Falcons can't catch a break

By Jeffery Armstrong

I guess this is Atlanta Falcons column week here at the News Daily and Daily Herald.

Yes, yours truly has his own thoughts on Michael Vick, the man with the most famous broken bone in Atlanta (as one newscaster said recently).

I didn't watch Saturday's exhibition game against the Baltimore Ravens and I'm glad about that. Seeing Vick hurt like that would've ruined my weekend for sure.

I was disappointed to discover he broke his fibula. Of all the Falcons, why did Vick have to get hurt? Now mind you, I'm not a Falcons fan. I'm a Pittsburgh Steelers fan tried and true, but I do like a few players on the Falcons' offense. Of course, Vick is one of them.

It's a shame that with this team finally going in the right direction after all these years, Vick's injury may possibly derail the team's chances of having consecutive winning records for the first time in team history.

What makes this injury even more devastating is that it happened to the greatest player in Atlanta Falcons history. Yes, I said it. With all love and respect to Deion Sanders, one of my favorite athletes of all time, and even Brett Favre, Vick is truly the best player to ever don a Falcons uniform in his short NFL career.

The Falcons did have some noteworthy players come through the ranks of the league, even though I didn't see them much because they were crud back in the day and I grew up in Texas. All you got there is your fill of the Dallas Cowboys and at the time, some pub on the Houston Oilers.

The Falcons have had good players like Steve Bartkowski, William Andrews, Scott Case, Tim Green, Tim McKyer, Andre Rison and most recently, Jessie Tuggle. But none of them holds a candle to Deion and Vick in Falcons history. And in my most humble opinion, Vick ekes by Deion to capture the title of "The Greatest Falcon of Them All." Wow, how funny does that sound?

Sure, Deion brought fans in the Georgia Dome with his speed, his charisma and his great defense. Deion, with an assist from Jerry Glanville, added flash and character to a team that lacked both for many years. Even celebrities like M.C. Hammer were on the sidelines rooting for the Falcons.

Vick brings something even more special, however. Of course there is his immense talent, but he is truly marketable without having to market himself, like Deion did. And sportswriters and fans from around the country want to come to see him play. I was talking to one of my co-workers, who's from New Orleans, and he told me a funny story. He went home recently and told me that many Saints fans are upset that the Georgia Dome has no tickets for those fans who used to make the annual trek here for the Falcons-Saints game. As great as Deion was, he didn't affect ticket sales like that.

My co-worker Anthony Rhoads asked if the Falcons were cursed. I don't know if they're cursed, but they certainly can't catch a break, unless it's a human bone.

Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at jarmstrong@news-daily.com.