Saturday’s playoff game between the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks might be the Falcons’ last home game in the Georgia Dome. The stadium will be demolished later this year, so the Falcons need to win and have the Cowboys lose to play another home game there. Wednesday, the team announced that there would be a special halftime performance by Ludacris. They could have picked any number of famed Atlanta rappers, but they probably picked Ludacris (birth name: Chris Bridges) for a reason.
On his first single, 2000’s "What’s Your Fantasy," Ludacris opens the song — and, essentially, his rap career — by talking about having sex "in the Georgia Dome, on the 50-yard line, while the Dirty Birds kick for three." It’s not just a throwaway line. On December 26, 1999 — during a game against the Arizona Cardinals — Ludacris had sex in the middle of the field while the team attempted a field goal. This is the story of that sexual experience.
Part I: Just a Fantasy
Ludacris, rapper, "What’s Your Fantasy": I heard somebody say I just put that line in the song because "three" rhymes with "VIP." Man, there are plenty of words that end in "-ee." I say what I mean. I’m a wordsmith. I wrote a song where almost every line has the word "ho" in it. I said "ho-zone layer."
Bangladesh, producer, "What’s Your Fantasy": I remember I made the beat for Luda in 1998, maybe 1999. And at the time, nobody had heard of Bangladesh, nobody had even heard of Luda. This was gonna be our breakthrough track. So I kept saying, "When are you gonna drop ‘Fantasy’? When are you gonna release it? I need this for my career!" But he kept saying: Nah, it’s not ready yet. He needed to have sex in every location he rapped about.
Ludacris: I can’t have lies in my lyrics. I spit the truth.
I-20, rapper, formerly of Disturbing Tha Peace Records: I remember, Luda really wanted to go to D.C. so badly. I assumed it was because he booked a show or something. But no, he just needed to have sex in the White House.
Ludacris: People assume that was the hardest one, because of the security and everything. But they have public bathrooms in the visitor’s center. That’s not technically the White House, but it’s close enough, so I count it. Plus, Clinton was in charge back then, so everything was a little bit more relaxed. The real hard one was the Georgia Dome.
Luckily, Ludacris found an unlikely ally.
Morten Andersen, kicker, Atlanta Falcons, 1995–2000, 2006–07: People thought that because I was a middle-aged man who was born in Copenhagen in the 1960s that I did not enjoy the hip-hop music. But they were wrong. It was my passion.
Jamal Anderson, running back, Atlanta Falcons, 1994–2001: When I first met Mort, I was like, "Who’s this old Danish dude?" But by the time we went to the Super Bowl in ’99, everybody knew he was really the heart and soul of the team. When the Dirty Birds wanted to hang — maybe not party, but just hang — we’d go to Mort’s.
Ray Buchanan, cornerback, Atlanta Falcons, 1997–2003: We’d say, "Hey, let’s kick it tonight," and everybody knew that meant we were going to the kicker’s house.
Andersen: When people say, "Morten, what is your greatest accomplishment?," they assume I will say something about how I hold the record for most points in NFL history, or most field goals made in NFL history, or how I played in the NFL for 25 years. But what I am most proud of will always be that I played in Atlanta during such formative years for its hip-hop scene.
Big Boi, rapper, Outkast: Look at the albums we dropped while Mort was kicking for the Falcons — ATLiens, Aquemini, Stankonia — and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. It was the start of this golden age for hip-hop in Atlanta. If you were somebody in Atlanta, you were at Mort’s.
Ludacris: I was really nervous the first time I went to Mort’s.
Andersen: Ludacris was not yet famous at the time when I first met him. But he pulled me aside and freestyled for me, and I was blown away. He rapped with such speed and such tremendous wordplay, and I instantly respected him.
Ludacris: So I knew I could ask him if he could help me have sex on the field.
Part II: A Big Obstacle
Ludacris and Mort quickly began moving on the plan to get Ludacris on the 50-yard line. But they met strong opposition from the team’s head coach, Dan Reeves.
Joe DeCamillis, special teams coach, Atlanta Falcons, 1997–2006: Let me tell you a quick story. Last year when [recently retired Broncos] coach [Gary] Kubiak had his migraine issues. I get promoted to interim coach. Biggest promotion of my life. My one chance to be a head coach. Might never get a chance like it again. So I call up Coach Reeves, who was a head coach for decades, for advice, and what does he say? Don’t curse on the sideline. That was all he had to say. So imagine trying to explain "What’s Your Fantasy" to him.
Andersen: As the kicker, you don’t really talk to the head coach a lot, so I didn’t really know what to expect when I asked him about Luda being on the field.
Dan Reeves, head coach, Atlanta Falcons, 1997–2003: The great Tom Landry taught me how to be a man of faith while coaching football. When Morten asked me about having his friend desecrate the field of play with his fornication, I nearly cut him on the spot.
DeCamillis: I see Coach freaking out at Mort, and I start thinking, "Welp, I’m gonna lose the best kicker I ever had." I went back to my room and started calling free agents about having tryouts Monday.
Ludacris: So we realized: We’re going to have to do this in secret.
Part III: Logistics
Having sex while an NFL team attempts a field goal is more difficult than anybody — even Ludacris — could have imagined. The planning process took months.
Andersen: We knew there was a certain range on which we could attempt the Ludacris field goal. If I’m kicking a 55-yarder, Ludacris can’t be having sex on the 50-yard line; my run-up would interfere with his sex. And even if I’m kicking a 50-yarder or a 45-yarder, I’m going to be distracted by him. To allow me to focus on the field goal while Ludacris focused on his sex, we knew this would have to be a 40-yarder or less.
