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 Mike Kermode. Mike’s an Atlanta Falcons fan living in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He currently manages a bar at a private club in Vancouver, and has ensured that Falcons games are on the TV’s whenever possible. He’s done some sports journalism in the past, as well as some teaching, but the one constant in recent years has been his love of the Dirty Birds. I asked Mike some questions on the state of the franchise and some of his more personal stories as an Atlanta Falcons fan. Let’s get started.
How did you become an Atlanta Falcons fan?
I originally became a Falcons fan when they drafted Michael Vick. I was never a huge college football fan, but one lazy (hungover) Saturday I decided to watch a game - Virginia Tech vs somebody - and it was the first time I had the privilege to watch Vick play. I had heard about him as he was making noise at the time, but I had never actually seen him play, or even any highlights. Needless to say, he wowed me. I had never seen such a dual threat at quarterback, and he must have had at least 10 amazing, jaw-dropping plays. Hook, line and sinker, I was now a massive Michael Vick fan. At that point I followed the NFL, but I wasn’t a HUGE fan, and didn’t really have a team. So, from that point on, I decided I was going to watch Vick play whenever possible, and my team was going to become whoever drafted him. Obviously after that season in 2001, and Atlanta was confirmed as the top pick, it was certain they were going to draft Vick. So, I kind of braced myself, did some research on the team in preparation of them becoming my boys. The rest, as they say, is history.
Who is your favorite Atlanta Falcons player of all-time?
Vick is obviously my favorite Falcon of all-time. When the whole dog-fighting thing came out, I was crushed. I always separated the player from the person, but it definitely changed my thoughts on him. Since then, there have been many memorable Falcons for me. Obviously Tony Gonzalez. His size and athleticism was mind-boggling, he was so dominant. Jamal Anderson, Roddy White, Kroy Biermann, Sean Weatherspoon were all great, memorable players for me. More recently, Julio Jones (the greatest WR on planet earth right now!), Matt Ryan and my new favourite, Keanu Neal. I love Neal because he is fast, tough and absolutely demolishes people!
What is your favorite Atlanta Falcons memorabilia?
I own three jerseys, Michael Vick, Matt Ryan and Keanu Neal. I have a Falcons hat and a toque (what others across the world call a ‘beenie’), but my favorite Falcons memorabilia is easily this Mexican Peso I got a street artist to cut and mold into the Falcons logo while I was in Playa Del Carmen in February. Hoping this will bring the boys some much needed good luck! (Should have bought it in 2017)
Thoughts on the 2019 Offseason?
As far as the outlook for this season, I was a little disappointed we weren’t bigger players in free agency, and feel the free agent linemen we signed this year are a little underwhelming. I don’t know a ton about either guy, but from what I’ve seen and read, meh. I am going to miss the hell out of kicker Matt Bryant. I understand the move though, and think Tavecchio will be just fine, and much cheaper. Tagging Grady Jarrett was necessary, and I’m confident we’ll be able to get a well-deserved long-term contract done sometime during the season.
2019 Record Prediction/Outlook?
Now that the schedule is out, I have predicted that Atlanta will finish 10-6, and make the playoffs as a Wild Card team. If we stay healthy, and add some valuable depth in the draft, I think we have a legit shot at going deep and hopefully redeeming our most recent Super Bowl performance!
I appreciate Mike for sharing his thoughts on the Falcons and for being the focus of this week’s ‘Fan Spotlight’ article. If you’re interested in discussing Falcons’ football with Mike, you can find him on Twitter at @mikekermode, where he’s always down to chat with fellow Falcons fans.
If you’d like to be considered for a future ‘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!