FLOWERY BRANCH -- Jerious Norwood got skunked again.
The Atlanta Falcons tailback, a self-confessed outdoorsman and the team's resident country boy, didn't catch a fish Tuesday afternoon -- the second year in a row he's failed to do so during the squad's "Fishing with the Falcons" event.
But, like several other teammates, coaches and cheerleaders, Norwood did reel in some quality time with servicemen and women injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It's always good just to be able to hang out with these guys," said Norwood, a native of Jackson, Miss.
"They go out every day and risk their lives for our country. It's the least that we can do. It's an honor to come out and hang out with them and just fish."
That said ...
"We didn't catch a single fish today, man," Norwood said, laughing. "This is the second year in a row, man. Skunked. I've got to shake this skunk off."
Twenty or so boats hit Lake Lanier from Van Pugh Park in Flowery Branch on Tuesday afternoon, each loaded up with a professional fishing guide, an injured vet from the Veterans Administration hospital in Augusta and a couple of Falcons players or coaches.
With varying degrees of success, they hunted for spotted bass, striper and catfish for more than three hours.
"It's something that you really don't get to do a lot," said Army Spc. Mario Derring, who was diagnosed with cancer while serving in Afghanistan. "It's probably a once-in-a-lifetime chance. It was great."
After cruising the Lake Lanier waters in the boats donated by their guides, all returned to shore, where Falcons cheerleaders and a cookout catered by Outback Steakhouse and Boudreaux's Cajun Seafood Market awaited them.
Autographs were signed, pictures were taken and plenty of steak, crawfish and ribs were eaten.
It was the third year in a row the football team had put on the day full of events meant to honor injured vets.
"It's just a great event," said Falcons coach Mike Smith. "They got to really spend quality time with players and coaches, and we got to spend time with people that are defending our country."
Spc. Steve Harris was "hit" after more than a year of service in Iraq, and has been in the VA hospital since then with post traumatic stress disorder.
He got the chance to take his mind off things and fish with Falcons receiver Brian Finneran on Tuesday.
"It meant a lot," he said.