Greetings, Falcoholics, in addition to The Falcoholic’s “Fan Spotlight,” I’ll be doing a series on The Falcoholic staff. You’ve read their articles, now get to know them a little bit more. The first ever “Staff Spotlight” is on the one and only Jeanna Thomas.
Jeanna has been with The Falcoholic since 2010, and spent three years covering the NFL as a whole for SB Nation. Currently, she is SB Nation’s senior talent manager for team brands. Jeanna handles recruiting for all of our team sites, such as The Falcoholic, among many other things. She has two daughters, Ashley and Chelsea, who are 21 and 19, respectively, and she lives with her boyfriend, Chris, who is (unfortunately) a New England Patriots’ fan and their dog, Baxter. Jeanna is from Ohio originally and is a huge Ohio State fan, and Chris is a Michigan fan, so sports are an adventure in their house. Other than football, Jeanna loves sports in general, reading, cooking, and dogs. “Adopt, don’t shop.”
I asked Jeanna some questions, so let’s get started.
How did you become an Atlanta Falcons fan, and how did you begin writing for The Falcoholic?
I moved down here from Ohio in 2005, and I really missed Ohio State football once the season rolled around. My ex-husband won tickets to see the Falcons play the Vikings that season, and Michael Vick was transcendent. Even though he left that game with an injury, so I got to see the G.O.A.T. Matt Schaub, too, Vick is the reason I got hooked on Falcons football.
I started writing for The Falcoholic because Dave noticed I was hanging out at training camp and tweeting about it a lot. I had gotten laid off from my job in the wedding industry, so I had loads of free time, and it reminded me of going to two-a-days with my dad in the summers when I was a kid and he was a high school OL coach. Dave asked me to write up some thoughts on camp, and I’ve been hanging around ever since.
Who is your favorite past/present Atlanta Falcons player that you’ve met/interviewed?
This is a really tough question, so I’m going to cheat and mention a few. Roddy White is up there for sure. Once, during Vic Beasley’s rookie season, Roddy took my recorder and interviewed Vic very seriously about his sleep habits. Another time, I went to a Birchbox event with Roddy and he gave me a quote about Joe Hawley and beard oil that was so hilarious, the Falcons made a graphic out of it.
I interviewed Michael Vick last summer for the first time, and that was pretty special. I got to tell him that he’s the reason I became a fan of this team, and that my fandom launched me into a career I love, and that’s led to opportunities like regular local TV appearances and covering this past Super Bowl, so that was cool to pass that on. My very first interview was with Mike Kenn, and we had lunch and I got to pick his brain for stories about playing for Michigan and against Ohio State during the epic tenures of Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes. That was an all-time favorite, too.
Brian Poole is always going to stand out. I asked him once for his top three rankings for the ping pong battles in the locker room. He said, and I quote, “Poole, Poole, and Poole.”
What are your thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons 2019 offseason?
I was mad online when the Falcons went with Chris Lindstrom at No. 14, and even more mad when they traded back into the first for Kaleb McGary, because I feel like we’ve been waiting on an actual pass rush forever and they didn’t address it early. But the picks have grown on me. I love the investment in keeping Matt Ryan upright. I also love the Kendall Sheffield pick, because go Bucks.
I’m worried about the depth along the defensive line, but hopefully 2016 Vic is back and Takk McKinley keeps progressing. I’m thrilled to have Adrian Clayborn back. He’s a good player and a wonderful person. Overall, I feel OK about it.
What’s your thoughts on the New Orleans Saints?
They are trash. Just a flaming dumpster fire. Absolute garbage. I’m very on record with this take on The Falcoholic Podcast, so I’ve got to be consistent. Watching their fan base completely fall apart and demand justice for the NFC Championship Game loss was truly one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen in my life.
What’s your outlook/prediction for the upcoming season?
I think the division is going to be tough. The Bucs are kind of an unknown with Bruce Arians at the wheel, the Saints should be good again, unfortunately, and the Panthers have plenty of talent to work with. The rest of the schedule isn’t a cake walk, either. I think, though, that with the OL investment and getting all of the guys the Falcons lost to IR last year back, this should be a 10-6 season. I hope that’s good enough for a playoff bid in a competitive NFC.
What do you want to tell The Falcoholic readers?
You can find me on Twitter @JeannaThomas, where I am usually posting pics of my dog or tweeting about sports and calling the Saints trash. Once we get closer to camp, DW and I will be back in the podcast saddle regularly, and I’ll be on Crossfire from time to time debating people about the Falcons. To our readers, thanks for being a part of our community. We’re glad you’re here.
Well folks, that was the great Jeanna Thomas. If you’re ever interested in writing for one of SB Nation’s team brands, make sure to follow @SBN_TeamTalent where Jeanna posts regularly about openings. I very much appreciate Jeanna for being the focus of the inaugural “Staff Spotlight.” Jeanna is a wonderful person, and I’m honored to call her a friend.
Additionally, you can find me on Twitter @EvanBirchfield. Thanks for reading, Falcoholics!