioned, starting with a pregame introduction. was introduced before the game. The animosity directed at Brooking by fans seems mostly related to his actions while with the Cowboys in 2009.

One season after the Falcons released him, Brooking taunted them during a Cowboys victory. Brooking told the AJC last week that he regrets his antics in Dallas, apologized to Falcons owner Arthur Blank and hopes Atlanta fans will forgive him.

It appears they haven’t yet but Brooking brushed off the derision.

“I was the enemy tonight,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting a lot of cheers. I heard a few cheers in there. I was actually pleasantly surprised about that.

“But I love the fans here. I had a lot of great years here and they supported me in a big way for 11 years. So no hard feelings about that.”

After playing just 11 snaps during Denver’s first game, Brooking played extensively against the Falcons. He was credited with five tackles and the forced fumble.

It was, Brooking said, an “emotional” homecoming.

“I spent a lot of great years here and I have a lot of good memories and a lot of respect for this organization,” he said. “I knew it was going to be emotional but, once I got between those lines on the first snap, it was football. You kind of put all of that aside and focus and concentrate and try to help your team win.”

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61 comments Add your comment

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
1:25 pm

Here is one name that we didnt here all night.

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
1:28 pm

D-Led..I heard you on the radio last night after the football game questioning Coach Smitty…………………………………….

Brooking’s Homecoming ended when he was let go in Atlanta………………………..

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
1:32 pm

I am wondering who got banged up on Atlanta from last night’s game……………..it was a tough one out there………………………….injuries ??????????

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 18th, 2012
1:36 pm

Coach speaks at 2:30 and should have updates on Owens and Antone Smith. Abe and Asante returned to the game.

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
1:37 pm

Asante and Owens left the game. Asante came back and kept shouder tackling.
Jerry went down, but not sure about if he was hurt or just had cramps.

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

September 18th, 2012
1:42 pm

Great effort by our defense i think they where just tired in the second half our offense wasnt rolling as well as they should have a bad drop by julio and turner was jus horrible till the very last play our offense just didnt give our d enough time to rest and messed up some key turnovers but great effort by the defense to hold manning off as well as they did especially with all the injuries as for brooking well nobody cares

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
1:43 pm

DOL– How suprised were you with what Atlanta was doing on defense. Not sure any QB who reads defenses then calls the play could have had a productive night. Do you think we will use this strategy again?

FalconsDiva

September 18th, 2012
1:43 pm

I love how the little guy with the Bronco’s t-shirt is cheering in that picture.

I’m glad Brooking didn’t take it personal – he was the enemy last night.

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
1:44 pm

TY D-Led……………..I am curious also as to what game plan changes the Falcons will use concerning the Michael Turner issue…………..are they going to continue to play him as the starter against the Chargers or will he sit……………………………………………

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
1:46 pm

ha ! ha ! …………Diva, I never even noticed that kid………………………………..

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
1:51 pm

Hey Saints Fans ….check this out………………………….

” The Thrill of Victory ” = Atlanta 2 – 0

” The Agony of Defeat ” = Saints 0 – 2

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
1:54 pm

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
2:03 pm

Is the dude sitting down to little guys right give DeCoud the finger? Sure looks like it.

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
2:06 pm

sure looks like it………………I woulda jumped up there and broke it off…………………ha ! ha ! ha !

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
2:09 pm

I remember a few weeks back STB4 said I would be on my knees with my face in my hands crying…………………………………right now I am crying from laughing so much at dem aint fools………………………………….

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
2:12 pm

I figured the guy sitting there was Hiram. But then I thought he would have to leave his mommy’s basement and borough money and hitch a ride to the game and figured no way that is Hiram.

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
2:17 pm

I wonder why those two bozos are plaing ” Casper the Ghost ” on here lately……………go figure

P B Orr

September 18th, 2012
2:22 pm

Why exactly do the locals hate Brooking so much? Is it just neanderthal Dawg fans?

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
2:24 pm

You don’t hate the guy……you just hate him for being on the Team that is trying to beat you………………………………duhhhhhhhhhh

RogueRunr

September 18th, 2012
2:27 pm

Where was Dent? Was he on the field last night? Never heard his name called.

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
2:27 pm

One thing I noticed last night was the stands were full at kickoff. Was a great thing to see. Just an absolutly great win for the Falcons and the fans. Brooking was a mere footnote. I never heard the boos or even his number called. It was probably mentioned on radio more than ESPN.

nobody

September 18th, 2012
2:36 pm

What happened to Mcclain? He got the pic and then didnt play again or at least that I saw.

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
2:36 pm

You go on ESPN or NFL.com or Fox Sports and you most likely read about the Broncos losing and see a picture of a pouting Manning………………..Atlanta still gets little recognition on being a good team.will it ever change………………………………

StuDawg

September 18th, 2012
2:38 pm

Im a Dawg fan and a Falcon fan and I like Keith Brooking. Hes a good guy.

StuDawg

September 18th, 2012
2:39 pm

Akeem Dent had one tackle.

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
2:40 pm

Atlanta rode those Broncos all night long……………they never even had a lead…………………..

Gritz Blitz

September 18th, 2012
2:47 pm

Keith Brooking continued to mock Falcon fans from the field as they booed him throughout the game. We’ve been waiting for three years to have an opportunity to pay him back for that Dallas game, and we finally got our chance last night. It felt great. Go Falcons and Rise Up!

