Greetings, Falcoholics, and welcome to the fifth edition of The Falcoholic’s Staff Spotlight. This series is similar to the “Fan Spotlight” articles, however, instead we profile a current staff member of The Falcoholic. You’ve read their articles; now get to know them a little bit more. This week’s “Staff Spotlight” is on The Falcoholic’s Adnan Ikic.
What’s going on fellow Falcoholics? I’m Adnan Ikic and it feels weird being on the other end of an article. I’m a big Atlanta sports fan who’s been writing at the site for close to a year and a half now (where does the time fly?). When I’m not suffering through the Falcons’ season with all of you beautiful people, you can find me in class working on a Master’s degree in marketing at Georgia State University, or at State Farm Arena when the Hawks are playing, leading the team’s “Sixth Man” fan section every single game.
I asked Adnan some questions, so let’s get started.
How did you become an Atlanta Falcons fan, and how did you start writing for The Falcoholic?
I wasn’t really into sports until the age of 9, but then a switch flipped and I fell in love. That love started with the game of soccer, and then spread to everything else. Living and being raised in Atlanta since the age of 3, it was only logical for me to start cheering on every single Atlanta sports team because I felt a connection to them all -- I felt that they represented me by representing the city. Atlanta is my home and the city that I love most in the world, that connection will never go away no matter how many times these teams break my heart. I got into sports writing in high school and joined Fansided’s Blogging Dirty when the opportunity arose, on my 18th birthday. I just wanted a platform to voice my affection, frustration, and opinions on a team which I love, and Blogging Dirty afforded me that. I wrote with some very talented and great people in my years over there, including our own Carter Breazeale, Eric Robinson, and Kevin Knight. After leaving that site, I got a message from Kevin asking if I was interested in coming over to write for The Falcoholic. This was a massive step up from Fansided, so I was immediately here for it. Taking Kevin up on the offer has been a wonderful decision which I haven’t regretted for a second.
You’re a passionate Atlanta sports fan; can you compare the different environments between the Falcons, Braves and Hawks?
I’m a big homer and massively biased toward all of these teams. I feel that Atlanta sports is in a better place now than it has been in quite some time with the Falcons in the middle of their championship window, the Braves boasting some of the best young talent in baseball, and the Hawks ready to wake up from a needed rebuild to start making some serious noise in the playoffs for years to come. This city’s fanbase has started taking notice, and I can’t wait to be in the middle of the raucous celebrations we’re going to see with these teams very soon.
As a big fan of ‘The Simpsons’, which reference to the show would you use to describe the Falcons 2018 season?
Look no further than the hilarious climactic scene in the classic season 2 episode “Bart the Daredevil” where Homer tries to jump Springfield Gorge on a skateboard, and just as it looks like he’s about to make it the other side, he goes crashing into the gorge. Severely injured, Homer gets airlifted into an ambulance which immediately crashes into a tree and sends him falling back into the gorge. If you need a laugh, I promise the 1:10 it takes to watch this scene is worth your time:
This really seems like a perfect representation of the team’s 2018 season. It felt like all the stars were about to align for a run at the Super Bowl, which was being played in Atlanta. This was arguably the most talented Falcons team ever going into a season, and I don’t think I had ever been so excited before the start of a new football campaign. Then, it all immediately came crashing down due to catastrophic injuries. Just when we were beaten down and hurt (like Homer), we suffered a second wave of catastrophic injuries to really close the casket on what could’ve been our year. Nothing is ever a given in sports.
In general, what is your favorite Atlanta sports memory?
I’d go with the 2016 NFC Championship victory against the Green Bay Packers (I wasn’t exactly alive for for the Braves’ 1995 World Series win). The night before, at the Hawks game, we started a “Let’s go Falcons” chant that reverberated through the entire arena; I got chills. I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for Aaron Rodgers as a football player, and I was terrified going into this game. Painful memories of the 2010 Divisional Round against Green Bay wouldn’t leave my head, and then the team exorcised every single demon from that once horrific night by completely eviscerating and embarrassing the Packers. Every step of the way, the team showcased its mettle. I was legitimately more scared when we were up 17-0 than at the start of the game, because I still remembered the blown lead to San Francisco in the 2012 NFC Championship. After Julio Jones broke Damarious Randall for a 73-yard touchdown to start the second half, giving us a 31-0 lead, all of that worry was replaced by pure elation. I was watching the game at Hooters with my friends, and one of them spilled all of our drinks by pounding the table unnecessarily hard after that play; I didn’t even mind.
What’s your outlook/prediction on the upcoming season?
I’m a massive optimist when it comes to the Falcons so my predictions always lean toward an outlook of positivity. As of now, I’d say that the team will go 12-4 and win the NFC South. This team is just so talented, and the revamp of the offensive line should be the key to unlocking a nearly unstoppable offense, the likes of which we saw in 2016 (I won’t go so far to say that they’ll be better than that Super Bowl offense). Matt Ryan was incredible last year without much protection or a run game. He should be in for another spectacular campaign. The pass rush is the only thing that gives me serious pause, but I trust in Dan Quinn’s abilities as a defensive play caller to help the team thrive on that side of the ball. Of course, we need to hope for a bit of luck and good health along the way. We’re going to sweep the Saints this year and have the best Thanksgiving in recent memory.
Is there anything you want to say to The Falcoholic readers?
You can find me on Twitter @SayWhichWay, where I talk mostly sports. Check out The Falcoholic Live Show with Kevin and Eric, where I’m a frequent guest. Also, if you’re a diehard Hawks fan who has an interest in joining the team’s fan section I mentioned for the upcoming season, let me know and I can give you more details about that. I’m super proud to be a part of this community, and super happy to be sharing in this love of the Falcons with you all. Go Birds!
Well folks, that wraps up another edition of The Falcoholic’s Staff Spotlight. I greatly appreciate Adnan for sharing his thoughts, and giving us some insight into his life outside of Falcons football. Be sure to follow Adnan on Twitter @SayWhichWay.
Additionally, you can find me on Twitter @EvanBirchfield. If you missed any of the past editions of The Falcoholic’s Staff Spotlight, you can view them by clicking the links below. Thanks for reading, Falcoholics!