Live from New Orleans, having flown in on Falcons 1!

Behold the boarding door of the official Birds' bird. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Travelers, take note. This is the boarding door of the official Birds' bird. (Photo by M. Bradley)

New Orleans – This is my 20th trip to this city, and it’s the first time I’ve everbeen borne here on an aircraft bearing feathers on its side. Yes, as fate and AirTran would have it, I flew in on Falcons 1.

Now, you’re asking if A.M. Blank flew the plane and Rich McKay served complimentary beverages in first class. (Believe it or not, I wound up in first.) The answer would be no. It was a standard flight with the exception of the paint on the fuselage. And that paint, you should know, was kind of a pain.

Our pilot — I believe he said his name was Capt. Over, though he might have said his name was Ted Striker — announced on boarding that the excessive heat we were experiencing came from having the top of the aircraft painted black. So now you know: Paint your bird a dark hue and you wind up feeling like a basted turkey on Thanksgiving.

Speaking of turkeys: I give the Falcons no chance tonight. I know it’s the NFL, where on any given Sunday/Monday et cetera, and I know the Falcons are pretty good … but I don’t see it happening for them here. Their weaknesses seem to dovetail with Saints strengths.

The Falcons’ pass defense is bad, and the Saints can really throw it. The Falcons’ running game isn’t what it was, and that would seem to undercut the ability to hog the ball and keep Brees and Bush and Colston on the sideline.

And this city, as you’d guess, is wired. Traffic was so bad at 4:15 CST that I paid my cab driver and walked down an Interstate exit ramp to get to the Superdome. “Biggest game of the year,” proclaimed today’s New Orleans Times-Picayune, and I’ve seen firsthand how this place can be on a Monday night.

I was here for the Katrina game — so was U2, and Allen Toussaint and the great Irma Thomas — in September 2006, and the Saints blocked a punt for a touchdown one minute in and the addled Falcons had no chance.

I’m thinking this could be another such night (sans Bono and the Edge).  I feel about this game the way Larry Munson felt in November 2002 at Auburn, when he told me an hour before kickoff: “We haven’t got a chance in hell.”

Then again, Munson was wrong that day. And maybe I’ll be wrong tonight. But I seriously doubt it.

Whatever happens, I’ll be here to comment and entertain your thoughts, hopes, fears. Join me early. Join me often. Join me for breakfast at Brennan’s. Bananas Foster for everybody!

The tailgate scene 3 1/2 hours before kickoff 50 yards from the Superdome. (Photo by M. Bradley)

The tailgate scene 3 1/2 hours before kickoff 50 yards from the Superdome. (Photo by M. Bradley)

2,330 comments Add your comment

DDjizzy

November 2nd, 2009
6:11 pm

hello…go saints.

Gdawg 82

November 2nd, 2009
6:11 pm

Didn’t Munson say that before every game??

Mark Bradley

November 2nd, 2009
6:12 pm

Well, you make a good point, GDdawg.

SA

November 2nd, 2009
6:13 pm

Go Falcons!! I hope they can pull this off (longshot, I know)

Driver 8

November 2nd, 2009
6:13 pm

Yes, the Saints look great. They are however, still the Saints. God bless em, they are still the only team that makes our franchise history look good by comparison.

Arthur Blank

November 2nd, 2009
6:13 pm

shhhhh….. “Miss Jones, Call my bookie, put $100,000 on the Saints.”

Paul H

November 2nd, 2009
6:14 pm

Go FALCONS. Time to bring the Aints back down to earth.

maconga

November 2nd, 2009
6:15 pm

A frined of mine gave me a bottle of italian red wine today as a gift. I told him I would use it to drown my sorrows as another one of my teams gets trashed on national TV. The only difference is I feel like there is hope in Falcon land but not so much in Dawg town!

Paul H

November 2nd, 2009
6:15 pm

Even the Falcons don’t win tonight, a 10 win season with a playoff birth is still very realistic. Hey, remember when UGA used to win 10 games in a season?? Ah those were the days…back in 2008…

Golden Dawg 84

November 2nd, 2009
6:18 pm

Now Mark you know if this thing tonight turns out like the disaster in Jax, the common denominator will be you :) .

The good news is that the Falcons already have every uniform scheme imaginable so we won’t be pointing to our sartorial deficiencies as the reason we got pasted.

MalibuGT

November 2nd, 2009
6:18 pm

any word on if the falcons will come out with new helmets, jerseys or pants for this big game?

jerry

November 2nd, 2009
6:19 pm

Hey, it’s a nationally televised game so naturally it’s time for an Atlanta team to take the gas. No contest.

jerry

November 2nd, 2009
6:21 pm

The wings painted on the side of the plane are a safety factor. In case the engines fail.

bugman

November 2nd, 2009
6:21 pm

Bring on the jinxin hexxin Mark Bradley!

Don Waddell may have a place for you on their staff.

Mark Bradley

November 2nd, 2009
6:27 pm

I’m thinking the Falcons will wear black helmets. That always works.

HERBIE

November 2nd, 2009
6:27 pm

Ya’ll a bunch of sorry loosers to think negative all the time on our home team.

HERBIE

November 2nd, 2009
6:28 pm

and you will think twice about it after the win 24 to 21

mmgtfan

November 2nd, 2009
6:29 pm

I saw on the injury report on Friday and it looked pretty extensive. Any word on injuries today Mark?

atmdog

November 2nd, 2009
6:29 pm

Mark,
Do you remember the falcons vikings game? We had no chance the vikings were all world that year. We won and went to the Super Bowl. We need that same game plan and our offensive line needs to play that type of game for us to have any chance. But it could happen right?

