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Let me start by saying Sunday's game provided everything we love and hate about the Falcons and football in general. We all got off the couch and halftime, carefree and confident we'd see Atlanta playing in the NFC Championship, only to be on the edge of our seats near the point of a complete breakdown with 31 seconds left to play.
The surreal nature of Seattle's comeback was only warranted by the fact that, oh yeah, we're Atlanta fans. This is what we do every year, it seems. "They scored a touchdown big deal...Ok but there's no way they're coming ba...dear lord what just happened?" It seemed like a blur. Up 20-0 after two quarters, down 28-27 after the majority of four.
But they came back. They actually did it. I will never understand why Matt Ryan threw into double coverage with a lead while they were trying to kill the clock. I will never understand how Zach Miller became the greatest/most invisible tight end to ever play the game. At the end of the day, though, none of that matters. The Falcons are playing the 49ers on Sunday, and there's nothing any analyst, blogger or Twitter troll can do or say to change that.
If yesterday's emotional level could be measured tangibly, it would be Goliath at Six Flags. One minute you're on top of the world looking over all creation without a single concern, the next you're screaming for your life as you rapidly descend to the doldrums of NFL fandom.
Instead of breaking down what transpired, I figured I would create a narrative of my emotions and comments from the end of the game. Note the times on the side represent the game clock. I may be off with some of those, whatever, you get the point. For the video version, click here and fast forward to 1:40. Enjoy.
3:00 OH MY GOD PLEASE DON'T LET SEATTLE MARCH DOWN THE FIELD AGAIN
2:00 They're marching down the field, this is happening.
1:30 Why does my iPhone die after like an hour tweeting? That salesman was full of it.
1:00 [enter literally any and every expletive]
0:37 Yep this is what being an Atlanta sports fan is like. I forgot. Thanks, guys, for the reminder. Ok, there's still hope, though. Ryan Longwell COULD miss the XP.
0:37 Dammit where the hell is Billy Cundiff?
0:31 Alright, if there was ever a time the Falcons truly wanted me to be happy, this is it. Otherwise I am definitely stopping at the liquor store in a few minutes.
0:20ish? Is this real life?
0:13 Lol Pete Carroll
0:13 LOL PETE CARROLL THANKS FOR THE SECOND TRY BRO MATT BRYANT IS A DEMIGOD AAAAHHHHH
0:00 /falls on floor, attempts to comprehend an Atlanta team winning in the playoffs, almost cries (I didn't ok leave me alone)
That basically sums it up. I don't ever recall experiencing the entire range of the emotional spectrum for a single event. I was in attendance for Game 3 of the Braves 2010 postseason. The game where Brooks Conrad made three errors. The game where the Braves were losing all the way until the bottom of the 8th, Eric Hinske hit a two-run bomb, then they blew it in the 9th. The stadium went completely devoid of any happiness, everyone searching for some kind of explanation for the devastation just put on display. Never have I witnessed thousands of people reveling together in expected victory, only to be completely crushed just minutes later.
I imagine that's close to the feeling in the Dome when the Seahawks took the lead. Close, key word.
If you were actively involved on Twitter throughout the game, how many "Haha typical Falcons!" or "THEY SO OVERRATED" tweets did you encounter on Sunday? And how great was the feeling to see those folks silenced when Matt Bryant sank that 49-yarder?
Atlanta isn't respected, by critics, fans or mere passersby. I'm not sure this city ever will be in regards to sports. But that doesn't stop us from getting riled up every time kickoff rolls around, or rejoicing in one of the biggest wins in franchise history for an entire week (which I completely plan on doing). Atlanta is my home, always has been, always will be in one way or another. I wouldn't have it any other way. Seriously, though, a Super Bowl win would be nice.