Kyle Shanahan’s “note” to Falcons fans

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 04: Offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons walks out to the field during the Super Bowl LI team walk through at NRG Stadium on February 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 04: Offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons walks out to the field during the Super Bowl LI team walk through at NRG Stadium on February 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Falcons fans continue to reminisce on the 2016 Kyle Shananhan offense. But it is time to let go. Kyle has moved on and so should Falcons fans.

It was 1993 and the first day of middle school. I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was also the first day that I had ever met Ashely Cohen.

On that day, my little middle school heart skipped-a-beat as I was swooned by the girl wearing a pink and orange outfit.

After a couple of months and some handwritten notes, Ashley became my first-ever girlfriend.

Sure, the relationship only consisted of eating lunch together and talking on the phone after doing homework. But life could not get any better for little middle school me. I was in love and I was sure of it.

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Then, the dreaded day came when I received a note from Ashley stating that she no longer wanted to be my girlfriend.

I was devastated. My first heartbreak. And it sucked.

As days passed, I began reflecting on my first-ever “relationship” and oddly enough all those nice thoughts of Ashley became muddied.

For example, instead of recalling the first time I had seen Ashley, wearing her pink and orange outfit, I recalled the first time I had tried to hold her hand at lunch.

To a middle school boy, attempting to hold a girl’s hand is a very big deal. There are so many nerves involved. So many emotions. So much fear.

One day at the lunch table, Ashley and I were sitting next to one another, as was customary for a middle school couple to do.

Battling the giant sized fear in my chest, I mustered enough strength to extend an open hand towards her.

Ashley turned her head towards me and saw my hand.

There I was, metaphorically holding my little middle school heart out, vulnerable to rejection, and risking what felt like everything in the process.

Her response? She laughed. That’s it. No grabbing my hand in return. No acknowledgment of my bravery. Just a laugh, as she continued to eat her lunch.

A few months later Ashley broke up with me, and I went on to experience my first taste of heartbreak.

Ever experience heartbreak before Falcons fans?

How many Falcons fans are heartbroken because former Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who orchestrated one of the best offenses in NFL history (circa 2016), is now gone?

How many Falcons fans are concerned with current Atlanta offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s ability to operate Atlanta’s offense?

The Falcons are now five games into the 2017 season and some fans are not sure if this Falcons team can even make it to the playoffs, much less another Super Bowl.

One thing is for sure though, and that is Kyle Shanahan is not coming back. His time in Atlanta is over.

To use a Ashley Cohen analogy, Kyle Shanahan gave the Falcons organization and it’s fans a “note” at school that says he wants to breakup.

Yes, the 2016 season was amazing for Falcons fans. Yes, going to the Super Bowl was incredible for Atlanta. But, if we look back and reflect on the entirety of Shanahan’s time with the Falcons, those nice thoughts of his offensive achievements become muddied.

In 2015, the Falcons began the season with a 5-0 record. However they ended up going 8-8 on the season and failed to make the playoffs. Moreover, Atlanta went on an six game losing streak that season and in one of those six games, they scored zero points.

Who was Atlanta’s offensive coordinator during 2015? Why Kyle Shanahan of course.

I remember the 2015 six game losing streak. It was miserable for Falcons fans, especially after Atlanta began the season 5-0.

Let’s fast-forward to Super Bowl LI.

I believe the Falcons should have ran the ball more towards the end of the Super Bowl. But they did not and failure to do so arguably cost them their first championship.

Choosing to not run the ball was Shanahan’s call and as a result, he made a decision that broke the hearts of Falcons fans everywhere.

Falcons fans need to be reminded of the losses and heartbreak that was endured throughout Shanahan’s time in Atlanta.

Yes, he had some success with the Falcons offense, but Shanahan could not help Atlanta reach the ultimate goal.

Yes, Ashley Cohen was my first crush, but she also gave me my first broken heart.

Twenty-four years after that first day of middle school and I am now happily married to an incredible woman. And if I were able to travel back in time and speak to brokenhearted middle school me, I would tell myself that the best is yet to come.

And Falcons fans, that is what I am telling you now. The best is yet to come.

And I believe you will begin to see that this Sunday night when the Falcons take on the New England Patriots. The Falcons will have the opportunity to best the team that handed them the worse loss in sports history.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: Dan Quinn cares not about the Super Bowl in Week 7 rematch

I am predicting that there is going to be a Patriots loss. Just like it was Ashley’s loss when she gave me that note.