Here we go again

November 2nd, 2009
6:29 pm

you and schultz need to write more blogs. your production is way down.

D Falcon

November 2nd, 2009
6:31 pm

For all the optimistic thoughts coming into this season about our quarterback (me included), it’s time for M. Ryan to step up and have a big time prime time game. Also, we need the running game to figure it out tonight if we’re to have any chance of winning.

Mike Smith

November 2nd, 2009
6:31 pm

OK, boys, we’re still in this thing! What, they haven’t blown the whistle yet?? Ohhhh……

Ok Turner, you just run that ball. And defense, you guys watch for the pass!

If we can do that we’ll be in this game for at least the first 4 minutes, I’m certain.

La Jolla Dawg

November 2nd, 2009
6:31 pm

Mark, why so negative? You have become so glass-half-empty. I think you need to take up yoga.

D Falcon

November 2nd, 2009
6:32 pm

MB, please give us the inactives as soon as you know them. I’m hoping the 25 guys that were on the injury report aren’t all out tonight! HaHa

Tailgate Approved

November 2nd, 2009
6:34 pm

Mark, please bring back the UGA team that played in the Superdome against Hawaii. Word is they are being held hostage in a back room.

@ MalibuGT

November 2nd, 2009
6:35 pm

The Falcons will be wearing their red jerseys, shiney helmets, and white pants with a brown streak centered in the rear….

D Falcon

November 2nd, 2009
6:35 pm

The only known commodity when these two teams play each other is that no one has a clue what will happen. How many times has the so-called favorite lost this game?

Tell it like it is

November 2nd, 2009
6:37 pm

Falcons win 94-92

mountain_jim

November 2nd, 2009
6:39 pm

You think Mularkey has added a screen pass play or 2 to the mix yet? Never-mind, I think the answer is no….

Whooper Dawg

November 2nd, 2009
6:39 pm

Saints 45 – 24.

Here we go again

November 2nd, 2009
6:39 pm

on another note: zero of the four people i live with have seen the movie airplane! isn’t that sad?

Kurdt Kobain

November 2nd, 2009
6:41 pm

Any bats loose in the SuperDome?

I thought “glass half-empty” was the standard perspective for Atlanta teams, particularly on a big stage.

Mark Richt

November 2nd, 2009
6:42 pm

Well………Here we are again………

WarWolf

November 2nd, 2009
6:46 pm

Falcons will emerge victorious 38 to 31 !

I am saddened by Mark’s lack of faith :(

Sonny Clusters

November 2nd, 2009
6:47 pm

Mark, tell em’ to tackle Brees and rub they fingers in his eyes. It may work.

UGA_2001

November 2nd, 2009
6:47 pm

LOL, I love that people are still getting mileage out of UGA beating Hawaii. Unbelievable…

Sonny Clusters

November 2nd, 2009
6:48 pm

Clusters was never much for eye gouging. Coach wouldn’t let us anyway. Eye gouging has its place, though. Gainesville.

Sonny Clusters

November 2nd, 2009
6:49 pm

Clusters don’t follow the NFL that much but they was a Clusters that was a pretty good running back awhile back. Some of you may remember him. Clusters could always play some ball.

Bob Horner stayed hurt

November 2nd, 2009
6:49 pm

@ MalibuGT …very funny…I think you are wrong though..the Falcons won’t crap om themselves tonite…we keep it close…last week was NOT the norm for the Falcons…and Dallas is better than people think…..

Sonny Clusters

November 2nd, 2009
6:50 pm

Mark, is they any gumbo in the press box tonight? How about beignets, those little sausages?

Bob Horner stayed hurt

November 2nd, 2009
6:50 pm

Is Norwood palying..???

Ajax

November 2nd, 2009
6:53 pm

Would like to be surprised tonight but, 1) Saints look like the old Rams 2) Atlanta’s 0-for-a billion in big games 3) Bradley’s there to seal the deal…..

FalconUGAFan

November 2nd, 2009
6:55 pm

@MalibuGT Any chance you can show some class and give it a rest? This is a Falcons blog. Go Falcons!

WarWolf

November 2nd, 2009
6:55 pm

Alright, in today’s AJC there was a story that is a sure sign of a Falcons win. The birds are on the attack today :

PHOENIX — Authorities say a Delta Air Lines flight headed to Utah has safely returned to Phoenix after one or more birds hit the aircraft.

Matt

November 2nd, 2009
6:56 pm

Man…I love the Falcons, but this is gonna be BRUTAL. Our secondary is like swiss cheese AFTER going through a shredder. It’s going to get ugly very, very, very quickly.

@ Bob Horner

November 2nd, 2009
6:56 pm

Norwood will be on the sidelines, strumming the ol’ banjo….

falcon 71

November 2nd, 2009
6:56 pm

they are still the saints remember that in the 4th Q

jwilloutda mactown

November 2nd, 2009
6:58 pm

running game needs to wake the hell up for any chance of a win

Easy Money

November 2nd, 2009
7:00 pm

Call your bookies now, I’m tellin ya! This is going to be ugly, Mark Bradley kind of ugly…

bugman

November 2nd, 2009
7:01 pm

LMAO @ Sonny!

You always have some great insight.