Falcons fans show their love for home team

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Fans celebrate Falcons win

The rambunctious, feel-good partying surrounding the Georgia Dome took a timeout Sunday afternoon—but it didn’t last for long.

As the Seattle Seahawks took the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter, DJs turned the music down and the burgers of tailgaters without tickets turned cold as Falcon fans in disbelief crowded around big screen TVs propped up on their SUV trunks.

A successful last-minute field goal pushed the Falcons into the NFC championship game and hundreds of thousands of fans across metro Atlanta turned the music back up — this time louder and accompanied with screaming, dancing and optimism for what’s ahead.

Outside the dome, hundreds of fans doing the “Wobble” line dance blocked the intersection of Carter Street and Northside Drive . They then boldly told a trickle of Seattle Seahawks fans to enjoy their long flights home while the thumping sounds of Atlanta native rapper Ludacris chanting, “Move, get out the way,” played.

Children in the middle of a game of backyard football, ducked at the sound of loud popping amateur fireworks.

MARTA lit up its buses with “Go Falcons” and its train conductors propped “Rise Up” signs in its windows.

Fans said the game was symptomatic of the extreme highs and lows their hometown team has traditionally brought and the undying love they show in return.

The Falcons have made it to the NFC championship only twice before. They’ve been to one Super Bowl, which they lost.

“I couldn’t swallow,” Kerry Smith said about the final minutes of the game.

“That was the most stressful, best game I’ve ever seen in my life,”said Brett Peach who wore knee-high black wool socks, black and red Nike tennis shoes, a jersey and a Falcons cap.

Others said they never lost faith.

“It’s not over ‘till it’s over,” said Antwon Anderson, 40, of Atlanta. “this is just good for the city. Atlanta got violence, young kids doing stupid stuff, a bad economy. We needed this.”

This season is special, fans said.

“The chemistry is just there this year,” said Ronald Elder, 54, who has been a season ticket holder for the last 20 years and a fan since 1966. “Mike Smith has spent the last five years building up the team just the way he wanted. I never let up. Falcons never give up.”

It seemed that everybody in the Falcons’ “fan zone” outside the dome— from the crossing guards to the manager at Subway— had a differing opinion about why the Falcons faltered in the final moments of Sunday’s game and what they needed to do to spare them anxiety attacks on Sunday when they play the 49ers at the Dome.

But they all came to the same conclusion about what’s ahead for the Falcons: Super Bowl Champions, of course.