Another Falcons season, another crushing disappointment. This is how they’ll write the book on Atlanta sports teams. It almost makes me envy hopeless teams like the Browns or the Cubs. They don’t make it anywhere close to the playoffs but their die-hard fans love them all the same. But when it comes to the Falcons, the Braves, and the Hawks, they’re nothing but (and forgive the following crudeness) cock-teases who give their fans blue-balls. Eventually those fans get frustrated and find a team that might actually fuck them.
But I’m a sucker for punishment. I’m already looking ahead to next season for the Falcons even though my team got butt-fucked on national TV less than an hour ago. What changes will we make? Who gets drafted? Who gets traded? Who on the coaching staff has to commit ritual suicide and can I watch? And will the Falcons front office even figure it out? Last season, we got trounced by the 6th-seeded Packers even though we were the first seed off a 13-3 record and playing at home. The snap action from the front office: “explosive” plays. It was a meaningless buzzword, but they did get an “explosive” player with Julio Jones and in his rookie season he’s shown he’s the real deal.
And yet that’s irrelevant. We had a worse record this season, we played sloppy football where we either put ourselves in a hole or blew gigantic leads, and toyed with my fragile emotions. Something’s rotten in the state of Georgia. If the players are talented (and the offense is, and there are some great guys on the defense although the secondary is garbage) then how come we’re so inconsistent? I’d rather have solid, consistent victory over “explosive” any day. (This is also my approach to bowel movements.)
This year, I started using a phrase that I’m sure irritated everyone I used it around: “Hometeam”. Hometeam, by my definition, meant sticking with your team even when your team was making you cry. You could criticize the hell out of them, but you never wrote them off. You didn’t look at the score at the half and say “They’re going to lose.” You held out hope for as long as possible and if you lost, you looked ahead to the next game and stayed positive.
Every passing season that gets harder. For Atlanta sports fans, it becomes excruciating because our teams pretend like they have a chance. They dangle their potential in front of us, give us a winning season or at least a wild card berth, and then they get demolished in the playoffs. They don’t lose; they lose horribly. It’s almost as if they’re trying to embarrass their fans. They’re Lucy, we’re Charlie Brown, and the football is a championship.
I’m hometeam so I try to keep the optimism alive. I’ll be a blockhead and hope that Arthur Blank and the Falcons organization see this kind of loss and will not only make adjustments, but adjustments that would actually improve the team on a fundamental level rather than building off some meaningless buzzword.
So yeah, I’m the idiot who’s forgetting the nationally televised shit-bucket of a game the Falcons played this afternoon. I’m the sucker who’s dreaming of next season. I’m hometeam.
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