Take a look at the following photo, snapped and shared by Atlanta NBC-TV affiliate Channel 11. The pictured billboard went up in Houston shortly after the Atlanta Falcons won the 2016 NFC Championship and sits directly across from the team’s Super Bowl-week hotel.
“Rise Up” is the most familiar slogan associated with the Falcons. So where did #Brotherhood come from? For that story, we turn to an entertaining piece fired off today by AP sportswriter Paul Newberry. When the team moved in to new suburban practice facilities during the last off-season, room was made in the locker room for three ping-pong tables:
[Coach Dan] Quinn was eager to build a real kinship among his players, a sense of camaraderie and responsibility that would carry over to the field on Sundays.
He dubbed it “brotherhood,” a word that he put on hats, T-shirts and just about any tweet he sends out. It quickly became a mantra for the Falcons on their way to the second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history .
Ping-pong played a powerful role, giving the players a reason to put away their headphones and iPhones whenever they had a little down time between meetings, workouts and practices.
At press time, no one is quite sure who paid for the billboard. The smart money is on Falcons team owner Arthur Blank.