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Why joining Falcon’s digital team is a full-circle moment | Pro Club Bd

Joining the Falcons is truly a full circle moment for me.

Atlanta has felt like home since I was a kid. Born in Pensacola, Florida, just 340 miles south of Atlanta, I frequently visited my family during the Michael Vick era to explore the city and watch Falcons games. I remember when Vick and the Falcons defeated the then St. Louis Rams in the first round of the 2004 NFL playoffs. After this win, the vibrancy could be felt throughout Atlanta.

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I quickly fell in love with the city, its culture and its people. Even then I knew that one day I would be here again. And here I am, indeed moving back to town for the second time to become a feature writer for AtlantaFalcons.com.

For as long as I can remember, sport has always been a part of my life. When I wasn’t playing them, I was reading about them or watching them on TV.

Stuart Scott was my hero growing up. I loved watching sports and I admired the way he told stories.

He was fearless. He was lively and colourful. But despite his enthusiastic approach, he did not falter in the message and delivered it with truth and integrity. He’s a big reason why storytelling through the lens of sport became a passion.

That’s how my great-grandfather is.

After moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from Pensacola in 2008, my family and I often went to his home on NFL Sundays for fellowship and all the action on his giant flat screen.

He would always ask me football-related questions and I would quickly reply with something about a statistic, a player or a team. We talked and debated for hours on everything football-related, from the Steel Curtain era of the 1970s to Roddy White and the Atlanta Falcons. Those simple moments with the man we affectionately called Dad would put things into perspective for me later in life.

In the summer of 2014, my family and I moved back to Florida, this time to Tallahassee, where I would be completing my final three years of high school. By the time my senior year of high school was over, I had no direction as to what exactly I wanted to do.

What I did know was that I loved the art of storytelling through the lens of sport. After my football and basketball seasons ended, I realized that professional sport wasn’t a realistic option. I decided to apply to Clark Atlanta University, less than a mile from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, to study in their mass media arts program. Many notable writers such as Bomani Jones, Kenya Barris and Spike Lee have all walked the same corridors. As I mentioned earlier, I knew I would find my way back to Atlanta.

My high school didn’t have a newspaper, so I had no journalism experience before stepping onto the Clark Atlanta campus. Towards the end of my freshman year, I joined student leadership The CAU Panther Newspaper. When the then sports editor graduated, I knew I would be next in line to take the torch. Stepping into the challenging role of leading the athletic department for three years was life changing.

This opportunity led me to rewarding internships and scholarships that have been instrumental in shaping me into a better journalist. One of my most memorable stories was a feature on defenseman Ryan Smith’s Super Bowl LV winner. We talked about his time at North Carolina Central University, where he played alongside his younger brother, the apparel brand he founded during the pandemic, and how attending an HBCU ultimately prepared him for the NFL.

These are the stories I want to tell for the Atlanta Falcons. The stories of who the players are on and off the field and their journeys into the NFL. I look forward to becoming part of this world-class organization, rich in history and culture, along with so many talented people. I look forward to taking you all on the next phase of my journey, back to Atlanta as a writer on the Falcons features.

Like I said, everything always comes back.

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