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An Introduction To The Falcoholic's Editors

Getting to know the staff.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Reader Scotttras suggested an introduction post for all the Falcoholic's writers, and while getting to know us better is something you may regret, it's a great idea for those new to the site or who believe we're shrouded in mystery. We'll start with the site editor's.

I'd like to introduce you to all of the writers in the near future, but as I'm writing this it's Wednesday and I'm about to head out on vacation and probably none of you will have even noticed. I promise that's coming, though.

Dave Choate

For those who don't know me well, I'm the editor-in-chief here, and I have been since the site started up in October 2006. Those of you who have been here for the long haul will remember when I was a little more strident, when the logo was different and when the entire format of the blog was vastly different. My, how things change.

I just turned 30 last week and I've been a Falcons fan since about the 1991 season. I've spent my entire life in New England and I'm not sure to this day why I embraced the Falcons, but aside from the really disappointing moments, I've never regretted it. I only root for one local team (the Boston Celtics), which makes me a fun pariah for my friends and family. I live up in northern New England with my family, I left journalism for a career in marketing outside of my role here.

When I'm not doing either of those things, I like to use my free time to kayak, drink a lot of beer, write, read and play video games. I'm also bald and I wanted to draft Glenn Dorsey, and I think that pretty much covers me as a human being.

Alec Shirkey

I'm 22 and still have one more semester of college until I graduate from the University of Georgia, so I suppose that makes the youngster of the group (and the one with the most hair!).

Growing up in the Atlanta metro area, I was always a Falcons fan of sorts. It wasn't until the "You-Know-Who" experience came to town, however, that I really developed a passion for the team and an interest in the sport. Some of my favorite memories come from the joy ride that was 2008, including Matt Ryan's first professional pass, Michael Turner romping for 200 yards twice, and the "40 yards in 10 seconds" last-second win over the Bears.

I started off an avid reader of The Falcoholic. I returned home to The Falcoholic in January of last year after a stint over at the Atlanta regional site, and I've been a contributor ever since -- though it's been much more infrequent since I began my summer internship with

For now, I call Athens my home. It's the best town in Georgia -- football or otherwise -- and don't let anyone else tell you differently. When I'm not writing, or editing the student paper, or covering sports of some kind, you can bet I'm taking advantage of the wonderful downtown and its many, many watering holes. Beyond that, you can find me sampling some of the local craft beer, catching a concert, messing around on my guitar or keyboard and playing NFL Street. I guess that's it. I'll look for your UGA hate in the comments.

Alex Welch

I became a Falcons fan when I was born because I live in America. Specifically the Canton area. I grew up watching the Falcons, so naturally I was inclined to be a fan of the team.

My first real memory as a diehard fan was the 1998 Super Bowl. It was amazing to see how excited the entire city was at the time. Everyone was wearing Falcons jerseys and shirts. I can only dream of a return to that time.

I moved to Greensboro, N.C., in October to take a job with USTA North Carolina (a tennis organization if you're not familiar with it). I've been writing at The Falcoholic for several years now. I also write about fantasy football for SB Nation, and I recently started a gig doing the same thing with Pro Football Focus.

I'll always be a Falcons fan no matter where I go. It sucks being in North Carolina where we get stupid Panthers games all the time. Someone should do something about that. Also, I don't like James.

Caleb Rutherford

I've been a Falcons fan for as long as I can remember, but I suppose you could say I became a really invested (hardcore?) fan in 2008. Unlike one Dave Choate, I embraced the idea of drafting Matt Ryan once the pick was made. It was a fresh start for the team and, in a sense, my fanhood.

I grew up in McDonough, GA. My dad has been a huge Dawgs fan since before I was born and, to a slightly lesser extent, a Falcons fan. I was essentially born and raised on football so that's where that comes from.

I've been a part of the Falcoholic team since September 2010. I posted one of these a couple of years ago, which received some interesting (yet totally understandable) comments from some readers. I'm happy to report that April and I are getting married in two months. Guess my life's over now...I mean, woohoo! Marriage!

From now until August 29th, I'll be spending most of my time working, sleeping, and traveling between my home in Asheboro, my job in Winston-Salem, and working with the Seattle Mariners High Rookie Affiliate, the Pulaski Mariners in Pulaski, VA. I'm their play-by-play guy for the summer! If I have any downtime, I'm usually playing some video game on my PC.

James Rael

I grew up in Atlanta, just down the street from Piedmont Park. My earliest memory of Falcons fandom is inextricably tied to Deion Sanders. As a skinny second grader, he seemed like the coolest guy on Earth. I remember being at a Braves game and seeing a soul-crushing message on the big screen. The Braves had traded Prime Time away. Atlanta Fulton County Stadium erupted in boos. It hurt, and I may or may not have cried in to my mustardless hot dog (I hate mustard). He was no longer a Falcon by that point anyway, but for me, it was the end of a era. 

Being a Falcons fan is about appreciating the underdog. The Falcons have certainly improved their position in the league in recent years, but overall, this hasn't been an easy franchise to support. I like rooting for the underdog, and that's made my Falcons fandom easy. 

In my spare time, I like to hang out with my dog, golf, drink hoppy beer, and spend too much time with my iPhone. I'm a big fan of any dessert, and I once drop kicked Alex Welch in the face. He liked it.

Jeanna Thomas

I was born and raised in Ohio, and I wasn't really much of a fan of the NFL at all until I moved to the greater Flowery Branch metro area. I always loved football, though. My dad was a high school position coach (offensive and defensive lines) when I was growing up, and I spent many an August morning and afternoon at two-a-days with him. I was also the cheerleader in high school who knew whether we should be cheering for the offense or the defense. I grew up around the game. I've been a huge Ohio State fan since birth, also.

My family moved to Georgia from Ohio a couple of months before football season began in 2005, and I really, really missed Buckeye football. Shortly after the 2005 NFL season began my husband won tickets to see the Falcons take on the Vikings in the Georgia Dome, and I was hooked.

I started writing for The Falcoholic during training camp in 2011, and I love experiencing everything about the Falcons with this community. My favorite Falcons memory is definitely the victory over the Seahawks in the 2012 postseason, with Matt Ryan's first pass as a pro a close second, and Drew Brees throwing five interceptions in the Georgia Dome coming in third.

I'm married to a lifelong Packers fan, and we have two daughters and a very spoiled dog. On the rare occasions that I find myself with free time, you can find me reading, trail running, and finding excuses to spend as much time as possible outdoors.


I think I'm one of the newer contributors to the Falcoholic, and despite being here for eight months or so, I don't think Dave has ever given me a position. Maybe I'm Occasional Article Writer. Or Editor-In-Chief. I'm not really sure.

After bumping around most of the NFC North and Steelers country as a kid, I finally ended up in Atlanta around high school, and as is the story told at substance abuse meetings across the county, the thing I only did on weekends turned into a life consuming habit. I watched a few hours when I had nothing else going on, and suddenly, I'm driving countless hours to see the Falcons play in places like Cleveland.

I was a season ticket holder for a few good seasons, and 2007, before leaving Georgia for law school. Since then I've settled in Carolina country, surrounded by both Panthers fans. Many guilty men and women in Charlotte sit behind bars right now because following and writing for the Falcons obviously comes before trivial things like cases and deadlines.
When I'm not committing Falcons-related malpractice, I make fun of where Dave lives, listen to rap way too loud, throw attention at my new wife and new house, and dream about the idea of having free time.