Stars coming out for Sunday 'Throwback' game



FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. --Throughout Sunday's contest against the Carolina Panthers, the Falcons will honor Marietta, Georgia native and women's tennis player, Melanie Oudin, 1990s alternative rock band, Collective Soul, and the 1966 inaugural Falcons team.

Following the first quarter of play, Oudin will be introduced in front of a sold out crowd at midfield of the Georgia Dome. The 17-year-old tennis phenom made it to the quarterfinals of the 2009 U.S. Open after ousting seeded players, Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova. The tournament was only her second after turning professional in February of 2008. Prior to the U.S. Open, Oudin also pieced together an impressive performance at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships when she defeated Sybille Bammer, Yaroslava Shvedova and upset Jelena Jankovic, who was ranked No. 6 in the world at the time.

Atlanta's own Collective Soul, a '90s alternative rock band, will be honored during the two-minute warning of the first half following their induction to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. The group consists of Ed Roland (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Dean Roland (rhythm guitar, vocals), Will Turpin (bass guitar, vocals), Joel Kosche (lead guitar), Cheney Brannon (drums, percussion) and former members Ross Childress (lead guitar), Shane Evans (drums, percussion) and Ryan Hoyle (drums, percussion). Sixteen years ago, the group burst on to the music scene following their hit single, Shine. Collective Soul went on to sell 10 million copies worldwide while producing seven No. 1 singles.

At halftime of the game, 20 members of the 1966 Atlanta Falcons inaugural team will be honored at midfield. The former Falcons are being recognized in connection with "Throwback Weekend," which features the Falcons donning their first '66 throwback uniforms in franchise history.

"NFL Throwback Weekend is an opportunity for our club and our fans to honor and celebrate our inaugural team, the 1966 Falcons," said Falcons President Rich McKay. "Honoring past teams and former players is a time-honored tradition in the NFL, and we plan to make sure our fans have every opportunity to celebrate the 1966 Falcons with us in a big way."


SCOUTING REPORT:Falcons prepare to improve in the running game * NFL FILMS PREVIEW:A look at the Falcons-Panthers game from NFL Films * FALCONCAST:J. Mike and Matt preview "Throwback Weekend" at the Dome * INJURY REPORT:Updates on Falcons and Panthers injury news * FEATURE: Hard work nothing new for Falcons defensive lineman * VIDEO:Video interviews and more centering on the Falcons-Panthers game * GAME INFORMATION:Entertainment, parking information for Falcons-Panthers * TRANSCRIPTS:Head Coach Mike Smith (Wednesday) (Thursday) | Wednesday Locker Room * PRESS RELEASE:Falcons to honor 1966 team, tennis star, band

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