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 Michael Avilez. Michael’s a father of two, and currently works at T-Mobile, with a plan to return to school soon and obtain a bachelor’s in business. When he was growing up, Michael always played football every day out in the streets, after doing his homework of course. He then started watching football and admired how Michael Vick would break ankles, and that’s how he became a fan. I asked Michael some questions on the state of the franchise and some of his more personal stories as an Atlanta Falcons fan. Let’s get started.
Who is your favorite Atlanta Falcons player of all-time?
Wow, that’s tough, honestly, so I might have to list two, and of course Michael Vick is one of them. Michael Vick is a big reason why I became a fan of the Atlanta Falcons; his ability to make plays was truly amazing to watch. Matt Ryan is the second on my list and it’s pretty obvious why. We really lucked out with him, one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league right now, and I think when it’s all said and done, he’s going to be a top 5-10 quarterback of all-time.
What’s your favorite Atlanta Falcons moment?
My favorite moment was the 2012 playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks. We were up for most of the game and as soon as the Falcons gave up the lead all my friends were making fun of me, telling me all kinds of things about the Falcons, and I’m from Jersey City, New Jersey — you don’t get a lot of Falcon fans around here. But it was not pretty, and I was at work very upset listening to the radio of the game. With 30 seconds left, I didn’t want to say anything to anyone until after the game. With two passes Matt Ryan saved us, and so did Matt Bryant (btw I love all @EvanBirchfield’s tweets on the Matt Bryant release haha!). I called all my friends, and probably one picked up the phone to congratulate me.
Thoughts on the 2019 NFL Draft?
Honestly, I was really skeptical on our picks in the draft, but then I started thinking this is exactly what we need! Matt Ryan was sacked about 42 times and had 100 QB hits. I know he was sore throughout the season, the protection was horrible! Even with all of that I still thought we (would go) defensive line but that’s okay, we have protection for Matt Ryan. If you also look into our other draft picks, these are players who can surprise people and make an impact. But overall, I give us a B in the draft.
What’s your favorite Atlanta Falcons memorabilia?
Honestly all I have is a Matt Ryan jersey that I cherish, a Julio Jones shirt, and a Falcons key-chain. One day I would like to have Matt Ryan’s autograph, and maybe a conversation or two.
What’s your outlook/prediction for the 2019 season?
I think we have tremendous upside, I can see us going 11-5 and of course going deep into the playoffs. Our offense is stacked for years to come, and we could keep up with any team offensively. Defensively however, we have the pieces! We can have a productive defense if we stay healthy. My main concern is our defensive line, we need to apply pressure, maybe blitz more too. But our defensive line is going to be key, if we get the pressure going we are going to the Super Bowl.
Anything you want to say to your fellow Atlanta Falcons fans?
I’ll always be in Jersey City, New Jersey, unless I end up moving to Georgia, which I have contemplated for so long. But you can also catch me in Indianapolis watching the Falcons play the Colts in the Week 3 matchup. Pretty excited about that, so hopefully us Falcon fans can take over that stadium! But to all my Falcon fans, we shall rise up and take what was ours, and hopefully I can go to my first home game and scream in the stadium with all of you. It’s honestly something I will work towards. Definitely something that’s on my bucket list.
I appreciate Michael for sharing his thoughts on the Falcons and for being the focus of this week’s ‘Fan Spotlight’ article. You can find him on Twitter @Mike_avilez79.
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 @EvanBirchfield. Thanks for reading!