Six Falcons honored on field for NFL 100 before Super Bowl LIV

Rashad Milligan

Yolanda Adams and Demi Lovato sung their hearts out on the 50-yard line. The premier of Jake from State Farm being re-casted as a black man on the second night of Black History Month broadcasted to the masses. The NFL Play 60 initiative had a live pre-game Super Bowl commercial.

But before all of that, six Atlanta Falcons were acknowledged on the field as members of the NFL 100 team.

Billy “White Shoes” Johnson was also on the list. The two other NFL legends, who didn’t spend the prime of their careers in Atlanta, on the team were Brett Favre and Eric Dickerson.

During five seasons in Atlanta, Sanders made three pro bowls and was named a two-time All Pro. In 1992, Sanders racked up a career-high 1,067 kick return yards, three interceptions and two kick return touchdowns. In 1993, he grabbed a career-high seven interceptions.

Gonzalez said although he played more years in Kansas City, the Falcons “made” his career because he played in more big games in Atlanta. Gonzalez averaged 10 yards per catch in four of his five seasons with the Falcons.

Hester is remembered most for his 2006-2013 tenure with the Chicago Bears, but Atlanta is where he broke Deion Sanders’ return record on Sept. 18, 2014 as a member of the Falcons.

Johnson, who was known for his enthusiastic touchdown celebrations, played his best NFL seasons with the Falcons. He posted a career-high in touchdowns and receiving yards in 1985 with 830 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns. He was 33 years old. For any fans concerned about the 2020 season, Julio Jones celebrated his 31st birthday this past week.

Dickerson was waived by the Falcons in October 1993. In four games with the franchise, he accumulated 26 carries for 91 yards. Shortly before the decision was made, the veteran confronted Atlanta head coach Jerry Glanville about sitting behind third-year back Erric Pegram on the depth chart. The organization offered him the opportunity to retire but Dickerson stood pat in his stance.

Farve, well, yeah.