Atlanta, Let’s Change Perception. It Starts With You.

Atlanta, you have some awful sports fans. I mean awful. I mean despicable. I mean just the worst.

No, there isn’t a set-up to something bigger and brighter. You have some awful fans. Not every fan. Not even most fans. Just some fans. Allow me to explain. Here are some of the words and texts I received from Atlanta Falcons fans, who I would describe as bigger fans than myself:

“Atlanta got away with some mistakes against Green Bay.”

“I wasn’t impressed with the Atlanta offense. Green Bay’s defense is terrible.”

“I don’t know how we are supposed to beat the (New England) Patriots.”

There are times for all of these concerns, just not the day after you won the NFC Championship. Not the day after you learned you are going to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years. Not when your team just beat the Green Bay Packers. Not when you beat a Seattle Seahawks team that owns one of the NFL’s top defenses. 13 days before the Super Bowl is not a time to complain about how good the Patriots are.

These same fans will read this article from the Boston Globe and complain about how the Falcons do not garner any respect. Yes, the same fans that aren’t sure how their team is “supposed to beat the Patriots.” They’ll also miss the point of the article, which is saying that the Falcons aren’t a household name. The Falcons aren’t a “sexy” Super Bowl name like the Cowboys or Packers would have been. The article is right, by the way. The Falcons aren’t and they have never been. The only way that changes is to win in Houston on February 5th, which is something I think the Falcons can do.

Let me pick apart some of these “fans” and some of their opinions of this Atlanta team that they claim to love so much. Let’s start off with this one. “Atlanta got away with some mistakes against Green Bay.”

The author is talking about the two, would-be interceptions that Matt Ryan threw in the first half. One was broken up by Aldrick Robinson and the other was a pass that only his receiver could catch. The first one? Sure, I’ll give it to you, but the second one? No sir. That was a pass that only Mohamed Sanu could catch. He then points out the botched snap with Gabriel and Ryan in the second quarter. I don’t know what Taylor Gabriel was on, but he was geeked up a little too much to start the game off. It’s the NFC Championship and I understand that. But let’s end this argument with this:

The Packers made similar mistakes and the Falcons capitalized on them. Good football teams do that. Conference champions do that. And, yes, even Super Bowl winners do that. If the Falcons didn’t play a perfect game, I’m sorry you feel that they’re a fraud. Show me one perfect game that a team has played and I’ll show you some mistakes you conveniently left out.

Now onto this one.

“I wasn’t impressed with the Atlanta offense. Green Bay’s defense is terrible.”

Excuse me? This team put up 44 points and scored on 70 percent of its drives in the game. 70 percent. If you don’t think that’s good then your football card has been revoked. That is a mind-numbingly dumb comment and it still bothers me to this very second. The Falcons put up 44 points on an NFL defense that played for an NFC Championship. I don’t care how good or bad a defense is, that is pretty damn impressive. So go take your stupid self in the corner and think about your incredibly dumb comment and then think if you really know football or not. Analysts all over the nation were enamored by Matt Ryan and company during that game, as they should be. So sit down, shut up and don’t talk about football anymore.

Now our final message.

“I don’t know how we are supposed to beat the Patriots.”

Really? How about we score more than them? The Seattle defense was better than the New England defense and those bum Atlanta Falcons still scored 36 points in the contest. The question should be, “How are the Patriots going to slow down this offense?” The Falcons have seen defensive schemes similar to the Patriots, but New England, or any team for that matter, has not seen an offense like the Atlanta Falcons. So how are we going to beat them? We’re going to score more points. The Patriots defense likes to take away the best player, so when they try to take away Julio in double coverage, I guess Ryan will just have to look for Gabriel, Robinson, Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman, Justin Hardy, Austin Hooper, or Mohamed Sanu to make some offense happen. Yes, all of those guys play a valuable role in the Atlanta offense and the Falcons are 7-0 when Julio Jones has 60 yards or less receiving, and, yes, that includes the two games he didn’t play. That means the Falcons are 6-5 when he was more than that. So take away Julio, New England. We have other weapons.

So don’t be a bad fan. Worry about this game and all of the other Atlanta sports heartbreak later. This is the first professional championship game for an Atlanta team since the Atlanta Braves went to the World Series in 1999, eight months after the Falcons lost to the Broncos in the franchise’s first championship appearance.

Most fans are like me and are excited about this opportunity. To you fans, you can disregard this. This was written for those that only want to see the negative in things. This team is different and this feels different than past seasons.

If you want other cities to start taking you seriously, then change your own attitude. Look at the fact that you’re here and 30 other teams envy your position. Don’t worry about what might happen, celebrate what has.

Enjoy this, Atlanta. It’s great to be back and it’s even greater to know that you have a chance.

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