DeCamillis: Every team has a plan to attempt a fire-drill field goal. It’s the end of the game, you don’t have any timeouts, and you need to get everybody on the field and prepared as quickly as possible. That’s what we needed to do with Ludacris.
Ludacris: I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time. The play after the field goal is a kickoff, and you can’t be having sex on the 50-yard line while a kickoff is happening. You’ll get trampled. So we made a decision to only try this if the Falcons were attempting a field goal on the last play of a half, for my safety. Otherwise we’d have only about 40 seconds to operate, and I didn’t like that option.
DeCamillis: The hard part was doing all of this without Coach Reeves’s knowledge. Luda couldn’t just be standing naked on the sideline. Coach Reeves would notice and he’d freak out and we’d all get fired.
Andersen: We began practicing our Ludacris drill in October. The field goal unit would come in after practice and we’d go through the drill of getting Ludacris from the stadium’s wings to the field to his preferred position within 25 seconds.
Ludacris: I had to start out naked. This was such a precise operation, and there just wasn’t time to take off clothes.
DeCamillis: Eventually, they got down to the time they needed. But I kept worrying: What happens if the kick is blocked?
Andersen: We didn’t have a plan for that.
Ludacris: Eventually, I realized: If this kick gets blocked, I’m going to die. But at least I’ll die having sex during a field goal attempt.
Part IV: The Big Day
The 1999 Falcons were a mess. Just a season after making the Super Bowl, they started 0–4 and lost six of their first seven games. But as they spiraled out of contention, the idea of having Ludacris have sex on the 50-yard line during a field goal attempt became more conceivable.
Andersen: By November, Ludacris and Angela had everything down to the time we needed for them to execute.
Angela*, Ludacris’s girlfriend, 1993–2000: I remember when we started with the checklist. At first I was confused. But then I started to think it was kinda fun. We found a sauna, found a Jacuzzi, found a movie theater empty enough that we could do it in the back row.
[*Not a real person.]
Ludacris: It was the live-action Rocky & Bullwinkle movie. With Robert De Niro. Like an 11 p.m. showing, past kids’ bedtimes. It was not sexy at all, but we made it work.
Angela: And then we started coming up with even more outlandish plans. It was exciting! His star was growing, and it felt like, you know, so were we.
On December 26, the second-to-last home game of the year, the Falcons were driving with two minutes left in the second quarter.
Ludacris: I was thinking, "This is our shot." And then Mort kicks a field goal with under a minute left. I figure we’re done. We start putting our clothes back on.
Andersen: We felt so bad. As we’re consoling each other, we hear this big commotion on the field.
Ludacris: And then with like 30 seconds left in the half, Jake Plummer throws a pick and the Falcons return it all the way into Mort’s range. We start stripping and sprint out onto the field.
DeCamillis: We’d cleared it with the opponents, the referees, security staff. Everybody but Coach Reeves. I could hear Coach Reeves yelling at us — stop those people! Stop them! But nobody moved a muscle.
Reeves: I did not like Mr. Bridges. I still do not like Mr. Bridges.
Andersen: I was completely focused on the kick, and it was perfect. Then, afterward, I went back to high-five Luda. But he was busy.
Ludacris: Jake the Snake, man. He’ll always be my favorite quarterback.
Part V: The Legacy
Ludacris: "What’s Your Fantasy" was my first big single. And without that moment, it never would’ve happened.
Angela: I remember the first time the song came on the radio. He came running in like, "Baby, you gotta hear this," and the beat dropped, and he started rapping about the Georgia Dome and the 50-yard line, and I realized: We hadn’t been doing this for us at all. We’d been doing it for him.
Ludacris: Sometimes I wonder if the Georgia Dome ruined everything for us.
Angela: All that effort, just for a line in a song. It was when I realized I couldn’t be with somebody so intent on being famous.
Anderson: Yeah, we’d been to the Super Bowl. But being there for Luda’s field goal sex was really like being a part of history.
Andersen: The next year I signed with the Giants. It was a mistake. I thought I could do things for the New York hip-hop community like I did in Atlanta. But they were too self-important; they wouldn’t listen to an old Dane like me. It was a mistake.
Ludacris: People ask, why did you specify a field goal on the song? Wouldn’t it be just as cool to have sex on the Falcons’ field during a touchdown? Why even bother mentioning the type of play taking place during the sex at all? But I felt I needed to, as a credit to Mort.
Andersen: I was glad I eventually got to come back to Atlanta in 2006 and retire there. No disrespect to the people who came up in Atlanta while I was gone, but, like, Lil Jon was the face of Atlanta rap for a while there. I came back, and then we got the T.I.s and the Jeezys and the Guccis. I think that speaks for itself.
This year is the Georgia Dome’s last. The Falcons will move into Mercedes-Benz Stadium next season.
Matt Ryan, quarterback, Atlanta Falcons, 2008-present: We always do the coin flip right there at the 50. After all these years, I never let myself forget that. It helps me stay grounded. There are all these emotions flying around, and I’m standing there, and I remember: Ludacris had sex right here.
Frank Poe, executive director, Georgia World Congress Center Authority, 2010-present: It’ll probably become a parking lot, but I think we’ll put a plaque down where the 50 was.
Ludacris: It’s going to be tough watching them take the building down. But even if they take the building down, they can’t take away the memory.