USA TODAY Sports
Fact: the 49ers are evil and must be destroyed
Sports fandom is a difficult hobby. Not like crocheting or genetics.
It's not easy when your team struggles. In practice, it means lots of yelling, crying, and drunken embarrassment. It means spending absurd amounts of money, investing in a team that may let you down, notwithstanding your overly-optimistic expectations. And if you're lucky, it means a lifetime of good memories, cheap beer, and "watching" your favorite team after you're legally blind.
Curtis once arm wrestled then-rookie Brett Favre at Falcons training camp. He used to chat up Deion Sanders before games. He was pals with more coaches than most fans can remember. He knew original owner Rankin Smith. He sometimes calls current honcho Arthur Blank to congratulate him on wins.
Joe Curtis is amazing. I like him. I'm not him, nor do I think I can be him. Most Falcons fans aren't like him. But we're a durable bunch. We've endured an absurd amount of hardship. Curtis embodies all of that. He's literally and figuratively our poster child.
Let's be honest, 15 years between conference championships is a long time, especially when you haven't won a playoff game since the Ron Mexico era. But these aren't Norb Hecker's Falcons. These Falcons are special. Sure, they don't tackle well, and sure, our running game is somewhat suspect. All that matters at this point is the will to win.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm normally opposed to that mentality. Wanting to win isn't usually good enough. Moreover, these are professionals, so I'd assume they all want to win, at least on some level. But when I say "the will to win," what I really mean is "the will to overcome." The ability to overcome is something the Falcons players and their fans have in common. They've been through a lot, and so have we. They've been questioned all year, and we're questioned by association.
Frankly I'm sick of it. It's time. I deserve it. You deserve it. Joe Curtis deserves it. The Falcons deserve it. Tomorrow is kind of a big deal, but I'm ready for it. Win or lose, I'm not going anywhere. But we deserve to win. We deserve it.