Most NFL fans experience serious football withdrawal once the Super Bowl winner has been decided for the season. Breaking news and updates are few and far between during the months of February and March. Excitement revs up again as the NFL Draft approaches in April. There is a lull again until free agency opens and training camp starts.
This summer, Falcons fans had the chance to meet three members of the 1998 team that were part of Super Bowl XXXIII. In a time of year when there is limited opportunity for direct fan engagement, it was a pleasant surprise for fans to meet these Falcons Legends.
Demario A. Falcons has been a Falcons fan for nearly 30 years. He tries to attend any event that is related to the team. He noted that it's great seeing former players, and he hasn't seen some of them in many years.
Jacquelyn Bailey and her 11-month old daughter, Journi, waited patiently to meet the Falcons Legends. She recalled being in the 8th grade when she first saw Jamal Anderson doing the Dirty Bird dance. She had several posters of him in her room growing up, and was excited for the chance to meet him person. She had a customized football for the Falcons Legends to sign.
Fans had a variety of items for the Falcons Legends to autograph. Jerseys, posters, footballs, and customized items were plentiful. One of the more unique items that a fan brought was a wrestling belt that had the Falcons logo on it.
The Falcons Legends were slated to appear for an hour. They ended up staying longer than that, and each took the time to chat and take photos with the fans that waited to meet them. The Legends seemed to have as much fun as the fans. Anderson played patty cake with a young fan. Older fans shared stories of their favorite moments with the legends.
There is something special about getting to meet former players that brings fans out for appearances such as this. The '98 team was the first team to make it to a Super Bowl. Decades later, Falcons fans are still doing the Dirty Bird dance that Jamal Anderson made famous.