What have the Atlanta Falcons done to the NFL world? Really, nothing. They are somewhat the picture of mediocrity. Never the best, but far from the worst.
But one thing the Atlanta Falcons have done is find themselves on the wrong side of history one too many times. In the absence of sports, ESPN is struggling to find content to continue to captivate viewers.
They’ve resorted to having NBA players play against each other in 2K and then rehashing the game showing highlights as if it were real. This isn’t knocking e-sports, it’s just the way things are when there’s still a global pandemic brewing. You get the point.
Here’s the thing. The NFL season wouldn’t be happening now anyway. Instead of sports networks showing MLB’s greatest games, or NCAA Tournament highlights, they- both Fox and ESPN have decided to show NFL games. And so far, they’ve picked the Falcons Super Bowl 51 collapse and the first game back in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina- the Steve Gleason game.
Why? Good question. There have been plenty of unforgettable sports moments besides those two games. Some NFC Championship duels between the 49ers and Packers (oh yea, Colin Kaepernick doesn’t exist anymore), Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl win, the Colts comeback against the Chiefs in the playoffs, you see where this is going.
Atlanta hasn’t helped itself. Sure, a blocked punt to open the game wasn’t ideal and neither was squandering a large lead on sports’ biggest stage, but why rehash those moments. The people that are most responsible for that loss are no longer with the team, yes, Kyle Shanahan and Devonta Freeman.
The Falcons should be using this moment as motivation. They’ve made it clear that offense will be the way forward, that it’ll come down to outscoring opponents and not stopping them. Well in the flurry of the moves and the disrespect by national media, build up some fuel. Other than Cleveland, one could easily argue Atlanta is the most cursed city when it comes to sports.
But the Falcons can change that by not putting themselves in a position to be cursed. Go out from week one and make a statement. Win the division over Tom Brady and Drew Brees and make a legitimate postseason run. Quite frankly, it should be a Super Bowl or bust for Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff.
Regardless, the next time there is a sports stoppage and archival footage has to be dumped, the Falcons should make sure they find themselves on the right side of history. Because the fans deserve better.