In Memoriam – Sarah Brainerd

Rest in Peace Sweet Angel Sarah B

We’re taking a break from Falcons and Football to discuss something more serious. If you haven’t been a frequent visitor to The Bird Cage or are a newcomer, you may want to return in a few days when a new post about our Beloved Birds is up. This blog started a few years ago on D. Orlando Ledbetter’s blog and many of us got to know one another and developed a great rapport with each other discussing all things Falcons, football, and sometimes whatever we desired. Thus The Bird Cage was later born of many collective efforts that involved respect, dignity, compassion, and humanity. The Atlanta Falcons of course was the center point, but it evolved into so much more, thinking of each other’s well-being and genuinely wishing the best for each other and being there for comfort when some of us had tough times, even though we’d never once met in person. You could call it a “Spirit of The Bird Cage,” if you will. No one represented this more than one of our absolute favorite members Sarah Brainerd.

She was a trailblazer since was the only female member to be a huge Falcons fan in a male-dominated world of football. Sarah was tough and could mix it up with anybody regarding her Beloved Falcons. She had no problem talking about her love and passion for the Falcons. She was a true hardcore fan who refused to ever let negativity seep into her talk about the Birds, their chances for victory and success, and even in her own life. She was a rock, someone who always found the best silver lining for any given situation including a Falcons loss. Perhaps no other better trait represented her kind spirit than when some of the fellow posters were having struggles of their own, she would find kind words or poems to comfort them. Sarah was an awesome person who could always cut through the negative stuff and always welcomed opposing fans into the forum with the same respect she showed the Falcon followers. To sum it up in simple terms, she was an amazing and caring person with a wonderful light that lit up others when she was around. Most of us who knew Sarah through the bird cage didn’t have to meet her in person to know what an incredible human being she was. She loved her two dogs and being in multiple fantasy football leagues, which she took very seriously, and was quite good at too.

It is with immense sadness and grief to report that Sarah has tragically left us entirely too soon. This blog is devoted to her in her honor and memory. She wouldn’t want us to dwell on the sadness, but on the happiness that she brought to us through this forum centered on Falcons and Football. She was the true definition of a diehard Falcons fan and she loved this team through good and bad. Sarah always talked about her section being rocking and how she would be raising cane for her Birds. It was a passion she deeply cared about and she knew one day soon that she would be witness for the Parade Down Peachtree when the Falcons brought home the Lombardi Trophy. According to her close friend, in her last hours of life, she was talking about her beloved Falcons and how a Super Bowl title would be coming very soon. Even though most of us never knew her in person, we know she was a wonderful person and a fantastic human being. To say that she will be missed not just here our little football forum, but here on Earth gracing us with her warmth and kindness is an egregious understatement. Rest in Peace our sweet “Queen of The Bird Cage” as Seminole referred to her. Below are some comments she’s given over the years that represent her best. Please feel free to share your best memories of Sarah B.

1/10/11 – I got about 5″ here at the house. When I took the dogs out around 12 they seemed to think it was the greatest thing ever, running around chasing each other and trying to eat it.

1/8/11 – The Chips will fall where they fall. We will play whomever shows up and show them what the Atlanta Falcons are all about period. A little bit of Turner on the run, a little bit on Snelling on the screen, a little bit of Gonzo for the TD, a little bit – well more than a little – of Roddy down the side and when you are not looking a little bit of Jenkins too. And let’s not forget Abe, Babs, Grimes and Weems. Good luck to whomever shows up.

1/2/11 – Very, Very Very proud of our Birds. I knew we would make the playoffs this year but honestly I didn’t see this coming until after we beat the Ravens then the Packers. Once those 2 things happened I knew the Future was wide open!!! GO FALCONS!!!!!

12/19/10 – If we have a 4:00 game and they show it FOX does not get a 1:00 game. CBS is showing the JAX IND game and that is what we are stuck with. I would to see the Saints game and/or the Eagles game but unless you shell out for NFL ticket we are screwed.I hope part of the upcoming “talks” will fix some of that. I don’t want to go out today so I am stuck with JAX vs. IND.

12/8/10 – We must continue to play full out until the last game. Remember all the times the Colts “rested” their players too soon? If (when) we get the bye and home field advantage that already gives 14 days to rest and tune up. The Colts stopped playing in the last two games a couple of years then had the bye and got creamed in the 1st playoff game. You can’t lose the momentum or you lose the momentum… this is also the reason every division has games the last few weeks.

8/4/09 – Well just caught up and SW glad you are back!! Stormed a little earlier up here. Seemed to come out of nowhere. Except it was very hot and humid and the rain broke that up.

