Although this post is about a week late, I felt it was still appropriate to get it out there.
A few Sundays back the Falcons played their first home game of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. While the game between two upper tier NFC teams should have been the focus, it was solely on Michael Vick's return to Atlanta as the starting quarterback for the other team. All week leading up to the game everyone in Atlanta had their opinions on who would be cheering for Vick or how many Vick supporters would be in the Georgia Dome. Even the pre-game shows had full segments discussing this issue. From local sports talk radio, to local sports writers, to local and national sports anchors....the Vick blitz was on.
I would like to see this is not a race issue, but you can tell by the callers and the pre-game stories that it is simply that. Terrence Moore (writer in Atlanta for years) came out and said half the dome would be Vick supporters. The 2 Live Stews (local sports radio personalities) said the same and went as far as to say they hope he has a huge game, but the Falcons win. This is laughable to me. To put it simply, if you cheer for someone else on another team, then you are not a fan. In no circumstance would you cheer against your team, no matter what.
As usual most of the so-called experts got it wrong. The Falcons fans showed up and filled the Dome, from accounts there were 5-8% Eagles or Vick fans in the dome. This was evident on NBC broadcast when Vick was exiting the field after being injured, he was getting booed heavily and no doubt was hearing some pretty nasty stuff from the Falcons' faithful. He went as far to point at the scoreboard on his way out, I remember doing that when I was in high school. Also, I'm sure he hears worse at his home stadium, after all he does play in Philly. However, at the end of the game, this is how the scoreboard read.
Vick ended up looking like the picture below in the game and suffered a concussion. I have to give the Atlanta fans credit, they showed up and packed the Dome!!