Hooty Hoo! That is the battle cry of Atlanta Falcons superfan Carolyn Freeman of Macon. Also known as the “Bird Lady,” Freeman had the sickest tailgate mobile in Atlanta for years, until it recently died. The decorated 1998 Ford Explorer, dubbed “The Falconmobile,” made Freeman one of the most recognizable Falcons fans in the history of the franchise.
“It was a gift from the Falcons back from when they went to the Super Bowl,” explains Freeman. “But after multiple transmissions, three engines and 277,000 miles, it died.”
The “Falcons Red” SUV, wrapped with Falcons logos and pictures, was a staple in the Georgia Dome parking lots for years. Tailgaters even came from different lots to see Freeman’s ride and get pictures taken with it. “I’ve had a deal with Ford and made many appearances over the years for the company,” admitted Freeman. “Until I get a new ride, and I’m in negotiations for one, I have my Mitsubishi decorated.”
Freeman is no “fair-feathered” fan when it comes to the Dirty Birds. “I became a fan way back when Leeman Bennett was the coach and my boyfriend (at the time) had a tryout with the team,” explained Freeman. “Jesse Tuggle and Jamaal Anderson were always my favorite players.”
Freeman sees herself as sort of a good luck charm for the team. “They touch the wings I wear, as they enter the field,” she says.
The Falcons have been good to Freeman over the years. “The players offered support when I was ill,” says a grateful Bird Lady. “I spent eight and a half years in a wheelchair and this was my therapy.” Through illness, injury and family tragedies, Freeman continues to give back to the team she loves, the community and charity. “I had a breast cancer scare myself a few years back and now I do three breast cancer walks each year,” stated Freeman. “It’s all about charity and making the fans smile.” Freeman even adds some pink to her car and costume in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and she doesn’t stop there. “In December I become ‘Bird Lady Santa’ and I help collect items for the troops overseas.” I guess you can think of the Falconmobile as Santa’s sleigh with four cylinders.
The next time you are in the Georgia Dome or tailgating, keep an eye out for the Bird Lady. She says this is the year the Falcons win the Super Bowl. If you agree with her, give her a big, “Hooty Hoo!”
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Rick Limpert is a freelance writer/photographer in Atlanta and he loves covering anything Falcons-related. His work can be found at Examiner.com.