Falcons Can Break The Spell in Atlanta
Atlanta is often called ‘the city too busy to hate’. That may be true in some respects, but a more fitting slogan might be, ‘the city too cynical to believe.’ Sports franchises are a reflection of a town. Non-sports fans may think that notion is ridiculous but, if you spend enough time in one place (10 years is probably a fair number), you’ll start to notice the personality of a city and its people go hand in hand.
I’ve lived in Atlanta for 16 years. I moved here in 1996, one year removed from this city’s first and last pro championship. Roughly 150 seasons played by the pro teams in Atlanta have yielded one parade down Peachtree Street.
They say the constant rain in Seattle has made its citizens depressed year round, well, the losing in Atlanta has cast a cloud of melancholy over this city. For those of you not clear what melancholy is, well Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘melancholy’ as a gloomy state of mind, especially when habitual or prolonged. Pro sports started in Atlanta back in 1966. I’d say that qualifies as “prolonged”.
I’m not going to bore you with the litany of Braves losses at Turner Field in the playoffs, or document the Hawks failure to ever win a 2nd round playoff series. Instead, I want to focus on the one franchise that has the ability to break the spell over this city – the Atlanta Falcons.
This city needs you in the worst way. Off to their best start in franchise history, the Atlanta Falcons are creating something this city is not used to experiencing – genuine belief. Ahhh, but lest we forget, this is the city too cynical to believe right? Maybe not. Something just feels different with this group. From owner Arthur Blank down to left tackle Sam Baker, the pieces seem to be falling into place this season. The Falcons have won games on defense. They’ve won games on the foot of Matt Bryant and the hands of Roddy White. There is a swagger and confidence from Matt Ryan that he’s the best player on the field every single snap.
The division has conveniently fallen apart for the Falcons. The two teams in the NFC with high octane offenses have struggled, in New Orleans and Green Bay. Their greatest threat out West is the San Francisco 49ers and thankfully their division looks to be more formidable then we all expected. I know, it’s early and we aren’t even halfway through the schedule. However, if you look at the Falcons remaining schedule, where are the speed bumps? If you tell me their toughest road games left are in Philly and New Orleans, I’ll take it.
Look, lord knows this Falcons team has had their fair share of playoff stinkers of late. I say enough is enough. This is the team to break the spell. This is the time. Why not now? Is it that tough to close our eyes and imagine a parade down Peachtree Street with Matt Ryan waving to the crowd sitting atop a convertible? No more cynical. No more melancholy. Atlanta, the city home to Super Bowl Champion Atlanta Falcons. Now that’s a slogan I can get behind.
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