Forget that the Atlanta Falcons were one quarter away from going to the Super Bowl. Forget that they ran away with the NFC South Title. Forget that Matt Ryan had a great season, and the Falcons’ defense was stifling all year. Forget that this was as good a team as Atlanta has ever fielded.
Your favorite team is the Atlanta Falcons, and they fucking suck.
God that feels good to say.
This is going to be divided into two pieces. The first will be the logical one. If you want to skip to the emotional, angry drivel, just scroll til you see italics!
First, the logic.
This is a relief piece more than anything. I had been resigned to the fact that the Falcons would win, they would come to my city for the Super Bowl, and I would end up going to jail for shaving Roddy White’s head with a dull razor. Few San Francisco fans were happier than I was when Matt Ryan choked at the end worse than the patrons at an autoerotic asphyxiation conference.
But none of that matters, because the Atlanta Falcons are not going to win the Super Bowl. And that means they suck.
“But wait!” scream the indignant face-punching Falcons fans. “31 other teams won’t win the Super Bowl. Why are we the only ones who suck?” Well, you’re not. Obviously other teams performed worse this season. But the Falcons suck because they have used up all of their good will.
How many times have we been told that the Falcons were the best team in the NFC? That they were destined for the Super Bowl? It seems to have started as soon as Matt Ryan entered the league and Mike Smith took over the team. In 2010, the Falcons were the #1 seed and had to knock off the wild card Packers, who barely snuck into the postseason. Ben remembers what happened next. And then the next year, they only scored 2 points against another team who would go on to win the Super Bowl. After that, Matt Ryan (perhaps unfairly) got the reputation that he was only clutch in the regular season and not when it mattered.
But then, this year, they came out the gate hot, and all of that seemed to melt away. Sure, Ben and I were skeptical, but most of the country was convinced this would be the team to finally bring a Super Bowl to all those grubby fingered Atlanta fans. And we kept hearing about Matt Ryan’s icy veins, Dimitroff’s calculated gamble of getting Julio Jones (NEWSFLASH, NERDS: TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE BROWNS FRONT OFFICE IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE), and the wonderful sob story of Tony Gonzalez finally getting his dream Super Bowl ring.
But here’s the thing about the Falcons. They weren’t exactly the most dominant team in football all year long. They only beat three teams by more than two scores all year long (the Chiefs, the Chargers, and a Giants team that fielded an armless and eyeless Eli Manning). For reference, the 2010 Super Bowl Packers and the 2009 Super Bowl Saints won 5 games by more than two scores. The 2011 Super Bowl Giants also only had 3 games like this, but two were in the playoffs (and one was against the Falcons. TWO POINTS AHAHAHAHAHA!)
So the Falcons were mostly winning nailbiters. And the law of averages (plus every Bill Barnwell column) will tell you that in close games, some are just going to bounce your way, and some seasons they will ALL bounce your way. So the Falcons were bound to get lucky at some points this year, and more importantly they were bound to lose that luck eventually.
Which is fine. It’s okay to be lucky. It’s okay to benefit from a call, or a missed opportunity on the other team. But by that same token, it’s also okay for me to call you lucky, to laugh at you when you eventually fail, and to think Frank Gore starting the Dirty Bird celebration is comedy on the level of Bigger and Blacker.
But enough of the logic and stats. I’ve been nice enough so far. I’ve been as professional as my title of snarky blogger allows me to be, and I’ve been deferential to the impressive season the Falcons have put forth. Now it’s time to speak for every Saints fan, and honestly every football fan. And I’ll do so in italicized letter format!
Dear Atlanta Falcons,
Go the fuck away.
We’re tired of looking at you. Tired of watching you. Tired of hearing people talk about your legitimacy. Because you’re not legitimate. You’re phonies. You’ve been phonies for years. And we keep giving you chance after chance to redeem yourself.
But you’re out of chances. You’re not a good team. You won’t be considered one until you raise the Lombardi Trophy. And even then, it’ll probably be because Jim Harbaugh, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady all got sent into space to save the world from a giant meteor.
You’re totally unlikeable. Your coach is like Steve Martin if, instead of being an expert on comedy and funny hats, he was an expert on bug-eyed stares and horrible coaching decisions. Matt Ryan looks like a weasel that joined a fraternity. Roddy White probably kills orphans in his spare time. You’re the only team who could get rid of a dog-killer and STILL be disliked. Tony Gonzalez is probably the only person who is likeable on that entire team, and you couldn’t even get him a ring. What the fuck is wrong with you?
I don’t care if you start 5-0. 8-0. 10-0. I don’t care if you beat the Saints 97-3. I don’t care if Matt Ryan breaks every record known to man next year. You won’t be relevant unless you win it all. We’re done thinking about you. We’re done caring about you. We’re doing pretending you matter.
You suck, Atlanta Falcons. And you always will.
Everyone who matters
That was fun. Now we can focus on the important teams, like the two teams facing in the Super Bowl. Hey, did you know that the two coaches are related? ISN’T THAT CRAZY?