Here is my first pick on starting lineup – Erik Coleman will be starting. Inside info you say??? No I cheated a little my tickets came today and he is on the first ticket!!

Thanks CBrass, please root me on. These guys have no idea what they are in for!!! In my work league they always overlook me at draft time being the only girl and all I get no respect! But that is ok. Keeps them off their toes.

8/14/09 – Wow, now that’s a First post I’m down with. Good to meet you Coop. Welcome to The ‘Cage.

8/30/09 – 9 straight 3rd down conversions – ridiculas!!!!! We left mid 3rd Qtr pissed. Did I say ridiculas???? They better spend all day Monday practicing against 3rd & long and the screen pass… Ridiculas… Pre Season is no excuse…

9/10/09 – Well well well, again I’m here. Can’t wait for Sunday!

Rest in Peace Sweet Angel Sarah B.

111 comments Add your comment


February 22nd, 2011
9:06 pm

Thank you so much D3. You have no idea how much that means. God Bless you!


February 22nd, 2011
9:08 pm

First!! That is what she would say at this moment.


February 22nd, 2011
9:09 pm

Very well written D3. Rest now Sarah. We will do our best to carry on in your memory. We all know that’s what you would want!!!

Sgt. Pepper

February 22nd, 2011
9:10 pm

Very sorry to hear about this everybody. I never knew her, but always enjoyed reading her posts. She will be missed.


February 22nd, 2011
9:17 pm

Love you Sarah, thank you for letting me in your life and scareing the hell out of me in your hot rod mustand up to falcons training camp. You will be truely missed my dear, your one of a kind! Love you dear munchkin!!!


February 22nd, 2011
9:19 pm

:( Goodbye my friend!


February 22nd, 2011
9:20 pm

Grace. Wit. Charm. Sarah Brainerd. She was all these things and so so much more. Hearts are heavy around the region but the spirit of this sweet lady will endure for years and years. For me, I am very happy that the Divine gave me a few moments in the spectrum to share with her. She was my wanna be weather apprentice; and she would have made a damned good one too.

Gone too damned soon. But in this, there is a wisdom. We are taught that the Divine never makes a mistake. Simply put, as much as we loved this lady, the Divine loved and wanted her more. Serene now is she in His Holy presence. And we are left to grieve. We will do that and we will remember.
Come August, when the Falcons take the field, I am going to wear a patch with the initials “SB” on it. Somehow, someway, I am going to find somebody to make that patch for me. And I will wear it on my jersey with immense pride.

The Warrior, the Queen Kitten, and the TeePee family mourn the loss of our friend. Gene, JJ, other close friends and family, you are all in our prayers. We loved her too but the Divine loved her best.

Cruise on, Sarah. “The Avengers” live on… Sweet Jesus, to you, I give my friend.

Breaking right…See you on the other side, Sarah. I will never forget you. RIP, my sweet Avenger.


February 22nd, 2011
9:22 pm

Sad day for all of us. Please keep Sarah’s friends and family in your thoughts and prayers during this hard time. She was an inspiration, a friend, a buddy, a neighbor, a sister, a diehard Falcons fan, but most of all she was a wonderful human being who cared for others. I’m somewhere between shock and disbelief right now. Sarah would want us to keep talking about our beloved birds she was so passionate about, but she deserves some time for all the joy and happiness she brought all of us.

Too many great memories for me to remember, but one of my favorites were always how she had no fear of taking on opposing fans step for step if need be, but she was always the one to offer an olive branch and find the best in everyone.

Rest in Peace Sweet Angel Sarah B.


February 22nd, 2011
9:33 pm

I would be remissed if I did not pause and thank D3 for this awesome post.

You have hit many a home run over the years my brother but given the sudden occurrence of this tragedy as well as the immense emotions you are feeling, you soared to heights unknown.

You are right. She would want us to move on. She might even look back as she enters heaven’s gates and say, “I can’t believe they did that.”. But you are so correct. Pause we shall and take a moment to reflect on our dear friend.

Thanks my brother….outstanding job.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jay Adams and daniel cox, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: AJC's fan blog: In Memoriam – Sarah Brainerd [...]


February 22nd, 2011
9:52 pm

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream,
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can hearald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul,
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room,
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.

Author Unknown, “One”


February 22nd, 2011
10:00 pm

Sarah,you will be missed by many. You proved to many that human love lives in the spirit.


February 22nd, 2011
10:01 pm

I’m stunned–Was she in Athens? What a loss–I’m speechless….

