November 11, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) celebrates his touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The New Orleans Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons 31-27. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Gonzalez's Farewell Opener

If there is anything you should know about me after reading my work is that I’m borderline in love with Tony Gonzalez and that I (to put it mildly) don’t care very much for the saints.

That is why September 8th couldn’t get here fast enough.

Last year, Tony Gonzalez said he was 95% sure that that was his last year.  I thought he was 90% full of it.  I always assumed he would come back because he left a window of opportunity open.  Anyone who does that doesn’t really want to retire.  All it took was a little nudge from a family member and he was all in.

Now, he claims it is his last year without a doubt.  He is not leaving any window open at all.  After this year, win or lose, he’s retiring to a long life with his family.  A lot of people want to compare him to Brett Favre (who came out of retirement 3 times) but that’s just nonsense.  He won’t come back next year and there won’t be a major campaign to get him back because of how clear he is making the fact that THIS year is his last.  But after going the majority of the offseason without knowing, it will be wonderful to see him perform an entire game.  I’m sure I’ll get to see him in the preseason, but I don’t think he’ll be out there any longer than Steven Jackson is.

The first full game we get to see Tony Gonzalez and his mastery of the game will be on a Sunday afternoon against the New Orlean Saints to open the Falcons Season.  Due to the improvements that the Falcons have made and the lack of improvements the saints have made along with a change in a defensive scheme, I do not believe the saints have a prayer in this game.  They are no pushovers, however, and never are.  Keep in mind with the worst defense in the league, their offense was enough to take down the undefeated Falcons in New Orleans last year.  With Sean Payton back, the team will most likely be another threat.

I would love to see another shoot out between two of the best Tight Ends in the game.  I’m betting Gonzo wins this round though.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan New Orleans Saints Steven Jackson Tony Gonzalez

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