Time to respect the Atlanta Falcons greats


Super Bowl rings are overrated, plain and simple. Yes, the Atlanta Falcons and their faithful followers wish the collapse never happen, but it is time to have some perspective.

There are some people out there that insist that Super Bowl rings are the end all when discussing a players career and where they rank. Yes, the team goal in sports is winning championships, and they (we) all want to win, but not every great player does.

Unfortunately, there can only be one champion in the National Football League, which means a starting QB has a 1 in 32 chance to become a champion. The biggest question when it comes to this is why should we punish those who are some of the best at what they do yet didn’t get that illusive ring?

Why does a team goal, prevent an individual player from being considered great?

The best example right now is in our own backyard. Former NFL blogger, Lindsey Ok, has used her platform to repeatedly insist that Matt Ryan isn’t good and believes that Joe Flacco is far superior in talent. Joe Flacco has one edge over Matt and it is the fact that he was part of a Super Bowl winning team.

Imagine being Joe Flacco and going from being the worst quarterback in the AFC North to being the worst quarterback in the AFC West. Now imagine people thinking you are great because of a piece of jewelry.

Claude Humphrey played for the Falcons between 1968 and 1978 and was one of the best defensive players of his era. However, he had to wait until 2014 to get elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the senior ballet. This is a football player that made eight All-Pro teams in his career, during the era when defense reigned supreme.

Tommy Nobis played on the same defense as Humphrey and during his rookie season he recorded a 294 TACKLES!!!! While that number is unofficial, that’s not a number that someone just makes up. There are players who went their whole careers and don’t reach 294 tackles.

Jessie Tuggle, who was an automatic 150 tackles a season whether the Falcons were 3-13 or 13-3. He is the all time NFL leader in tackles, a record that will never be broken, and has never been considered for the hall of fame.

Mike Kenn was a three time All-Pro…he gets no love. Jeff Van Note is a five time pro bowler and two time all-pro…he gets no love. Keith Brooking, who happened to be one of the most consistent middle linebackers during his time, he gets no love.

At the end of the day, it’s not called the Hall of Winners, it’s the Hall of Fame. They should reward players for being the best of the best, no matter what the record of the team is. (This is why Barry Sanders is the best running back of all time).

It’s cool that guys like Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, and Joe Flacco have super bowl wins, but none of these guys will ever have a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame; they were just at the right place at the right time and had all time great defenses.

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Sure winning means something. However, stop trying to judge players based on their team’s level of accomplishment and stop playing with the Falcons, put some respect on their names.