Stirg d'Nahsif

February 22nd, 2011
10:03 pm

Stirg d'Nahsif

February 22nd, 2011
10:06 pm

Shawty B gone?

Chop Buster

February 22nd, 2011
10:09 pm

May you ride to heaven on angel wings. Will miss your enthusiasm and trash talk like one of the guys.


February 22nd, 2011
10:10 pm

Rest in Peace Lady Sarah. Good Bye BBG. God’s Speed.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 22nd, 2011
10:28 pm

R.I.P. Sarah — Queen of the Bird Cage. I felt it appropriate to share the below poem. — DOL

The Dash by Linda Ellis

There was a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash stands for all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars the house the cash
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

We’d be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
With your lifes actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Cos that dash stands for all the time
That you spent alive on earth
And only those who loved you
Know what that little line is worth

It matters not how much you own
The cars the house the cash
What matters is how you live and love
And how you spend your dash

What matters is how you live and love
And how you spend your dash.

Ken Strickland

February 22nd, 2011
10:44 pm

SARAH B-I am so sorry, so damned sorry. I’ll keep the good fight going in you memory. R.I.P. LOVELY LADY.

just me

February 22nd, 2011
11:17 pm

The words of other are a testamony to you Sarah B. I know the Good Lord welcomed you with open arms. If perchance He’s watching the game with you on any given Sunday and we need a little help maybe you could give Him a little nudge for us.


February 22nd, 2011
11:29 pm

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” – Richard Bach

Thank you Sarah for all of your contributions to the Cage family. Thank you D3 for providing a space for us to grieve.

My prayers go out to all of Sarah’s friends and family tonight. I hope you take some comfort in the thoughts expessed here.

Most of us don’t know each other in person but spirit and character have a way of trancending words on a page. At times like this I wish hugs did too. I suspect we could all use one.

Bangkapi Ajarn

February 22nd, 2011
11:36 pm

D3, this post hit the perfect note in the tragically, insanely imperfect world that we find ourselves today. Thank you.

DOL, thanks for the poem. I have a copy of that in my wallet to this day, I carried it around the world, to places that don’t even have names, to places I wasn’t sure I would leave – the words carry power and truth in the most challenging of times.

Gene and JJ, THANK YOU for taking precious time during this unthinkable loss to keep her friends around the world updated (and this blog IS read around the world).

SW, Sportaree, WR, and all – Your words personify the grief we feel that is intermingled with the belief that she is now in a better place. Thank you.

To Sarah’s family – I know it is precious little solstice at this time of unexpected, untimely loss but your sadness and sense of loss is shared by people all over the world that visit our little blog- NOT because she demanded it, but because she EARNED it with her spirit, her outgoing nature, with a shared love for the Falcons.

And as for Sarah, we might just see her again out of the corner of our eye as we watch a game, perhaps as an angel perched on Kroy’s shoulder pad as he makes an impossible sack, perhaps as the angel that helps Jenks catch a critical third down bomb in the corner of the end zone. I would like to think so, anyway.

RIP from my wife and I, our dinner at Thai Norcross will not be forgotten.

Rest in peace, Sarah.


February 22nd, 2011
11:39 pm

This is sad……so sad. I am at a loss for words. Rest in peace our sweet angel Sarah.


February 23rd, 2011
12:29 am

Wow… this is so… wow…

So sad.

Sarah B was probably the most recognizeable poster on this blog. She had the most endeering habit of posting several consecutive comments, late at night, when nobody else was diehard enough to be on to respond.

My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.


February 23rd, 2011
1:11 am

Wow, what a crushing blow to my heart to hear such a sad thing. What I remember most about Sarah was how she kept her head up during a long search for a job and never let it get her down. Always feisty, she loved being the female voice in this male dominated blog. She will be missed…

Chris B.

February 23rd, 2011
2:08 am

D3…thank you very much. You’ve attached words of hers that i’ve never read…and man, she knew way more about football then i ever realized.


February 23rd, 2011
5:23 am

DOL, that is one increadibly powerful poem. Thanks.

As this day is off to an early start, I, like all of us, continue to struggle with this news. I simply do not want to believe it is true but I must accept the facts.

Brainerd Family and friends..

In the arms of the Angels is where she rests now. And in time, we shall once again be graced by her presence. Rest assured that the legacy she leaves will eternally be held sacred and true. And always know, that we, your extended family, will be here today, tomorrow, and always.

