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Atlanta Falcons

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

Several high-profile failures have plagued Atlanta's reputation on a national stage over the years: unpreparedness for ice and snow storms, a recent highway collapse and subsequent shutdown from a fire and chronic traffic and public transportation woes.


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Eric Gay / Associated Press

Atlanta Falcons football star Julio Jones is among investigators in what backers describe as a massive business and entertainment project planned northeast of Atlanta.

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Georgia Dome's Final Event Was Monster Truck Jam

Mar 6, 2017
Brenna Beech / WABE file

A legendary part of downtown Atlanta's history, and skyline, is heading off into the sunset.

The Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta closed its doors for good following Sunday afternoon's Monster Truck Jam.

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Throughout its 25 years the Dome welcomed nearly 40 million people to more than 1,400 events.

More than a week after the Falcons fell victim to the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, an Atlanta zoo has named a cockroach after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Zoo Atlanta says on its Facebook page that it had a bet with Rhode Island's Roger Williams Park Zoo that called for the loser to name a baby animal after the winning team's star quarterback. Both zoos figured the loser would be pretty bitter about the game, so they agreed the animal in question would be a Madagascar hissing cockroach.

Gregory Payan / Associated Press

Sean Weatherspoon walked through the Atlanta Falcons locker room, shouting out to no one in particular.

"Hey, y'all don't forget about the good times!" he yelled, managing a big smile.

There were a few chuckles, but it wasn't enough to change the mood.

The Falcons are still trying to grasp how they let a Super Bowl championship slip away .

John Bazemore / Associated Press

The Super Bowl wasn't the only thing the Atlanta Falcons lost this week, the team now has to look for a new assistant coach.

The rumors had been swirling for a while, but now it's official: the Falcons' offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is named the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

So, the Falcons lost the Super Bowl.  But, at least they got there.  Still, did their amazing season give anything more than a psychological lift to folks around here? Perhaps, an economic jolt?  

According to Kennesaw State University sports economist J.C. Bradbury, there are studies that suggest local economies do improve when their sports teams start to do better.  But, on "Morning Edition," Bradbury told Denis O'Hayer the studies didn't find any major jumps.  

David Goldman / Associated Press

Well, Atlanta, there's nothing left to say.

The city once known as "Loserville" was cruising toward its first Super Bowl championship, leading Tom Brady and the mighty New England Patriots by 25 points.


Back in Atlanta, the city was all ready to bust loose in a celebration like no other, seemingly assured of finally putting to rest its history of sports flops.

Then, it happened.

The greatest flop of them all.

This one will take a long, long time to get over.

At the Rivals on Five sports bar in Stone Mountain, fans were loud and pumped during the first three quarters of the game but grew quiet when the New England Patriots made their historic comeback at the end of the game.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Atlanta Falcons lost Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots 34-28 in overtime Sunday night.

Football fans left sports bar and house parties dejected after what's considered the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

At the Rivals on Five sports bar in Stone Mountain, the crowd was loud and pumped for the first three quarters of the game.

But when the game went into overtime: a first in Super Bowl history, things got quiet, and waiters started handing out free shots.

Fans fill the stadium during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston.
AP Photo/Morry Gash

They looked old and outmanned. Their star quarterback was frazzled, their stingy defense was a sieve.

So what? Tom Brady and the New England Patriots shrugged and did what they always seem to do: Win the Super Bowl.

Brady led one of the greatest comebacks in sports history highlighted by a Julian Edelman catch that was almost beyond belief. The Patriots pulled themselves out of a 25-point hole against the Atlanta Falcons to a 34-28 win for New England's fifth NFL championship. It was the first Super Bowl decided in overtime.

Atlanta-Based Businesses Sport Falcons Pride

Feb 3, 2017
The Atlanta Falcons prepare to play the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore / Associated Press

Major Atlanta-based companies are gearing up for the Super Bowl this Sunday, when the Atlanta Falcons face the New England Patriots.

Companies like SunTrust Bank are encouraging their employees to wear Falcons jerseys or red and black in support of the city's team.

