Falcons fans flock to Houston hoping for Super Bowl glory

By Eric Burgher
Reporting from Houston

The Atlanta Falcons have been here before.

The Falcons return to the Super Bowl this season for the first time since 1998, when they lost to the Denver Broncos. Now armed with MVP Matt Ryan, the Falcons are on a mission to bring their first Super Bowl title home to Atlanta.

Falcons fans have travelled to Houston from all across the country to see their team face the New England Patriots. The Falcons may be underdogs, but the fanbase is strong, confident and shouting their rally cry — “Rise Up.”


Adam Copley

ADAM COPLEY, CHICAGO

“It’s awesome to come to another city and see this many people that are representing for us.

It seems like the whole country is on our side. The Patriots have already won too much, we don’t need any more of that. Brady’s got enough rings. We need one, right?”


Shaun Boswell

SHAUN BOSWELL, ATLANTA
“It is a big deal. It’s like history.

First we had the first black president and then the Falcons are going to win the Super Bowl. That’s why we came. Because we never know if we’d see this again.”


KANI KASUDAN

KANI KASUDAN
ATLANTA
“We’ve needed this win. We have the team to do it and we’re finally making it …

I’ve been a season ticket holder a long time and I’m expecting to go into the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium [next season] as a Super Bowl winner.”


Nabil Baalbaki

NABIL BAALBAKI
ONTARIO, CA
“It’s surreal. Last time was 1998 and I made a promise if they ever made it back again that I was going to go no matter what the circumstances. And here I am able to live out that promise.”

Cassandra Maloney

CASSANDRA MALONEY
BROOKLYN
“I would love [to see Atlanta win]. I would cry. I would be so happy for them just to beat the Patriots.”

Douglas Howard

DOUGLAS HOWARD
ATLANTA
“We’ve been suffering through all the many decades of being a Falcon fan. We don’t get the respect. We understand we won’t get the respect until we win, so we feel good about this year. We’ve got a great coach, we’ve got a good thing. Brotherhood is what it’s all about. It’s time to rise up.”


Photo at top: Fans get ready to watch Super Bowl LI from The Warehouse, the official Falcons fan headquarters in Houston. (Eric Burgher/MEDILL)