Quarterback's wife has run-in with fans

Nov. 6, 2001 at 8:42 AM
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ATLANTA, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- For the first time in his 21 years as a head coach, Dan Reeves planned Tuesday to talk with his Atlanta Falcons about family behavior.

That became an issue in the Georgia Dome Sunday in a game with New England when Diane Chandler, wife of starting quarterback Chris Chandler, was involved in verbal confrontations with fans who allegedly were calling for her husband to be injured.

Jim Christian, father of fullback Bob Christian, reportedly came to her defense, at one point catching a can thrown in her direction. Bob Christian said later his father also became a target.

The incidents took place in the seats behind the Falcons bench, where players' families and friends sit with season ticket holders.

Former Falcons quarterback Bobby Hebert, a family friend sitting with Mrs. Chandler, said, "The problem was when a couple of individuals were hollering to knock Chris out of the game, screaming for him to get hurt, for (rookie) Michael Vick to get into the game."

Hebert said that in the third quarter of a game where Chandler took six of the nine sacks doled out by the Patriots, Mrs. Chandler suggested to rowdy fans they should not wish for players to get injured. Hebert said that comment incensed the fans.

Chandler left the fame with a rib injury on the next-to-last play of the third period.

Mrs. Chandler would only comment, "You just don't root for people to get hurt; that's the bottom line."

Reeves said he would talk with players about the matter because other players' families might have been involved in the incident.

"I understand what's going on and it's something I will address with our football team," he said. "I've already done so with several of the players (whose) families were involved, that sit in that area."

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