I sometimes wonder whether the sports media has a good grasp on those they write to. I mean, the fans... and what drives them; their love of a specific team or teams and the devotion they feel to such a conceptual relationship.
When writing comments about teams we follow, fans often use the word ‘we’... as in how ‘we won’ or how ‘we lost’. This isn't simply a twist in the language because it is not impossible to write it differently. The truth here is the actual love a person develops for a team regardless of how often the personnel changes.
It is unique and… if anywhere, no more profoundly apparent than in American football.
Falcons fans with any age will recall 1998 and our first and only trip to the Super Bowl in Miami to take on John Elway and the Denver Broncos. It was indeed a magical season and one I personally remember just all too well. When we won the NFC against the Vikings, all the years of frustration and hope came pouring out in front of my friends and family. I now wonder whether they thought I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown.
Unfortunately, while we had achieved the bowl itself, we fell short of one last win.
So, that’s how it is. There is a brand of love that is never talked about but... is always there for fans of sports teams. It makes no sense but for those of us afflicted, we would never change or deny it.
Then there was 1980 when the Dallas Cowboys came to the old AFCS to play the Falcs. On the radio was a Christmas song called ‘The Leeman Bennett Super Bowl Team’. We were going and we were all excited. But… the ‘boys broke our hearts and the season ended far sooner than we expected. Coach Bennett would soon leave after a season that did not at all reflect the one before.
Here now in 2012, these are the new realities:
11 wins mean nothing.
02 losses mean everything.
Well, to our beloved sports media, that is.
John Madden (on MNF if memory serves) once said that, ‘... any team that wins ten  games in this league is doing something right.’ The concept of this statement is obvious; you don’t win ten games in the NFL unless you are better than a full third of the league.
We’ve won eleven. They, the media, focus on the two losses but, we don’t have to. In fact, we don’t have to focus on them, the media, at all. We’re going to go to New Orleans and win a Super Bowl in the house of those who hate us the most.
Lombardi comes back to OUR house the next day.
Let them gripe about that.