The kid above wasn’t even 2 years old when that Falcons cap was placed upon his fragile dome. From that point forward, the future was written.
Falcons fan forever.
Oh sure, he would move to Michigan and grow up cheering for the Detroit Lions. During those years while pulling for Eric Hipple, David Hill and Billy Sims, he would also be looking for the score of the Falcons game hoping that they were winning. Usually, they were not.
Later in life, this particular boy would move to NY and adopt a team in the AFC. The New York Jets. They had just acquired the services of an aging QB by the name of Brett Farve and the future looked bright. The future was anything but bright. While watching this dysfunctional team every week, he would check his iPhone for the Falcons score.
Surprisingly, things were turning around for the team in Atlanta. However, they still couldn’t seem to get over the hump of winning in the playoffs.
It is not easy being an Atlanta Falcons fan.
The Falcons were formed in 1965 as an expansion team in the NFL. It would take 43 years for the franchise to put together back to back winning seasons.
When the Falcons finally went to the Super Bowl in 1997, they lost a lack luster game to the Denver Broncos. It didn’t help that one of their marque players, Eugene Robinson, was arrested the night before the game for soliciting a prostitute. The boy began to think the Falcons may be cursed.
In 2001, they drafted Michael Vick who quickly became a super star of the league and everything began to look bright for the franchise. In 2007, Vick plead guilty to charges of dog fighting and the house of cards collapsed. The boy suddenly realized that the Falcons were, in fact, cursed.
However, things began to change in 2008 with a new regime headed by Head Coach Mike Smith, GM Thomas Dimitroff and rookie QB Matt Ryan. The team began winning in the regular season but seemed to fall apart once they got to the playoffs…until last weekend against Seattle. The Falcons won a heartattack inducing game with a field goal in the final seconds.
The winds have shifted. The clouds are clearing. The future is now.
The Falcons can take a monumental step toward legendary status today at 3pmET. Hardly anyone in the country believes Atlanta can beat San Francisico. Even as the #1 seed at home, the Falcons are playing the role of underdog. Good. That role seems to suite this team. For the first time in quite a while, I am confident they will win and move onto the Super Bowl.
That boy above is thrilled and yet, although he is now 41-years-old, some things have not changed:
1. He’ll be nervously cheering on the team that has been cursed for years. Willing them to win.
2. If the game is as stressful as last week, he’ll be in diapers by the 4th Quarter.