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Falcon's Lair

Jan. 17, 2005
Jan. 17, 2005

Table of Contents
Jan. 17, 2005

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Falcon's Lair

When the dust settles, will Vick or Bulger be gone with the wind?

JAN. 15 >> ST. LOUIS RAMS AT ATLANTA FALCONS >> 8 P.M. EST

This is an article from the Jan. 17, 2005 issue Original Layout

522 MILES NNE

Pittsburgh, Three Rivers Stadium. Starting point (now a Heinz Field parking lot) of then Falcons cornerback--Braves outfielder Deion Sanders's historic tripleheader in October 1992: three games, two sports, two days. After striking out in a 6--4 Braves playoff win, Deion averaged 21 yards on two kick returns and caught a nine-yard pass a day later in Miami in a 21--17 loss to the Dolphins. Sanders returned to Pittsburgh that night but didn't play.

517 MILES NE

Tidewater, Va., Warwick High. Where Marcus (Virginia Tech) and Michael Vick shone; Michael passed for 4,846 yards in three years, and his number 7 was retired in 2000.

175 MILES NE

Black Mountain, N.C., Blue Ridge Assembly. YMCA church retreat where Reverend Billy Graham, who lived nearby, watched the Falcons' first training camp, in July 1966.

[1] PEACHTREE STREET Parade route for Super Bowl--losing Falcons in '99. QB Chris Chandler--who'd thrown three INTs--was jeered, a just-arrested (for soliciting oral sex from a female police officer) Eugene Robinson was cheered, and coach Dan Reeves kept his promise to dance the Dirty Bird. [2] DISTANT REPLAYS Retail mecca of throwback jerseys has NFLers Randy Moss and Byron Leftwich as regulars. Among top sellers: ex-Falcons LB Jessie Tuggle's 1994 number 58 jersey ($300). [3] MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.'S GRAVE Marked by an eternal flame, it's a short walk from Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King shared the pulpit with his father. [4] I-85 Highway where Falcons LB Chris Draft rescued 35-year-old Anthony Ivory from a burning car at 3:30 a.m. in April 2002. Said Draft, "I was thinking, I'm going to get him out, or we're going to blow up together." [5] COUNTRY CLUB OF THE SOUTH Community where in '94 late TLC singer Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes smashed up boyfriend Andre Rison's two Mercedes-Benzes before setting fire to his seven-bedroom mansion. [6] PATCHWERK RECORDINGS STUDIOS Former Falcons, current Jags OT Bob Whitfield owns this megastudio where Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Usher have recorded. [7] TWIST Tapas bar--nightclub draws many Falcons as well as Eagles wideout Terrell Owens (his favorite: a double order of the $19 Chilean sea bass with side of asparagus), Thrashers winger Dany Heatley, Hawks VP Dominique Wilkins and--occasionally--MJ. [8] HOME DEPOT HEADQUARTERS Arthur Blank cofounded chain in '78 and was cochairman until 2001, the year before he bought the Falcons for $545 million, promising, "I personally will not rest until I have the opportunity to wear a Super Bowl ring." [9] KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK Last obstacle to General William T. Sherman's 1864 assault on Atlanta. Outnumbered 2 to 1, Confederate troops held for more than two weeks before retreating. Sherman subsequently burned Atlanta before his March to the Sea. [10] MARGARET MITCHELL HOUSE & MUSEUM Includes one-bedroom apartment, lovingly nicknamed the Dump, where in 1936 Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind, set almost entirely in Atlanta. [11] CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC PARK Place where, during '96 Olympic Games, security guard Richard Jewell saved countless lives by initiating an evacuation upon spotting what turned out to be a pipe bomb. --Adam Duerson

12 GEORGIA DOME

• FOOTBALL SEATING CAPACITY: 71,228, 13th in NFL

• FALCONS ATTENDANCE RECORD: 70,891 (vs. Titans, Nov. 23, 2003)

• HAWKS ATTENDANCE RECORD: 62,046 (NBA record, vs. Bulls, March 27, 1998)

• ATTENDANCE RECORD: 84,459 (Bishop T.D. Jakes's "Woman Thou Art Loosed" sermon, July 30, 1999)

• 1992 CONSTRUCTION COST: $214 million

• AMOUNT OF STEEL USED: 8,300 tons; 1,000 more than in Eiffel Tower

• AMOUNT OF TUBING DISTRIBUTING SODA AND BEER FROM KEGS TO CONCESSION STANDS: 32,952 feet

Insiders' View A Falcon on his home perch

"The great thing about Atlanta is there's always something to do. Everybody knows about the nightlife and the clubs. I'm not a big club guy. But I like to go to Dave & Buster's [cavernous restaurant with game rooms and hundreds of video games]. And I love the Cheesecake Factory. It's not fancy, but I love it."

--Peerless Price, receiver

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