Greetings, Falcoholics, I’m back with another edition of The Falcoholic’s “Fan Spotlight.” This segment highlights Atlanta Falcons fans from around the globe, and shares how they became a fan of the team and their thoughts on the franchise.
This week’s Fan Spotlight is on Maxx Black, an Atlanta Falcons fan from Tampa Bay, Fla. He’s currently a senior at the University of South Florida, located in Tampa. He played baseball for most of his life, but his favorite sport has always been football. Growing up “behind enemy lines” wasn’t easy, especially considering his parents are Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans, and his older brother is a New England Patriots fan. Safe to say Maxx has heard his fair share of trash talk.
How did you become an Atlanta Falcons fan?
I idolized Warrick Dunn from a very young age. I was never a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, I was just more of a Warrick Dunn fan when he happened to play for them. When he went to the Atlanta Falcons, I just stuck with the team and have been a fan ever since.
Favorite Falcons player of all time?
Without a doubt it’s Matt Ryan. I’ve been a supporter and believer in him since Day 1. Just remembering where the Falcons were at the time he was drafted, and how he was a huge piece in being able to help turn things around for the franchise. Not to mention, all the good that he does for the city of Atlanta. The way he handles himself on and off the field is second to none. Especially with much of the unnecessary criticism he gets from the media and fans. It’s on my bucket list to meet him one day if possible – That would be a dream come true.
Thoughts on the 2019 offseason?
The 2019 offseason should be an interesting one. We need to add pieces to the trenches on both sides of the ball. I’m interested to see how much of that comes from free agency versus the draft. Of course, Julio Jones and Grady Jarett are going to get paid, so it’ll be interesting to see what cap space is left once they’re taken care of. Thomas Dimitroff has always seemed to be a cap wizard, so I think it will work out well. It was sad to see Robert Alford and “Money” Matt Bryant be released, even though I understand why it happened. I’d like to see the Falcons draft DT Ed Oliver if he’s still on the board at 14. In college, he played in the same conference as USF (where I go to school), so I’ve seen him terrorize us and other teams in the conference on more than one occasion.
Favorite Falcons memorabilia you own?
My favorite Falcons memorabilia that I own is an autographed picture of Matt Ryan that I have framed and hanging in my room.
Favorite Falcons memory?
My favorite Falcons memory is the 2016 NFC Championship game. To me, that was the greatest feeling that I’ve ever had as a Falcons fan. Sometimes I watch the NFL Films highlights of the game just because. When Matt Ryan scrambled for the rushing TD in the first half, that was the moment I knew we were going to the Super Bowl. We won’t talk about what happened two weeks later though.
What’s your outlook on the future of the team?
I think the 2019 season has the chance to be a special one for the Falcons. With the key players on defense coming back from injury and most of the offensive unit staying together, I think we can make a run for our first Super Bowl win. I’m excited to see Dan Quinn back to calling the defensive plays because the defense really took off when he called them in 2016. I’m also intrigued to see Dirk Koetter back as the offensive coordinator due to his familiarity with the team from the past, and what he removes/adds to the playbook for the upcoming season. When looking at our schedule, I see 10-6 at worst. 2019 just might be our year.
I appreciate Maxx for sharing his thoughts on the Falcons, and for being the focus of this weeks ‘Fan Spotlight’ article. Let’s hope for his sake that the Buccaneers continue to be bad. If you’d like to connect with Max, you can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
If you’d like to be considered for a ‘Fan Spotlight’ or know of someone who deserves to be, let me know on Twitter where you can find me at @EvanBirchfield. Thanks for reading!