Susan Johnson is SunTrust's chief marketing officer.

"If you go to any of our banking centers you're going to see a lot of black and red," Johnson said. "We got balloons, we got posters, we got rally towels. This is our hometown team and we're really proud."

John Bazemore / WABE

The Atlanta Falcons will represent the NFC, and of course, the city of Atlanta, on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Falcons are playing in their second Super Bowl ever, against the New England Patriots, who are making their ninth appearance in the NFL's grand finale.

Ball control will be key in this game.

"Both teams had 11 turnovers during the season, which happens to be the fewest in the NFL, so they're going to be tough to come by," Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said.

Wide receiver Julio Jones says he's taking all the Super Bowl hoopla in stride.

College Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

The Atlanta Falcons are headed to Super Bowl 51 this weekend, so it’s time to celebrate. Many people already have their Super Bowl watch plans set, but what’s going on before all the parties? Or what if you’re not interested in the big game? Atlanta PlanIt has picked out four things to do to help kick off your Super Bowl weekend.

Experience Emory’s Alternative "Bowl"

Courtesy of the Governor's office

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is encouraging all state employees to wear red and black Friday to celebrate the Atlanta Falcons as they head to the Super Bowl.

Deal read an official proclamation declaring Feb. 3 as "Falcons Friday" in the State of Georgia.

He also noted that General Beauregard Lee, Georgia's Groundhog Day prognosticator, not only predicted an early spring this morning, he also predicted a Falcons win on Sunday.

Fans turned out to the Falcons pep rally at Atlanta City Hall on Friday, Jan. 27 to pump up for Super Bowl LI, in which the Falcons will take on the New England Patriots.
Alison Guillory / WABE

The Super Bowl may be about two teams going head-to-head, but this year, each team’s fans bring their own separate motivation to the match-up.

For Atlanta Falcons fans, the big game against the New England Patriots, is about bringing home the city’s first-ever Super Bowl ring. Atlanta has only won one major sports championship in the past, the Braves’ World Series win in 1995.

Falcons QB Ryan Feels 'Good' Ahead Of Super Bowl

Feb 2, 2017
Eric Gay / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons continue to practice at Rice University today, getting ready for Super Bowl Sunday.

"I feel good about my routine, I feel good about where I'm at. I feel like I know how to get myself prepared and ready to play," Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told reporters in Houston on Wednesday.  

And Ryan said he expects wide receiver Julio Jones will have a big day.

"He's such a huge part of what we do in terms of creating explosive plays and, you know, changing how a defense is going to defend us," Ryan said. "So we'll get him involved for sure."

Matt Ryan: I Have Nothing But Respect For Tom Brady

Jan 31, 2017
Jeff Haynes / Associated Press Images for Panini

The run-up to Super Bowl 51 included lots of cameras and microphones last night and the NFL's Media Night took place in Houston.

Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan told reporters that he has nothing but respect for Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady.

"Just the way he works week in and week out, year in and year out.  He plays the game the right way and plays really hard," said Ryan.

And now that the media hoopla with the players is over, it's time for the Falcons to get down to business, according to Atlanta sports analyst I.J. Rosenberg.

Charlie Riedel / Associated Press

A man traipsing around Monday's Super Bowl opening night in a full-length gown declaring himself "The Empress of Austria, Elizabeth I" was the most outrageous guest at what was a rather tame media night compared to the circus this event has been in the past.

The Empress, otherwise known as Julian Kurzwernhart, who said he'd been covering the Super Bowl for a television station in Austria for the past six years, spent more time being interviewed in his crazy getup than actually conducting interviews with the players from the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots.

Courtesy of Rabbi Micah Lapidus

“Rise Up!”

That’s the rallying cry of Atlanta Falcons fans as the hometown football team prepares to take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

“Rise Up” also happens to be the title of a gospel song written by a rabbi and embraced by Atlanta’s most prominent and historic African-American congregations.

Rabbi Micah Lapidus is the Director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies at The Davis Academy in Dunwoody. It’s really in his work as a composer, however, that Lapidus carries on the tradition of interfaith dialogue in Atlanta.

