During the 2013 and 2014 NFL seasons, a Falcons marketing executive artificially pumped up crowd noise at the Georgia Dome when Falcons opponents were calling signals. The NFL got wind of it, investigated, and acted quickly. Atlanta was fined $350,000, lost a fifth-round draft pick, and team president Rich McKay was suspended from the league’s competition committee for three months.
Unlike You-Know-Who, the Falcons cooperated fully with the NFL’s investigation and accepted the penalties. When they were caught with crumbs all over their faces, they did not claim they hadn’t eaten the cookies. They did not demand apologies from the league, claim they never did anything, take the matter to federal district court, or issue “The Noisegate Investigation in Context.’’
The Dirty Birds basically said, “You got us. We won’t do that anymore.’’