When I was young, I used to think I was pretty much the smartest person around and I had an advantage over everyone. Over the years I learned that there are people smarter than me and I have a lot to learn. It's sites like the Falcoholic that makes me take a step back and reassess my views of the world in a different light. There are many ways to look at and like the the same thing at any time. On one recent post, Jason and Adam disagree about how they would feel about the Falcons if our team would relocate. Yet most everything else they agree about the team and how they support them.
Our World is Diverse
But this particular post I want to talk about another issue or thought rather. All too often I hear us talking about our opponents and how delighted many of us are if our opponents are cursed with injuries/suspensions, (or sometimes beating themselves to a lesser extent) and it would make for an easier win.
I don't know about you guys, but I would like see our team play our opponents at full strength more often than not so the intergrity of the matchup will be truly up to the competition. You get the best out of the best from both teams. No playing soft, or shutting it down because the backups are in there nor winning the game because of a blown call by the refs or blown coverage by a boneheaded decision.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't mind a few injuries and sit out here and there fitted in with the quality depth of the team, or a rebuilding team like the Rams, Cheifs, Jags and Bills on occassions for variety. But when it comes down to it, let's get our heated opponents best weapon.
Why? Good question. Often we hear about how we went 9-7 in 2009 and missed the playoffs. Therefore we defend our team by the excuses of:
"Oh well Ryan and Turner were hurt. Our defense was young, we didn't have our top two draft picks. We play 9000 teams off their bye week."
But no one buys it. They still think we will be 6-10 in 2010.
And what teams like the Indianapolis Colts. They rested their starters in week 16 and 17 and it costed them a shot at perfection. I'm sure the Jets loved that, and may have boosted them into the playoffs, and nothing against the Jets, because I think their true potential shined afterwards.
But wouldn't it be a sweeter win to beat the best of our competition so there will be no excuses from Saints fans and Steeler Nation about injuries and suspension and all that BS that will give more than necessarily ambiguity about who's better? (although I'm sure excuses will still be made)
I would like our team to win because we had a better game plan with lesser known players and executed it to perfection or well enough to beat all of our opponents star starters at healthy full strength. I mean do we want our Falcons to win the Super Bowl by default because other teams are high school players? We are better not because we improved, but other teams have been handicapped??? Would say too much about our victories, or worse, if we lose against them that way.
Bring on Brees and his weapons, and his improved defense. Let the Niners defense be like the 1977 Falcons 85/06 Bears 2000 Ravens and Vernon Davis/Crabtree Light it up. May Matt Leinhert be Kurt Warner's Golden Child. Jimmy Clausen beats out an actually pretty good and potentially elite Matt Moore (who we never faced) and Clausen be the next ROYgbiv. May Josh Freeman be Elusive in the pocket like Vick in his younger years and like Manning in his throws. Let's see Flacco live up to the hype as Ravens fans in the balance of offense and defense. May the Bengals return to form from the first 6 weeks of 2009 and the offense of 2005. Sam Bradford could be the next Ryan (maybe not though but who knows). Let's see the A-Rod that put up 45 points in a game after a 24 point deficit in Arizona. I actually don't care much about the Seahawks, Eagles or Browns Success. But let it snow up in the Queen city, be nice to see the Falcons play an easy game in the beauty of the Diamond Dust (and our white uniforms can camoflague us in the background). Let it Rain in Philly so we can run right through the pourous Eagles D-Line. May there be big Gusts of Wind in Cleveland, so Jake Delhomme can play for us. I wish Roelisberger would play for the Steelers, as well and Batch, Leftwich (to try to stick it to us) and Dixon just like in the 06 match up.
Again, don't get me wrong, sometimes in life I do think we all deserve a break. I could use a lot after what happened to me. But I still would like a little challenge to some things I achieve to make it worth it.
Life shouldn't be about a cake walk, all the time...maybe sometimes. The conquest of earning our destiny through still competition, makes the experience more enjoyable.