Closer Look: Trump's First Week; Beer Bill; And More

Jan 29, 2017
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Sunday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Hundreds packed Atlanta City Hall on Friday, Jan. 27 for a Falcons pre-Super Bowl pep rally.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Hundreds packed Atlanta City Hall today for a Falcons pre-Super Bowl pep rally.

A sea of red, white and black filled the ground floor and lined all four levels of the atrium.

Atlanta City Council member Andre Dickens was just one city official to show support.

"The Falcons are going to win because the fans are on our side and plus, most importantly, our players are ready," Dickens said. "They've had their time in New England. Now it's the Atlanta Falcons' time to shine."

Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Tom Compton (76) walks of the field after an NFL football divisional football game against the Seattle Seahawks , Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore / Associated Press

The frenzy for tickets to the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51 is off and running. 

While average prices are down slightly from last year, tickets are still what most would consider unaffordable. Stubhub has released ticket price averages, with the lowest ticket currently available coming in at nearly $3,000. The highest ticket prices in reported as more than $15,000.

David J. Phillip / Associated Press

Dan Quinn certainly knows who the Atlanta Falcons are playing in the Super Bowl.

No wonder.

It seems as if Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are there every year.

One day after reaching the big game for only the second time in franchise history, Quinn and his players were back at their training complex in Atlanta's northern suburbs, rehashing the blowout of Green Bay before turning their attention to the team they'll play next.

How Will The Falcons Fare Against The Patriots?

Jan 23, 2017
Mark Humphrey / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons will meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

This comes after Sunday's convincing 44-to-21 win over the Green Bay Packers at the Georgia Dome Sunday afternoon.

The Falcons have only been to one Super Bowl in team history, losing to the Denver Broncos in 1999.

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David Goldman / Associated Press

While the raucous beats of "Welcome To Atlanta" blared through the Georgia Dome, the Falcons partied like it was 1999.

How appropriate.

That was the last time they made it to the Super Bowl.

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones teamed up for another dynamic performance, leading the Falcons to the big game for only the second time in franchise history with a 44-21 rout of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game Sunday.

David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons host the Green Bay Packers at the Georgia Dome Sunday afternoon.

The winner of that game will play either the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his budget address at the state Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Atlanta. Deal spoke Thursday afternoon to lawmakers charged with reviewing his $45 billion spending plan. Deal limited his comments Thursday to criminal
David Goldman / Associated Press

A spot in the Super Bowl is the ultimate prize for the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers when the teams meet this weekend.

The governors of Georgia and Wisconsin also are making a friendly wager over Sunday's NFC championship game.

Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal and Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker are putting some of their states' best-known products at stake in their bet on Sunday's outcome.

If the Falcons lose, Deal is offering Coca-Cola, chili dogs from the Atlanta restaurant The Varsity, peach pies, peanuts and two six-packs made by Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Tom Compton (76) walks of the field after an NFL football divisional football game against the Seattle Seahawks , Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons are one win away from heading to Super Bowl LI.

On Sunday afternoon, the Falcons will host the Green Bay Packers at the Georgia Dome.

This will be the second time these two teams have met, with the Falcons having beaten the Packers in October.

"Both teams are different, and I think both teams from when they played before are a better version of what they were at that time," said Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.

He expects a nail-biter.

Jeff Haynes / Associated Press Images for Panini

The Atlanta Falcons host the Seattle Seahawks at the Georgia Dome Saturday in NFL postseason action.

The winner of the game gets one step closer to Super Bowl LI.

But Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said it's just another day at the office for the team.

"We're into the same routine that we're always in," Ryan said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Ryan also said the past is a plus when it comes to the playoffs.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

It's the "Battle of the Birds" part two.

The Atlanta Falcons will host Saturday's playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.

This is the second time these two teams will face off this season. In October, the Falcons lost to the Seahawks 26 to 24, in a game played in Seattle.

This time, it's in Atlanta.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn says he's looking forward to playing in front of the team's fans.