Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm Getting a Little Giddy

Photo: John-Morgan, Flickr Creative Commons

I try to avoid writing too many sports posts. After all, most of my friends aren't big sports fans and I try not to bring up topics that I know will basically only entertain myself. Maybe this is why I suck so much at making small talk. Most of my interests are a little outside the mainstream and I'm not good talking about crap I don't care about.

Anyway, I'm starting to finally understand what being a fan of a good team feels like. See, my problem is that I'm an Atlanta homer when it comes to sports, college and pro. Sure, the Braves were awesome in the 90s, but I'd already given up on baseball by then. I'm only now getting over the scarring I received from being benched in favor of the world's worst athlete in a sport I didn't even really like and that was like 20 years ago. Georgia Tech is usually good at football, but they haven't been a real contender for anything other than a league championship in the second-worst conference with automatic BCS qualifying. The Thrashers have a history of hockey misery and the Hawks are generally unable to beat the top teams when it matters. I've been a loyal fan of the Falcons ever since I started caring about the NFL just after college and that's been a very frustrating experience. Started in the Sixties, the franchise couldn't manage to put together back-to-back winning seasons until 2009. Their one visit to the Super Bowl ended in prostitutes and a blow-out loss to Denver. Michael Vick was good enough to make me hate him for being so damned mediocre. (I'm actually happy to see him succeed in Philly, but I hated him when he was on the Falcons. I think he's paid appropriately for his crimes and if he stays clean, he deserves this second chance.)

And then last night. The Falcons were playing Baltimore, ESPN's number one team in their Power Rankings. The Falcons have been incredible at home the past three years, but Baltimore is a brutal defense and more-than-competent offense. Surprisingly, the Falcons actually dominated for most of the game. The team never really looked like it was struggling in any area. Solid defense, successful passing game. The run was pretty much stuffed all night, but it didn't seem to matter. The Ravens kept them from scoring enough to put the game away, but the Falcons used up an unfair portion of the clock. At the end Atlanta was able overcome a late-game TD by the Ravens with a touchdown drive that took less than a minute to win the game.

The Falcons are just straight up good this year. I may end up as obnoxious as Yankees, Alabama, and New England fans if I'm not careful.


Julie said...

One of the DJs on a local radio station already reserved a hotel room in TX for the Superbowl because she is so convinced the Falcons will be going. It would be lovely if they made it this year. It's always fun to have a team in the running.

Courtney said...

I always enjoyed watching Vick play -- I actually used to watch Virginia Tech games when he was there just because he was entertaining -- and I agree he deserves his second chance. I've heard many people say he doesn't deserve to make millions playing football anymore, but he's done his time and forgiveness is important. What he did was awful, but the only reason it's an issue is because he makes a lot of money doing what he does. If a plumber was convicted of dog fighting, went to jail, and then went back to being a plumber, no one would care.

Mickey said...

Yeah, that was a fun game to watch. Had they lost, I would have been really pissed because I felt like they started playing clock management way too soon with the lead, just running the ball up the middle to keep the clock running on their next-to-last possession. Sure enough, B'more got the ball back and took the lead. The Falcons showed a lot by coming back, though.

Also, I'll make small talk with you anytime.

A Free Man said...

Second worst? Oh, the Big East. I think that may be a toss up actually.

Jacob said...

No. It's not a toss-up, at least not until TCU joins in a couple of years. The Big East is a joke this year, more so than even the recent past. It's a toss-up whether the ACC or the SEC East is better or if the ACC or Big 10 are better.

Seriously, the SEC East was horrible this year. Only one ranked team and only two teams with winning records. What's worse is that the West had only one unranked team and those guys had to all play each other and the East guys didn't have to play as many of the Westerners. Don't mention the Tech game. Tech and Georgia are in similar positions in their halves of their conferences and the game was close. All it proves is that Georgia owns Tech.

On the Big 10, two of their top 3 teams have lower strengths of schedules than Boise State and Boise is in the WAC. Michigan State is actually a little better on the s of s, but no one is going to say that Virginia Tech couldn't beat them.

But the SEC as a whole, Pac 10, or Big 12? Not even close. SEC as a whole is the strongest despite the East. The Big 12 doesn't have the usual incredible two or three teams but has a LOT of very very good ones, and the Pac 10 is actually pretty damn deep this year.