I touched down at Atlanta-Hartsfield just before midnight, hopped in a rental car and drove straight to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Couldn't wait to see where I would chronicle the next chapters in Falcons history.
Darkness didn't diminish its majesty. The venue still lived up to its reputation as a stunning architectural structure.
A child's imagination wasn't necessary to picture it bustling and full of life, with the roof flowering open, exterior triangles shining deep red and 71,000 inside screaming for victory.
Oh, man. That's going to be so fun seeing for real.
Excitement remained as I scanned the Atlanta skyline, suddenly hungry to explore vibrant neighborhoods, eclectic restaurants and cultural centers this diverse, thriving city has in store.
There will be time for all that. Atlanta, after all, is my new hometown.
It's 2,500 miles from the old one, a trek my family wouldn't make for anything less than a perfect opportunity.
That's what we've got before us with the Atlanta Falcons, where I've been named digital managing editor after 14 NFL seasons covering the Chargers, Raiders and a 49ers Super Bowl run for independent outlets.
If we're being honest, I never thought I'd move to a team site. This leap came without reservation because the Falcons are different in their content approach, as unique as the city they represent. This website is not a propaganda machine. We're building a true one-stop shop for all things Atlanta Falcons, and we're doing it the right way.
Part of that is retaining a journalistic process I've used my entire career.
Deliver the news. Analyze it from every angle. Tell the story in all three dimensions. Give fans exactly what they want and need to know about the team they love through written stories, podcasts and videos.
Sometimes the news will be positive, other times not.
Doesn't matter. I'm going to tell you the truth and explain what happened as best I can. That, my new friends, will always be a priority for me and a Falcons content team assembling a collection of talented journalists to do something special, something great.
I'm all-in on all that. When we unveil more details closer to training camp, you will be, too.
Here's a teaser trailer for the impatient. We're going to tell compelling stories you haven't heard. We're going to give you in-depth football analysis. You'll get to know these Falcons players and find out what makes them tick. We're going to give you exclusive content you can't get anywhere else. And, unlike other team sites, we're going to compete like crazy for information and every great story on this beat.
All that said, let's get real for a second. We aren't going to break news whether someone questionable on the injury report is playing on Sunday. We aren't going to tip anyone's hand inside this building regarding personnel decisions or game plans. While there are certain lines we won't cross, we will work tirelessly to analyze every decision the Falcons make with depth and great perspective. This site is for the fans, and our editorial decisions will be focused on that fact.
That's our strategy. Here's what we won't do. We won't write clickbait headlines with no substance in the story. We won't fire hot takes from behind a keyboard, with the office door closed. And we won't ever forget that football's supposed to be fun.
We're going to explore the lighter sides of an often serious business. We're going to engage and interact every single day, so get your mailbag questions ready. Stop me at training camp or after seeing me on the street. You'll get the same candor and humor and perspective in any setting.
Bookmark our homepage and download our app if you haven't already, because everything we produce has you in mind.
There's a tall task ahead, but I'm ready for it. It's time to Rise Up.
2021 Atlanta Falcons Tickets
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