City of Atlanta Going Bonkers with NFC Championship Fever

Knox BardeenNFC South Lead WriterJanuary 19, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 13:  Atlanta Falcons fans wave flags during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Seattle Seahawks at Georgia Dome on January 13, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Since the city of Atlanta was awarded its NFL franchise in 1966, the Atlanta Falcons have made it to the NFC Championship Game just twice—in 1998 and 2004. The city has never hosted the game.

That will change Sunday when the No. 1 seed Falcons host the San Francisco 49ers in the Georgia Dome at 3 p.m. ET.

As the team prepares for its on-the-field work, the city—and its Falcons fans—prepare in the only way they know how: by going absolutely “Rise Up” crazy in support of their team.

The fine folks at the Georgia Aquarium got busy with a unique video featuring an underwater Matt Ryan impersonator tossing the football to an underwater version of Julio Jones. Even the otters got involved.

Orin Romain, producer of the 790 the Zone show Football Night in Atlanta show, shared a field photo of tight end Tony Gonzalez in jubilant tears after his first career playoff win. His comment: “No words… this is what playoff football is all about.”

As I picked my daughter up from school yesterday the school’s large sign out front read “Rise Up Atlanta Falcons” and business attire among the front-desk staff was replaced by Falcons gear (one woman had on a “never worn” 1998 NFC Championship t-shirt).

It’s impossible to turn the radio dial or drive anywhere in the city without being inundated with the Falcons and their pursuit if a second trip to the Super Bowl.

Atlanta has embraced the Falcons’ “Rise Up” mentality.


Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and statements were obtained firsthand.

Knox Bardeen is the NFC South lead writer for Bleacher Report and the author of “100 Things Falcons Fans Should Know & Do Before they Die.” Be sure to follow Knox on Twitter.