Falcons: OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - Printable Version
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OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - Peyton - 12-01-2011 04:43 PM
I posted this on the other board because of all the whining that goes on there. That doesn't happen that much here but some of you might enjoy reading it anyway.
I come to the board every day, you know, because my work is slow (government workers lol), and I want to get hyped about my team this year, and I see a lot of unhappy people on the board lately, worried about 3rd quarters and 3rd down percentages, noodle arms and porn staches, as well as other unsavory things, and I want to reach out and give everybody a hug and tell them “Everything is going to be OK.”
I want to tell you a story. First I want you to close your eyes. Wait…I guess you are reading this, not hearing it… so don’t close your eyes. But concentrate real hard on what you are reading cause it’s important that you remember.
The year is 2007. The Falcons have just hired Bobby Petrino, who is going to bring in his offensive genius and finally maximize the weapon that is Michael Vick. Only problem is…….Michael Vick gets in trouble…………and he ends up going to prison, humiliating himself, the franchise, and the city of Atlanta in the process.
It also turns out…..that Bobby Petrino is a royal pr1ck and not suited for the NFL personalities whatsoever. He immediately turns the Falcons locker room into a toxic workplace and nobody, and I mean nobody, is a happy camper. It doesn’t help that the Falcons are counting on Joey Harrington to save their season. Nice guy…..but not a starting QB in the NFL.
The 2007 season just turned into humiliation after humiliation. In the shadow of the Vick tragedy, and I don’t think it is a stretch in the football world to call that a tragedy, Joey throwing a pick 6 in the first quarter of the first game, Prater missing chip shots weekly that could keep the Falcons in the game, the Falcons incompetently blowing a 1st and goal from the 1 against Tennessee with an opportunity to tie, DeAngelo Hall with a thoroughly embarrassing melt down against the Panthers, and so on and so on and so on.
This epically humiliating season is magnified by 3 prime time national television performances, which the Falcons lose by a combined 59 points, with a 31-13 Thanksgiving defeat against the Colts being the best performance.
And as a final humiliation (or so we thought) for the downtrodden Birds, 24 hours after the last of these humiliating national TV appearances, a 34-14 home thrashing at the hands of the hated rival Saints, they watched their first year coach go on national TV with all those hicks in Arkansas and do that stupid Pig Sooey cheer.
The Vick and Petrino ordeal had devastated the franchise. Not only did the Falcons not have their handpicked head coach or franchise QB, but most of the franchise’s best players were getting old and washed up or wanted out.
So at the end of the 2007, a very poor Atlanta Falcons team lost a Pro Bowl RB, a Pro Bowl TE, and a Pro Bowl CB who was just entering what should have been the prime of his career.
So….let’s review: It’s the end of 2007. No franchise QB, No coach, No Pro Bowl RB, no Pro Bowl CB, no Pro Bowl TE, no good will, no prospects, nothing. Oh yeah, and a crippling twenty something million cap hit for prison dude.
In comes Bill Parcells to save the day? Chris Mortensen reports that Bill Parcells says he is going to take the job as VP of Operations of the Atlanta Falcons. Wait…no…he was just squeezing some more money at out of the Dolphins. Another kick in the gut.
The situation at that moment in time was just a microcosm of the entire history of this franchise. Every time throughout the history of the franchise that it looked like something good was going to happen, you could count on that there was going to be a new and long sustained depression of the franchise.
Home field advantage in 80? Epic 4th quarter meltdown against the Cowboys.
Get a wild card birth in 82? Great, now you are going to be pathetic losers for the next 8 years.
Glanville’s Gritz Blitz bringing us some glory in 91? Awesome, now we are headed directly back to loserville and watching our former star (Deion) humiliate us.
Jeff George and the Red Gun making it exciting in 95? Enjoy that, because he is going to humiliate the coach on national TV next year, and the team is going 3-13.
Our Shining Moment in 98? We don’t even have to wait to 99 for our humiliation this time, Eugene takes care of that the night before the Super Bowl, and the team folds in the big game. If that wasn’t bad enough, the franchise RB effectively ends his career the next season with a knee injury and the team goes 16-32 over the next 3 years.
Then there was the promise of number 7. He was going to end the dark ages for Atlanta.
Big win in Lambeau in 2002? Tragic broken leg in 2003, and the team folds.
NFC Championship appearance in 2004? Awesome. 2005 and 2006 are especially painful because there is no logic to the epic meltdowns of the team in both of those seasons. They just folded like a cheap suit both years.
They lost to terrible teams. 1-8 Packers. The Lions. The Cleveland Browns at home.
Those years included two horifically embarrassing home losses to the Panthers, where they beat us with the wild cat in one year and just plain beat down a team that had quit in the other.
Which brings us to 2007 - 2008. Make no mistake about it, people regarded this franchise as dead.
Blank brings in Thomas Dimitroff and the organization hires Mike Smith. Most of us fans have never heard of either guy, and I’d say there was some doubt about surfer dude and the anonymous Mr. Smith.
They sign Turner, an obvious signing the franchise needed to make, and they draft Matt Ryan with the 3rd pick.
I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that most of the fans hated that pick at the time.
The Falcons were the consensus worst team in the NFL in the preseason of 2008. All analyst at NFL.com picked them to go 3-13. They started 32nd in ESPN’s power rankings and all 13 ESPN Analyst picked the Falcons to finish last in the NFC South. Dr. Z said the Falcons would win 1 game and Peter Schrager picked them to go 0-16.
