In this series of posts, I seek to find the answer to questions that are brought up around here or around the various sports conversation sites. I use a realistic, low-stat opinion to generate discussion about these topics, but I also encourage the use of stats in an argument.
I very nearly made this post about whether we were winning in spite of Mike Mularkey or not, as this has become a very hot topic on a previous thread. However, I feel like that is a debate that won't have a conclusion. The stat guys will point at their stats and toot their horns, and the opinionated guys like myself will point at whatever we point at and toot our own horn and neither side will give an inch. That being said, I may allude to this next week during crunch time.
So today, in the spirit of a relaxing bye week, I'm going to talk about fanhood. No, I am not going to say whose fanhood is right or wrong. I don't do that, but I would like to discuss what types of fans you all are in the sense of how you watch Falcons games and how you represent as a Falcons fan.
Are you a stoic, emotionless TV watcher? Or are you a rabid, face painting, alcohol ingesting, jump up-and-down diehard?
Follow me after the jump and I'll break down just how I represent the Birds here in North Carolina.
I live South of a small town up here in North Carolina. Many people would consider it a redneck town, which it is to a degree. I live out in the middle of nowhere. It is most definitely Panther land out here, though the Redskins have some roots here as well. Before the Panthers, there were the Redskins in this neck of the woods. There are a trickling of other fans. I have seen Eagles, Steelers, 49ers, Patriots, and Cowboys fans, among a few others. There's a nice variety here.
Take one look at my car and my fanhood will become very apparent. "4EVERUGA" is what you'll find on my license plate with a Georgia Bulldogs license plate cover rim thing over it. Fun story for you, people ask me what "UGA" stands for on the license plate all the time, as if they can't see the plate cover all around it.
I've had my car for five years now, though it feels like I bought it yesterday. If I had bought the car within the past couple years, I would no doubt have put something related to the Falcons on the plate instead of the Dawgs. Yes, the Falcons have grown on me quite a bit since I moved up here in 2004.
These days, you won't catch me dead without me wearing some kind of Falcons attire. This does exclude work, of course. If anything, I'm always wearing one of those snazzy Reebok hats that has the Falcons on it. And on colder days, you'll occasionally find me wearing something ridiculous. However, I keep the color themes going. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I bleed red and black.
I drive a silver 2000 Toyota Celica. Alright, that's a lie. I drive a silver, platinum, primer gray, and yellow 2000 Toyota Celica. It actually was all silver, but long story short, multiple body kits and animal hittings later, my car is four different colors. However, I have set a plan into motion to where my car will soon be painted. It will look something like this, but with a black stripe down the hood. Yes, that would be red and black. I'd probably get Falcons painted all over it if I could afford it, but I'm skirting by as it is.
Anyone who sees me knows I rep the red and black, though they probably don't know why. If anyone asks, I usually allude to the Falcons.
Most game days I didn't have to work, I would follow the game on Gamecast. The Falcons are especially hated by the media up here, so watching games was, well, impossible. My family can't really afford any kind of real TV at the moment, but thankfully Gamecast plus the open threads here have been a huge help.
As many of you know, I ride the highs and lows of just about each play. I've said it before, but I'm a very passionate fan. When we do something dumb, I'll get mad. When we give up our typical 3rd and 10 from their own 5, I'll get mad. I won't make a scene, but I won't keep quiet. I'll mutter something ("So yeah, we decide we can't stop them inside their own 20 EVER.") and call it good.
However, when we do something amazing, you'll be hard pressed to find someone who cheers louder. Don't get me wrong, I will cheer even when we're down (Unless we're way down, then at that point there's not much to cheer about). This team has given us every reason to cheer for them for all 60 minutes. Ya gotta love that.
I went to the 49ers game this year, and the only thing that kept me from cheering louder at any point was physical limitations. I made every noise I could possibly make that wouldn't kill my throat. (Pro tip: Yelling "OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" on defense is loud but it doesn't hurt.)
That game, I recorded Matt Bryant's winning kick on my phone. The problem is, my phone camera is terrible and I was covering up the lens with my hand. You could still hear the audio of the crowd (and me, particularly) yelling when the ball sailed through the uprights. It still gives me chills every time I listen to it.
(On a side note, there were a couple of 49ers fans sitting in front of my dad and I. One of them wore two jerseys to the game, one for defense and one for offense. Whenever the 49ers were on the O or D side, he'd have that jersey on. That's some dedication right there.)
I'm not the kind of guy to run around gallivanting about how many rings we have (Hey Saints fans, the Steelers have like six. Shush!) or how we're the best team ever because we're the #1 seed, but I can say that I'm not a big fan of trash talk in general. I let my actions do the talking.
So, there's a little story of how I represent, but I wrote this in hopes that you all would share what you all do on gameday or what you do to represent your Falcons fanhood. Do you sit and watch quietly as other fans jump up and down while pulling their hair out? Do you get really into games? Share your experiences here! I look forward to hearing about all of your Falcons representation wherever you're at!
(Disclaimer: I don't judge, so if you're not as fiery as I am or if you draw on the fists of fury more often than I do, it's cool. We're all fellow Falcons fans. We're family here.)
Also, I'm hoping for lots of participation here. We have an easy week this week, and after that interesting Mularkey debate, I'm sure we could all use a few fun stories.