God bless and keep you all. Most of all, God welcome home your newest angel, Sarah B. RIP…


February 23rd, 2011
6:42 am


February 23rd, 2011
7:24 am

Rest in peace Sarah B, you will be missed but never forgotten.

Unca' Bob

February 23rd, 2011
7:58 am

Dearest Sarah,

Many people will walk in and out of ones life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

May God hold you in the palm of His hand
And Angels watch over you.


February 23rd, 2011
7:59 am

She set a tone of enthusiasm, hospitality, openness… and we’ll honor Sarah by keeping these qualities of hers going in the Cage.

The Real Falcon

February 23rd, 2011
8:10 am

Will always miss your special perspective Sarah.
Good bless!


February 23rd, 2011
8:15 am


If you get a patch made please pass it along to me. I’m really not into wearing jersey’s but I’m thinking of having a custom jersey made of the number 97(she loved Kerney) with the name Sarah B on the back!!! I’m sure that she would love that. I still can’t believe that she’s gone. Sarah, being the only women left in the cage I will do what I can to carry on. Good bye my friend!!!


February 23rd, 2011
9:56 am

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your joy and passion with us. I will truly miss your capable contributions to The Bird Cage. Rest in Peace.

To the Brainerd family: I’m sure it is not lost on you, the unusual circumstances of Sarah being so loved and respected by people who never knew her personally. She shined like a beacon on this site and we were all drawn to her. She was very special to us. I pray that you find peace and comfort in this sad, difficult time. God bless you.


February 23rd, 2011
10:31 am

Sarah: You will be missed!!! Your wit, postivite attitude, respect, and bringing smiles to others. Rest in peace…

To Sarah’s family.. peace be upon you.


February 23rd, 2011
10:48 am

My contribution of one of my favorite songs……….

Ripple by the Grateful Dead:

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

Still so hard to believe. What a great human being.


February 23rd, 2011
11:08 am

Cage, I have been absent for quite some time now. Just thinking about my birds and their collapse has been too difficult to engage yet. So I was shocked when Box e-mailed me this morning to share the news of Sarah. I have been catching up on the last two blogs for a couple of hours now and I sit here stunned. I just can’t think of anything to offer…

Sarah B, I will sincerely miss you. The very first response I got in the Cage was from you (listed above by D3). From that moment on, I was always welcomed as a new member of a family. I’m sorry, I wasn’t here. I’m sorry I failed to learn what you taught through your actions everyday. Your positive attitude and spirit should never be forgotten. It is something I need to try to emulate.

Forgive my absence and travel safe to those glorious shores. My thoughts and prayers are with your friends and family.


February 23rd, 2011
11:11 am

I read each new post but rarely comment. I know I enjoyed reading what Sarah had to say… she normally would be the first to post at the wee hours of the morning. Although I had never met her, she will be missed. Forgive me for my ignorance, but what happened?


February 23rd, 2011
11:47 am

wel said and well-earned memoriam.


February 23rd, 2011
11:52 am

Frequent reader of the post/comments but also rarely comment – SarahB was definitely a commenter I noticed more than most. Very sad for her friends and family and I pray they all find peace. Go Falcons.


February 23rd, 2011
11:53 am

To bring a laugh maybe,,,,,but she is probably smiling as she now has that front row luxury box seat to watch the birds in any stadium now.


February 23rd, 2011
12:04 pm

Such sad news. Peace for such a wonderful lady and thoughts and prayers to those behind. Selfishly, I will miss her thoughts on the Draft, Free Agency, and upcoming season. Heck, even a new stadium. But mostly will miss the optimism that so many of us fans seem to lose when we need it most.

LRD, I guess that is one really good reason for an outdoor stadium.


February 23rd, 2011
12:23 pm

My condolences to the Brainerd family.

We mourn Sarah’s sudden departure. I have taken time to read D3’s eloquent post and all the beautiful comments on this blog, Sarah you will be missed. She was such a beautiful person, at Gods on choosing, he decided to open the birdcage and let this beautiful dove sore high in the heavens.

I remember last summer, Sarah was seeking employment, like alot of people in these terrible economic times, and I remember how happy she was when she finally landed a job, I am sure her closest family members were the first to get the news, but she couldn’t get home fast enough to share the great news with us here in the cage, I truely beleive we are family here in the cage and Sarah was the Matriarch here in the cage, the fabric that kept us woven together, even in the fierce battle of debate, she was special.

Sarah, I would like to say, God has been grooming you and only you, for a job opening in the heavens, one that man cannot terminate you from, or lay you off, He chose you. Gods will has been done. Sarah we Love you, but God loves you best.



