Who is my personal favorite Atlanta Falcon of all time? For me it isn't the easiest question to answer. Being younger I don't have memories from the first 25 or so years of the franchise's existence. So my options are relatively slim, but that only makes it easier on me. The player that first got me interested in the Falcons was Jamal Anderson. His combination of speed, power, and agility was unlike anything I had seen before. However my all-time favorite Falcon is a more modern player.
That player goes by the name of Roddy White. Roddy is the quintessential success story. Roddy didn't go to a big name college, he went to a small college in a city that was only 40 years removed from mass racial violence and the scene of some of the most stirring moments of the civil rights movement. That city is Birmingham, Alabama; the college in that city that Roddy went to was the University of Alabama at Birmingham, otherwise known as UAB. UAB belongs to C-USA (Conference USA) in major sports. UAB is usually scheduled by perennial powerhouses as a warm-up game early in the season.
Basically they are one of college football's red-headed step childs so to speak. Roddy White was just going to be another player on that team to everyone else in the world, but Roddy White was anything but just another player. Roddy White is a winner and he brings a winner's attitude. After having an outstanding senior campaign, White was selected near the end of the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. This was only the start of a long and rough road to stardom for White.
Roddy showed all the promise in the world. He was a physical wide receiver who had the speed to go deep. However, Roddy White didn't come into the NFL with the focus necessary to succeed. Through the first two years of his NFL career White was rather lackadaisical at practice and never put the effort forth to advance his skill-set to the next level.
However in the tumultuous 2007 season he saw the imprisonment of long time quarterback and close friend Mike Vick and something clicked with White. He had the motivation and the mindset of a winner back in his head. Some credit Joe Horn, while others credit Paul Petrino. However I think Roddy's long lost desire to win had reappeared, and in the darkest of times for the Atlanta Falcons. White emerged as the one bright glimmer.
Roddy continued to develop and is now being considered as a top 5 wide reciever, even though his 2011 campaign was rocky he still managed to top 1000 yards and continued to help kick-start the Atlanta Falcons offense. Simply put Roddy always wants to win and it's his winning mindset that has established him as my favorite Falcon. You never see White completely give up on a play, he's always out there trying to make a play, and more times then not he does make that play.
Follow Zach on Twitter @ZodiacFalconFan
Editor Note: Over the next several weeks we will be bringing you a couple of features that will help you get to know our writers. One of those features is "Our Favorite Falcons." So far, Eric told us why Jessie Tuggle is his favorite, Mike wrote about Brent Grimes and last week Joe brought us a piece on Warrick Dunn. Each week come back to the blog and we will introduce you to another one of our favorite Falcons and tell you why that player has found a spot in one of our writers hearts.