Welcome to this holiest of sports blogs, my friends!
Last year before the season began I decided to cast out a call for mercy from the exalted gods of football, and it worked so spectacularly that I'd be remiss if I didn't try the same thing again this year. Before I launch in, I will note that even slightly tempered expectations on my part put Matt Ryan with a more successful year, Michael Turner with only slightly reduced numbers and the team with an overall record of at least 9-7. As a notorious realist—some would say pessimist—I don't make these predictions lightly. It just never hurts to have a little backup.
Please, join me as I hold my sacred Falcons miter in one hand and chug a glass of communal Falcohol:
Dear awesome and really good-looking lords of football,
Verily, you have answered my calls for mercy! The year of our Nobis 2008 was a grand spectacle for we Falcons fans, who had before only known the twin plagues of incompetence and futility. Indeed, for months I thought my face had been stricken with a dreadful disease, but it turns out it was only "smiles" and "joy!" How droll!
Ahem. Lords, I ask thee to deliver us from a schedule that is more difficult than last year's. Let our seemingly suspect secondary find the power to ferociously tackle ball carriers, the grace to not be burnt like a beetle beneath rocket engines and the tolerance to put up with fans who call for their heads like Henry the VIII on a bender. Let us know the joy of a season free of injuries, where any player who breaks a bone has it instantly mended by your divine influence.
Lords, please do not let us, gentle and noble Falcons fans all, know the suffering that comes from another losing season. Let us rejoice in the way we gently and nobly stomp other teams into sweet oblivion, and the way in which we gently and nobly call them names which dost cause the ears of our loved ones to melt like the opening of the ark in the first Indiana Jones movie. Let us believe--for O, belief is so sweet!--that we may be Super Bowl contenders until the bitter end, whether it be true or not. And at last, dear Lords, may we never cease to enjoy the season about to unfold as the lotus, with millions upon millions of opportunities unfurling before us.