The Atlanta Falcons don't always command a lot of respect. That's true for a variety of reasons. But when the team does get some recognition, it's always worth it to pay attention. Such is the case in USA Today's list of the 100 most important people in the NFL. The Falcons have two names featured on their list, President/CEO Rich McKay and owner extraordinaire Arthur Blank.
31. Rich McKay
Atlanta Falcons president and CEO. He is also chairman of the powerful NFL competition committee that has a major say in setting league rules.
62. Arthur Blank
Falcons owner. After this season, his team will move into groundbreaking Mercedes Benz Stadium, which was selected to host the 2019 Super Bowl. Blank's foundation has been lauded by many for trying to improve the quality of life for people living in the Atlanta area.
McKay is often overlooked but practically speaking, he's a huge asset. (I once took an elevator ride with him; he smelled like leather bound books and rich mahogony.) The competition committee has a pervasive impact on the NFL's final product and McKay is its most powerful figure. As for Blank, he's a model owner. He's old school but largely hands off. (Put differently, he's present but not detrimentally so.)