What can any of us say at this point?
Throughout this season, I've been accused of being overly positive and overly negative, sometimes in the same week. My views of this team have fluctuated just as much as anybody else's. Today, returning from a rainy New England day of work, I was able to catch the last few minutes of a very close game. It was a compelling effort, but one that ultimately fell short. And that, my friends, is the reality of the 2009 Atlanta Falcons: They're just not quite good enough.
It's time to make peace with that fact. We can still win out and I better than half-expect it, but the playoffs are gone barring a miracle. It's time to recognize that whether by injuries, a lack of talent or a lack of consistent play calling, the team we all love is not as good as we expected. There will be an off-season to come to grips with that fully and watch the Falcons attempt to right the ship, but for now I find myself floating in the ether somewhere. I'm not grounded to any record or vision of the rest of the season, per se. I just expect to see three more football games, and then the sweet oblivion of the off-season.
I want to win. I want to know what it's like to celebrate things other fans take for granted, like back-to-back playoff berths or a Super Bowl win. I want to be able to bust on my friends when their team loses without them (correctly) pointing out the Falcons' seemingly endless laundry list of failures. I want it so bad it hurts.
For now, though, we can only hope for the best and aim for the off-season. One hopes that this time next year, we won't be in the same boat, plugging a million tiny holes with our fingers and toes. It may not be what we deserve—because I don't know what any fanbase truly deserves—but it's what we want. For once, I'd like that to be good enough.
Consider this your post-game discussion thread, folks. I'll see you around.