Gritz Blitz

September 18th, 2012
2:53 pm

If you look up “old man football” in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Keith Brooking.

rhaize r. Blaide

September 18th, 2012
2:56 pm

Brooking can say whatever he wants about his 11 yrs. here but, had he played that 3rd down pass correctly and stopped Arizona in the wild card game Kurt Warner would not be the hero he became for leading the Cardinals to the Super Bowl and Brooking may have not been cut…..That to this day has been the only playoff game we should have won and who knows what it would have led too????

good old joe

September 18th, 2012
2:58 pm

GOOD WIN FALCONS KEEP GOING AN STAY HEALTHY…. KEITH BOOKING IS A GOOD GUY AND A GOOD FOOT BALL PLAYER

Cejay

September 18th, 2012
3:18 pm

Just sayin’, I found Mr. Coward himself, Mat “choke” ryan, he’s alive,well and posting over on Mark Bradley’s blog. go,say hello

http://blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/2012/09/18/3-points-about-the-winning-falcons-who-put-peyton-in-his-place/?cxntfid=blogs_mark_bradley_blog

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
3:25 pm

ha ! ha ! Cejay…………….tell that Moron to shaddup……………………………………

buckhead benny

September 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

D Orlando-

Please refer to Christopher Owens as “Crystal Owens” That dude whether its a hamstring or a knock in the head can’t stay healthy and its not like he sees the field very often either-

I think he has a hell of a future in flag football one day- he seems to be a great workout warrior but when the lights come on and game time begins that dude blows like a vacuum cleaner dude.

Send him packing soon I hope.

The Real Falcon

September 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

Will someone explain to me how our middle linebacker has only 1
tackle in two games?

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

September 18th, 2012
3:56 pm

That guy at the bottom far right looks kinda like drew brees to me wat do u guys think???

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

September 18th, 2012
4:00 pm

I gotta say in deffense of owens he seemed to play alot better than franks in my opinion at least while hes on the field injuries happen some ppl just have bad luck and just get the sh** end of the stick id rather see owens in at nickle next game over franks

FALCONHAWKBRAVE

September 18th, 2012
4:00 pm

I hope that guy ceJaydddddd out (smoker) hasnt let the hardball smoke cloud his judgment to point of bein idiotic forever…matt ryan …choke?? Matt ryan shall run no huddles fluently while making it look easy andddd he can do whatever better than most nfl qb strait up…let it go with matty ice hatin already

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
4:01 pm

yawning here………………………..am I going to have to go pick on Choke ???????????????????

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
4:09 pm

best ignore that character anyways………………The Chokerster………lmbo………….. is a week to week thing……….to start with Kansas City, oh, how they was going to whup up on the Birds, …..duhhhhhhhhhhh

week two = Manning and the Broncos gonna light up the Falcons………………………..duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

now he is on week 3 already and how the mighty Chargers is going to pancake the Falcons into oblivion……………..duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

he is a broken record only playin a new song every week in and every week out…………only his song sounds like that stupid lyric Hank Williams Jr. rewrote on the Devil down to Georgia

LKW4

September 18th, 2012
4:10 pm

Falcons were just lucky that Manning has not completedly jelled with the Broncos or they would have lost big time

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

September 18th, 2012
4:12 pm

Lmao atlanta gonna roll san diego

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
4:21 pm

haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa oh my …………..Lucky ?……………..The Broncos wont recover from last night for weeks,……………..that Team on the whole never knew what hit them until it was too late and by then the only reason they was getting scores was because the Falcons defense were getting tired towards the end…………………….That Bronco game was a good challenge for Atlanta……………..

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

September 18th, 2012
4:26 pm

Blah blah blah woulda coulda shoulda get that mess outta here we arent talkin about wat coulda happened all that matters is end result ppl always wanna go and say oh if this woulda happened it woulda been different no if manning hadnt thrown three interceptions atlanta may not have been up 20 to 7 at the half or if moreno hadnt fumbled it may have been different but all of the above did happen and just like manning said himself no excuses there are no woulda coulda shouldas in this sport there is only an end result and for the broncos it was an L accept it and get over it cause if u wanna play that game we can…. If atlantas offense had stayed on the field longer maybe our defense wouldnt have been so winded thus an even worse game for manning the point is there are no excusses the end result is all that matters atlanta won because they were better plain and simple :)

ken

September 18th, 2012
4:26 pm

Boooooooooo! Brooking only made 2 tackles the whole Cowboy-falcons game…Then acted like a complete Idiot…..once a scumbag always a scumbag!

william

September 18th, 2012
4:28 pm

Go Falcons! You’ve got to enjoy them actually showing up and even winning on MNF. Rare occurance around these parts. But… what happened to JULIO? I hope he learned a thing or two from future hall-of-fame cb Champ Bailey and tears up the Chargers next week!

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
4:29 pm

That Mike Nolan defense even shocked me with 3 picks so fast…..unbelievable ……….indeed…………………………….

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

September 18th, 2012
4:36 pm

Cowboy-falcons???? Lmao

It Doesn't Matter

September 18th, 2012
4:49 pm

Like Brooking or not, Smitty did him wrong, who would not have mock the Falcons after what happen. He says one thing, then does another, He thinks anyone from Jacksonville is perfect no matter how old or how bad they play! Go Falcons and Go Broncos, may they meet again!!!!!!

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
4:52 pm

never can tell in football……those teams out there last night can, could and may very well meet again in I won’t say what game…………………………

Claudia

September 18th, 2012
5:29 pm

I have been and still am a Brooking fan from his days at Tech and with the Falcons. Yes I did not like the way he reacted to the Falcons when he was a cowboy, but I understand he was hurt. He gave this team a lot of good years. Other players have left and nothing was said. He still lives in Atl and some day may be in the Hall of Fame. If the hall is in his future I hope he goes as a Falcon. He is a really nice person and life goes on.