Dec 8, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 43-37. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Falcons are sitting at 5-8 with 3 to go in an abysmal NFC South this year. The real possibility of the Falcons going 6-10 into the playoff’s is possible and it has outraged everyone around the nation. Honestly? I can’t really blame them. Across the Internet, you can find reason’s for a team to want to tank. In fact, the Philadelphia 76er’s have been doing this in the NBA for 3 season’s now. The idea of gaining a pick possibly in the 9-12 range instead of pick 21 is intriguing. However, as an Atlanta Falcon’s fan and writer, tanking is not an option. Here are three reason’s why.
1. It’s sending a message to your fan base.
Essentially it’s stating to your fan base to not watch the team anymore this year. That doesn’t exactly send the right message to anyone. It’s telling a kid who struggle’s in math to not study for a test and focus on the next one. Someone who pays thousands of dollars every year on season tickets have a wasted investment on that year. For the Atlanta Falcons? We’re a better team than our record implies. We were a possession away from beating the best team in the NFL. Two clock management games that would improve our win record by two. That’s why I believe in the Atlanta Falcons because they still have fight in them.
2. It’s sending a message to your team.
Easy, your team hasn’t been playing up to par and there’s no reason for you to try for the rest of the year. Some of the player’s maybe suiting up for the last time in their gear (see: Tony Gonzalez). Other player’s have been fighting to not be cut or sent to the practice squad where they await a phone call for an opportunity. Tanking tells your team to just show up for the paycheck and we’ll see how valuable you are next year.
3. It’s sending a message to your future players.
When you start tanking player’s pick up bad habits. Suddenly, the idea of “wait till next year” give’s the mystery of wanting more so player’s take plays off or doesn’t hustle enough. Suddenly their looking closer at the incentive’s of their contract and say “hey I’ve already qualified so why try?” The truth is it’s robbing the integrity of your player’s, coaching, and fans. Rookie’s from the tanking year will suddenly make mistakes in the following year and really for what? A person who had better combine results? The game changing pass rusher who lit it up in college? Getting the best out of your player’s requires three things. One the right scheme for your player, two the right coaching for your player, and three the right mindset from your player. Informing future draft pick’s or free agents that if you only put forth half the effort you can be paid out your contract is just not acceptable. And I as part of the fan base will not support a team that does so. So rise up Atlanta Falcon’s fans and players and let’s finish this season with a Lombardi.