The 10 Most Notorious Atlanta Falcons Ever
Top Ten Notorious Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons are an organization that pride themselves on keeping clean and being upstanding members of the community. Many Falcons over the years, such as former running back Warrick Dunn, have been honored by both the league and the community for their hard work off the field.
However, there have been some Falcons who have made headlines beyond their play on the field (as recently witnessed by Atlanta fans) and their contributions to the city of Atlanta.
There have been all sorts of incidents that have stained the Falcons name over the years. From off-field arrests and shenanigans, to all sorts of quirky and inappropriate behavior, it seems that some of the worst behavior for both coaches and players has come out at the worst possible times.
If you think a certain former quarterback is the only member of the Falcons to ever screw up or make ridiculous headlines, then you need to think again. There have been a number of "dirty birds", and the exploits cost the team in wins, and in some cases, money.
You can probably remember a couple more (one very recent), but I dug back and dredged up some of the filthy past for you.
So sit back, and get your facepalms ready, because here are the top 10 most notorious Atlanta Falcons of all time.
———————————————————————————————————————————------------------------ Michael Collins is a Rant Sports NFL Network Manager and Atlanta sports columnist. Follow him @GaSportsCraze on Twitter and on Facebook at facebook.com/georgiasportscraze
Linebacker Robert James was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. James had missed the previous season due to a concussion he suffered in training camp.
Offensive tackle Quinn Ojinnaka got into trouble for doing some Facebooking. Ojinnaka was arrested at his home in Suwanee, Georgia after having a fight with his wife over contact with a female "friend" on the social networking site. Ojinnaka was arrested on charges of simple battery and was summarily suspended by the team. He told police his wife tried to stab him with a pen, and she said he threw her down on the stairs before throwing her completely out of the house.
Defensive back Dunta Robinson has a reputation as a big hitter, but since coming over to the Falcons in 2010, he has been fined twice for a total of $90,000 by the league for illegal hits on defenseless players. By some strange coincidence, both players - Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson - were members of the Philadelphia Eagles, who the Falcons have a long-standing rivalry with.
In February 2007, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux was accused of killing his girlfriend's pit bull mix, Kilo, who died from severe head trauma. Babineaux was eventually cleared of the charges, as his actions were taken in self defense and in protection of his four-year-old child. In December 2009, Babineaux was pulled over for having an expired tag, and then was arrested and charged with felony possession of marijuana.
From on-field scuffles, to sideline rants and tirades, defensive back DeAngelo Hall wore out his welcome in Atlanta pretty quickly. Hall was fined $10,000 by the league for having "MV7" written on the shade under his eyes. The gesture was in support of former teammate Michael Vick, who was sentenced to 23 months in prison on dogfighting charges. His negative comments about the Falcons organization since leaving the team have brought him a chorus of boos anytime he returns to the Georgia Dome.
Definitely the most colorful (at least in personality, definitely not wardrobe) former head coach, Jerry Glanville always found new ways to make Falcons fans shake their heads. From leaving tickets at the will call window for Elvis Presley, to dressing in all black and sporting around town on a Harley, Glanville had his own way about him. He'll forever go down in Falcons history as "the man who didn't want Brett Favre." How'd that work out for you Jerry?
Although he saw success on the field, wide receiver Andre Rison had more than his share of falls outside of the game. He got involved with the late recording artist Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, and in June 1994, the then-couple got into a physical altercation at Rison's Atlanta mansion. Of course, the logical response from Lopes was to attempt to burn Rison's shoes in the tub (intending to keep the fire just there) but the blaze spread throughout the house, burning all of Rison's possessions. Strangely enough, the couple remained friends afterwards, and were on-and-off again romantically until Lopes untimely death in 2002.
The most recent addition to the Atlanta Rogues Gallery is running back Michael Turner, who while celebrating a Falcons victory on Monday Night Football over the Denver Broncos, decided to run between the tackles at the notorious Atlanta strip tease club, Magic City. After downing a few shots (and probably making it rain), Turner opted to drive himself home rather than using the league and team provided car services. After being pulled over for going 32 miles over the speed limit, he was given a portable breathalyzer, (which he subsequently failed) and was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
The most bizarre tale of off-field trouble goes to former safety, Eugene Robinson. On the day before Super Bowl XXXIII, Robinson was awarded the Bart Starr Award from the Christian group Athletes in Action for his "high moral character". How did he choose celebrate such a great achievement? By being arrested for offering an undercover female officer, who was posing as a prostitute, $40 for oral sex. In what was certainly a swing of karma for Robinson, he gave up an 80-yard touchdown reception to Broncos receiver Rod Smith, giving the Broncos a 17-3 lead. Later, in the fourth quarter, he missed a tackle on Denver running back Terrell Davis that allowed Davis to motor down to the Falcons 10-yard line. Oh, The Falcons lost the Super Bowl 34-19.
You knew this was coming. Ron Mexico, water bottles in the airport, flipping off fans in the Georgia Dome, all pale in comparison to Michael Vick's greatest "triumph" while playing for Atlanta. Arrested, charged and convicted of running a dogfighting ring, Vick, the former "Bad Newz Kennels" owner, was suspended by the league, and sentenced to 23 months in federal prison. It wasn't until after his release from prison and his re-entry into the league with the Philadelphia Eagles that Vick finally admitted that he had not given his 100% effort while playing with Atlanta. Really, Mike? Really?