The Falcons Must Win This For Gonzalez

Kevin C. Cox

The Falcons head into their final game beaten, battered, and bruised. But if there was ever a game in all of Falcons history the team needed to win, it's this one.

Screw the draft pick.

Tony Gonzalez is putting the red and black on for the last time, and it's in a season where literally nothing has gone right.

I suppose it's fitting, in a sense. We almost failed to even give Gonzalez - possibly the greatest player that will ever call himself a Falcon - a single playoff win in 5 years.

It would have been quite Falconly to have lost that game against Seattle last year, but this team since 2008 has, at times, shown that it truly is different.

Indeed, it would be quite Falconly to find a way to lose this game, a game that means both nothing and everything to the home team. This is 88's last game. The last time we'll see him make some catch that no other TE can make, not to mention he's almost old enough to be my dad.

Gonzalez's record in Week 17:

3-1 w/ ATL

5-7 w/ KC

8-8 Overall. Of course this game will swing him one way or the other. Of course it will.

I've been on the "Hooray, my draft pick" bandwagon for a while now. I'm always happy after a Falcons win, but not totally distraught over a loss like I would've been in, say, week 4. That being said, it's time to cast away "Hooray, my draft pick" for one week. I had hoped the Falcons would lose out until this game because I felt like this one was a game we had to have for Gonzo's sake, and I feel like this game will be the most winnable game we've had all season long.

But you know, the entire Falcons organization, from Arthur Blank (though he doesn't directly influence on-field play during games) to the lowest of waterboys, owes Gonzo a win today. He's been a class act his entire stay with the Falcons, he said all the right things, and he never once suggested he would jump ship this year even though he probably could have.

It's been said a lot, but we've been very fortunate as fans to have a guy like Gonzo to cheer for these last few years. Be sure to take in every snap because it could be the last time (or at least a while) before we have that kind of greatness on our team again. Let's go down as winners for 88's last ride!

And Tony, go give 'em hell one last time.

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