Tonight, we got a chance to speak on the phone with Carolyn Freeman, the Atlanta Falcon’s resident ‘Bird Lady’ while in Houston, Texas before she headed out to one of many star-studded affairs and red carpet event. Freeman, who hails from Middle Georgia, is part mascot, part mega-fan who is well known for her Hooty-Hoo battle cry and one-of-a-kind costumes.
While, the Falcons last Super Bowl appearance in 1999 resulted in a loss, Freeman has been waiting 18 years for this moment. So much so, she told us she wanted to give hundreds of Falcon’s fans the opportunity of a lifetime allowing them to join her in Houston and be part of the many Super Bowl events and festivities. But the Bird Lady’s dream of cheering on her favorite team was put on hold last night when charter buses never arrived at the Georgia Dome leaving Freeman and other Falcons fans stranded. Freeman wasn’t going to miss Sunday’s formation, so she arrived in Houston this morning by plane.
But Wednesday’s events weren’t a deterrent for Freeman, nor was it the first time the Bird Lady has faced misfortune. Before being tapped as the Bird Lady by Atlanta Falcons legends Jessie Tuggle and Jamal Anderson in 1998, Freeman was a former Deputy for the Monroe County Sherriff’s department. After leaving the Sheriff’s office, Freeman was confined to her bed for 12 years following a surgery that rendered her bedridden. After watching former Atlanta Falcons running back Gerald Riggs prepare for his return to football following the very same surgery that left her immobile, she became inspired to pull herself up. First went the wheelchair, then went the crutches and slowly but surely Freeman began attending games which she likes to refer to as her physical therapy.
Though Freeman has been a Falcons fan since childhood, she has donned her custom made wings and her Bird Lady moniker of for the past 18 years. Just this past November, she was selected as one of the 28 Bud Light NFL Super Fans and has been dressing up since the ‘Bird Lady’ since 1998.
Before our conversation ended, we asked Ms. Freeman her predictions for Sunday’s game. “It’s going to be a high scoring and entertaining game. We’ve had 51 years of Atlanta Falcons football. This year marks the 51st NFL Super Bowl and Alex Mack the Falcon’s Center who wears the 51 jersey is the most important player in Super Bowl LI. It’s a trifecta. My prediction is Patriots 44, Falcons 51.
She signed off by saying Hooty Hoo! Rise up Falcons!
You can see Ms. Carolyn Freeman tomorrow morning as a special guest on ABC’s Good Morning America show beginning at 7 am.