April 24, 2003
(Buford-AP) -- Barbara Sanders considered herself uniquely qualified to comment on the new Atlanta Falcons uniforms Michael Vick and Keith Brooking modeled today at the Mall of Georgia.
Having missed only three home games in the last 28 years, Sanders presides over a Marietta-based fan club, the Bird Watchers, that she and her husband John founded in 1997.
She said "I'm very pleasantly surprised. I was afraid the jerseys would have some of the junky stuff you see with the Broncos and Redskins. I didn't want to see some large stripe going all the way down the side of the shirts and pants."
The couple was among approximately 800 fans who applauded as Falcons owner Arthur Blank introduced six players to show off the team's first uniform change in 13 years.
Running back Warrick Dunn and new receiver Peerless Price were the first players introduced, emerging from the back of the stage wearing all white road uniforms.
Defensive end Patrick Kerney and tight end Alge Crumpler walked the runway next, resplendent in the new home uniforms, a black jersey and white pants.
Vick and Brooking drew the loudest cheers. Vick, Atlanta's Pro Bowl quarterback, was dressed in an all-black home uniform.
Brooking, the Falcons' Pro Bowl linebacker, wore a road uniform that included a white jersey and black pants.
Each player carried an all-black helmet sporting a new logo the team introduced last month.
Dick Sullivan, the Falcons' executive vice president of marketing, has been working with Reebok, which manufactures uniforms for every NFL team, and officials in the league office over the last year.
After conducting hundreds of focus groups, fan surveys and getting input from players, the club reached a consensus on the uniforms' look and designs last November.