More than nine years after the team promised it would happen, former Atlanta Falcons center Todd McClure has finally been named to the team’s Ring of Honor.
Affectionately known as the “Mud Duck,” McClure will join franchise greats like Deion Sanders, Tommy Nobis, Claude Humphrey, Steve Bartkowski and his former teammate, Roddy White, in the Ring of Honor this season. His induction is set for October 30’s home game against the Carolina Panthers.
After years of wondering when the team would make good on the promise owner Arthur Blank made to McClure when he retired in early 2013, the Falcons have finally placed the one of the franchise’s best offensive linemen in team history right, where he belongs.
Alongside Alex Mack and Jeff Van Note, he’s one of the few franchise greats at center for the team, turning in 13 years of stellar play at one of the line’s most important position. His ability to guide the way for a young Matt Ryan up front is a deeply underrated factor for Ryan’s early, and prolonged, success. The former Falcons QB really couldn’t have asked for a better person to have at center to start his time in Atlanta, and McClure deserves so much credit for that 2008 renaissance.
“It was great moment that brought back a lot of emotion,” McClure told media after the announcement was made Thursday (via the mothership). “There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears given to this organization and for them to honor me is huge. It’s truly an honor, something I’ll cherish the rest of my life.
“When you go to opposing stadiums and see the ring of honor, you recognize it. Kids will now go into our stadium and see my name. They might have to Google it – hopefully something comes up – but that’s so huge. I never would’ve thought that, after my time here, I would be with such an elite group of guys. I’m very proud. I feel very fortunate.”
Real good on the Falcons for finally making this happen. While there are people who are already deserving of a spot (Bob Whitfield, Jamal Anderson, Terence Mathis, Tony Gonzalez, Matt Bryant, maybe even Michael Vick), seeing the team notch McClure, one of its best-ever players. in its eternal ring after after all these years sure does give you a smile.
You figure Ryan, Julio Jones and Grady Jarrett will slot right in soon after their careers end, but who might be next? Watch for Gonzalez, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who would make a lot of sense to make the team’s Ring of Honor after he helped elevate them to perennial playoff contenders for a few years there. That’s our best guess, at least.
For Mud Duck, congratulations from all of us at The Falcoholic. We’ve all been waiting a long time for this announcement, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to finally see him honored in such a lasting way.
Everyone, break out your best, Saints-trolling “Choppa Style” dance and wish McClure a happy Ring of Honor selection!
And, always remember. Nothing move ‘till you snap like Mud Duck.