Atlanta: Home of the Post Season Loss
Good afternoon city of Atlanta. So how’s the weather? Anyone watching the new Kevin Bacon show tonight on FOX? What’s that? The Falcons lost the NFC Championship game? Yes, I’m aware. How about the Presidential Inauguration? Pretty cool. Say what? The Falcons failed to score in the 2nd half? I noticed. Any plans for MLK Day?
The fans in Atlanta are numb to losing in the post season. It doesn’t even register anymore. Who has the time to wake up the ‘morning after’ and be depressed and miserable? We’ve done it so many times in this town; it just starts to get tired. Listening to local sports talk radio this morning, I noticed most of the callers sounded calm, level-headed, and at peace with this Falcons loss. That’s called learning from your past experiences. Atlanta has plenty to pull from. Let’s look at his past 12 month cycle alone:
This past NBA post-season the Atlanta Hawks had positioned themselves nicely to perhaps advance to the franchise’s first ever Eastern Conference Finals. Derrick Rose got hurt in Chicago, opening up a huge opportunity for Atlanta to make a run in the East vs. the Miami Heat. The Hawks got to the second round of the playoffs with home court vs. the Boston Celtics. The Hawks won game one and the Celtics lost their floor leader, Rajon Rondo, for game two. A great chance for the Hawks to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series, which would have put them one step closer to the Eastern Conference Finals. Didn’t happen. Hawks lose game two at home and went on to lose the series in six games. Par for the course in Atlanta.
Fast forward to October: the Atlanta Braves scratch and claw all season long, and ride the hot hand of pitcher Kris Medlen, who couldn’t lose in the 2nd half of the baseball season. Braves end up having to play a one game playoff at home vs the St.Louis Cardinals with Medlen on the mound. On the surface, you would like the Braves chances. Ahhh, but this is Atlanta. Post season success is about as common as snow plow trucks. Cue a couple of Chipper Jones errors, a horrible “infield fly rule” call by the umpires, and the Braves postseason run came to a screeching halt. Par for the course in Atlanta.
Hey everybody, it looks like the University of Georgia football team has a championship caliber team this season! Sure they lost in early October to South Carolina, but if this happens and that happens we are right back in the hunt! This and that did happen, the Bulldogs ran the table on the rest of their schedule and holy cow, they are in another SEC Championship game! This is gonna be the year! They are right there hanging with the defending national champs, Alabama. Final drive, let’s just spike the ball, stop the clock and get a good….wait, what? They didn’t just…UGH! They ran out of time. Par for the course in Atlanta.
That’s all in 12 months time. So please excuse us if we woke up this morning not crying in our grits. Losing in the post season is all we know. Sometimes you just have to play to your strengths. This city’s sports teams are really good at losing when it matters most. It’s been overstated by writers in this town (including myself): one pro championship in about 154 seasons. In college, Georgia fans are still living off the glory of the 1980 season. Georgia Tech fans split a title in football, but people remember that as much as they remember the Ken Norman years with the Hawks.
So what’s next? I don’t know. Lou Williams tore his ACL. He’s done for the season. Perhaps it will snow at Braves Spring Training and Jason Heyward will get frostbite. That would be par for the course….