February 23rd, 2011
12:40 pm

Wow. what an awesome tribute. RIP.


February 23rd, 2011
1:03 pm

My sympathies to the Brainerd family which incidentally includes all of us.

Sarah B,

Thanks for the incite and the respect you littered this blog with over the years. Your class and dignity will be missed. I know the seed of respect and lively banter that you have helped to germinate on this space will continue to thrive.

R.I.P. my sister and nuff respect everytime!!!!

Ken Strickland

February 23rd, 2011
2:48 pm

This morning I went on a 4mile walk to clear my head. After I’d finished, I stopped by a couple store to pick up some things. During that short shopping spree, I encounted at least 7 individuals who were loud, obnoxious and appeared to possess very little to offer that could be considered positive.

After getting into my car, I just sat there and wondered, WHY DID THE CREATOR CHOOSE TO TAKE AWAY ONE OF HIS/HER GREATER CREATIONS? My first major encounter with SARAH B was when she jumped down my throat for being condescending, and after taking a step back and rereading my posts, I found she was right.

I apologized and things just went so much smoother for me after that. I’ve heard comments about how see handled herself on these blogs among all of these men. Well, she didn’t just handle herself, she handled all of these men. She would bring into check anyone who got out of hand on these blogs, and everyone responded in the appropriate manner, and out of respect, as I did. THAT’S WHAT MADE HER SO DOGGONE SPECIAL AND WHAT GARNERED SO MUCH RESPECT.

I think it would be a very good idea to let the Falcon organization know that the Falcon Nation has lost a special fan, but certainly not in spirit, because everyone who had the pleasure to interact with her still carries the influence of her spirit. Next season when the Falcons take the field,their focus should NOT be for the purpose of winning A Super Bowl, but for the purpose of winning THE Super Bowl for OUR BLOG MOTHER/SISTER SARAH B.

I know what those of us who knew and respected her on these blogs are feeling cannot compare to what those who knew and loved her best are feeling. May I offer my deepest sympathies to all of you for your loss.


February 23rd, 2011
2:51 pm

I am brought to tears as I read this. ( sarah would tell me to man up and not act like a girl)! She was truly a unique indivual and I cannot even begin to say what all she has meant to my life for the last 13 years. I have so many fond memories of all our Falcons road trips over the years and trust me Sarah never met a stranger so even when we were outnumbered as visiters she always manage to make friends with everyone (with the exception of that one game when we beat the crap out of the Panthers in the last half. I thought little Miss 5 foot 3 was gonna get our butts kicked.) LOL! She always said what she thought straight up. Like it or not. But then when all was over she would shake your hand and say Good Game! I have been with her family all morning and I will be certain they see this blog and all the amazing post. Currently we do not have definite plans for a memorial as Sarah never wanted a formal service (she is being cremated)but many of her friends want to pay their respects so we may gather soon at her house and have everybody wear their Falcons wear. I will post details in case anyone is in Atlanta and would like to join. Thanks again for all the love and god bless you all.

Hamad Meander

February 23rd, 2011
4:28 pm

Sarah B – you will be GREATLY missed here. I hope all of us find a way to honor her memory and keep her fire and passion going on.


February 23rd, 2011
4:31 pm

I didn’t know Sarah long I just started reading the blog last winter.As I got to know her I liked to tease her a bit didn’t seem to bother her a bit.The one person I wanted to meet in person one day was Sarah.I loved the fact that this woman knew more about the game than I did.When she got home from the games she would jump on here and tell us how the game was for her I know I’ll miss that next season.I can’t spell for crap and she would correct my spelling after a post.She didn’t mean anything by it,it was just a part of her.WR made me think one day that she hadn’t been posting lately and I was wondering why, it wasn’t like her.When we all got the news it was like someone had droped a ton of bricks on me.As I sit here it’s hard to think of her being gone.Some of you have offered poems and songs and I’ll offer this one.It’s by Gov’t Mule it’s called Child Of The Earth I’ll think of Sarah each time I hear it now.Good night sweet sweet Sarah you rest in peace now.I love you so much sweety you have left a scar on my soul.


February 23rd, 2011
4:46 pm

Wow cage. I read this at my work desk and my eyes are now misty and my heart heavy. I have been posting for about a year and a half and she was one of the lights of the forum – part of the family. I will miss her dearly even though I never got the pleasure of meeting her in person. Rest in Peace Queen of the cage.
I wonder if she is advising Simon Peter to take Matty Ice in the 4th round fantasy draft this year.
Thanks so much for the post. This forum will not be the same.