The perception of the Falcons was so low that they opened the season as 3 point home underdogs to the Detroit Lions, the team that actually did turn out to be the worst team not only of the season, but probably in NFL history.
Well, things didn’t go like all those “experts” thought they would. The Falcons had that magical season and if John Kasey would have missed a FG on week 17, the Falcons would have been the number 2 seed in the playoffs and probably would have ended up with home field throughout. D*mn it Kasey!!
So…..here we are, 3 and a half years later, about to complete our 4th straight winning season and probably see our 2nd consecutive playoff appearance and 3rd playoff appearance in 4 years (all 3 of those will be firsts, obviously).
The team is not perfect. The coaches make calls sometimes that aggravate me, the players sometimes do stupid things, TD makes moves that seem weird or risky to me.
But I sure do enjoy that every year now we aren’t talking about our draft position, but instead we are debating whether or not our team can make it to the Super Bowl. For the 3rd straight year we are having that discussion without feeling like homerlicious idiots. And I like that.
This team doesn’t do any of the things that the aggravating teams of the past have done. They win games against inferior teams with historic proficiency, they almost always win games when they lead at half time, and with very very few exceptions, they don’t get blown out against anybody.
It’s a different world we live in now as a Falcons fan, and I quite like it.
So when I see somebody say they are “disappointed” or “pissed” or calling for somebody’s head because the team only won by 10 points instead of 20, or the team “doesn’t step on the throat”, not only do I disagree with them, but it makes not a bit of freaking sense to me in the world.
So…if I am defending Matt Ryan or BVG or Coach Smith or even Mike Mularkey and you ask me “Are you really happy with mediocrity?” I am going to think of what this franchise has been in my life, and I am going to tell you that if this franchise is mediocre, then you are d*mn right I am.
So....that's all I wanted to say.
RE: OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - papachaz - 12-01-2011 04:57 PM
great write up! plus one
RE: OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - AsylumGuido - 12-01-2011 05:16 PM
Very nice job. I enjoyed the parts about the misery the most, but it was all good.
RE: OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - Peyton - 12-01-2011 05:20 PM
(12-01-2011 05:16 PM)AsylumGuido Wrote: Very nice job. I enjoyed the parts about the misery the most, but it was all good.
LOL when I get around to writing about all of the historical good times, I'll make sure I focus on the Saints. I think I got some material there.
Big Ben twice in 78
Ball being snapped over Erxleben's head in ....79 I think.
62-7 in 74
Wild Card upset in 91
I think I can find some material there lol.
RE: OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - RnB - 12-01-2011 05:41 PM
I agree, Peyton. The constant negativity on the AFMB is not something I care to deal with anymore. There is a little of that here but we have created a great community atmosphere with these boards and that makes up for the occasional negativity or trolling.
I completely understand what you mean when you say "It makes not a bit of sense".
I am the same way. I just can not understand how someone could be genuinely unhappy with our franchise right now. We are doing BIG things and are a respected team in the NFL. We have had prolonged success and our arrow is still pointing up, as Mike Smith would say. My advice to people who are constantly unhappy with the Falcons is to take a longer view of our team; look at the past, and what the Falcons have been through, then imagine what the future will bring. There has NEVER been a better time to be a Falcons fan.
RE: OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - Peyton - 12-01-2011 05:50 PM
And this will sound funny, seeing as how I just wrote that 1500 word diatribe and that I helped start this site, but a lot of people just need to take football less seriously lol. It's not that serious.
RE: OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - AsylumGuido - 12-01-2011 05:56 PM
(12-01-2011 05:20 PM)Peyton Wrote: LOL when I get around to writing about all of the historical good times, I'll make sure I focus on the Saints. I think I got some material there.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I have written very similar pieces on the Saints. It's just that it is more fun reading about the Falcon failures.
OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - juraitwaluzka - 12-01-2011 05:58 PM
For that entire post the best thing I can say is thank you. I've experienced every one of those moments you mentioned and I can say that you are 100% correct, this is the best time ever to be a Falcons fan and it's not even close.
RE: OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - sonnyjim - 12-01-2011 06:42 PM
RE: OK…So……Let’s Review the Situation Here - takeitdown - 12-01-2011 07:08 PM
Nice write up.
I think part of the problem is simply expectations. When your son who always gets C's ends up getting a B...it's joy and congratulations. When your straight A daughter brings home a B, it's concern and disappointment.
The '08 season I was giddy because my expectations were nil, and Ryan was a rookie. All those great plays were amazing to see. And I made the mistake in my own mind of "Wow, I didn't want this guy, but if he's THIS good as a rookie, imagine what he'll be in a couple of years." By now, people expect the great plays, and focus on the poor ones.
I think it's just human nature, and not a bad thing to try to figure out how to get to the next level. However, to bitch about not winning by 30, and not at least enjoy being relevant is a waste. I remember Danny white eviscerating us in the '80 playoffs in the 4th quarter, and all these other times, so I appreciate a stable, solid organization. Now I'll argue and scream (online) about how to get to that next level...but it's precisely because this is just a game. I can get in a debate and if someone's wrong, so what...doesn't affect my life. This isn't politics, economics, social justice. It's football. If someone disagrees, at the end of the argument, it's done.
Enjoy it. Think of how to make it better, sure, but don't forget how much better it is than it was.