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The Illogical Nature of Fandom

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If you participated in the last two game threads, then you likely witnessed some back-and-forth between myself and some other members of our fine community. I more or less espoused a "the world is not ending" mentality. And to be frank, I'm not one hundred percent convinced I'm right. But - at the end of the day - I do think we're better off than some NFL fans.

If you disagree with me, check out this link, it will likely confirm your distaste for my viewpoints. If you think I may have a point, join me after the jump.

Sorry about the rick rolling. Had to do it.

Here's the thing: I'm by no means thrilled with this season. Matt Ryan's accuracy issues are readily apparent, Mularkey isn't fit to coordinate a pee wee offense, Roddy's having an off year, we aren't pressuring opposing QBs like we should/can, Weems may not be a Falcon very much longer, and Smitty's likely developing an ulcer. Still, all is not lost.

Frustrated masses, please trust that I hear you, I really really do. Because truth be told, the "rah rah we've come a long way" diatribes are only tolerable for so long. But tell me, what's the alternative? There are real consequences when a team undergoes dramatic changes. For example, what happens if Mularkey is shown the door this off-season? You're kidding yourself if you think there won't be some growing pains. It seems sensible - at least on the surface - to rid ourselves of him, though I'm sure many of you would express all kinds of frustration if his replacement were equally ineffective or - Vishnu forbid - even less effective. And wouldn't that lead to summary judgments about Matt Ryan's potential or unfortunate lack thereof?

Sometimes as fans we get inpatient. Sure, it's been three plus years since Hewhoshallnotbenamed's selfish actions rocked the franchise. By now, it's legitimate to expect something better. The problem is that we're not putting together a puzzle, at least not in the traditional sense. NFLers age, demand larger contracts, or - after having some success - show their true colors. Put simply, excrement happens. This league isn't friendly to its fans, nor should it be. We watch this game because it thrills us, saddens us, and makes us throw canned beverages at our flat screens. It's part of the fun. While I'm an Atlanta native, I currently reside in Wisconsin. I'm completely surrounded by cheese eating, beer guzzling, bandwagoning Packers fans. They're spoiled. Moreover, in the time it took to get from Favre to a serviceable and now absurdly talented Rodgers, the fan base grew considerably. Don't get me wrong, the fan base has been this big before, but folks just didn't care as much when the team was in transition.

But that's not us. We're not that illogical. The Falcons aren't a oft-defeated expansion team anymore. Our fans care more than those of most NFL teams, because we have to. We've endured years of defeat. We've endured an Elway-sponsored butt kicking. We've endured Bobby Petrino's haircut. And what does that mean? It means we're better than that.

So do me this favor. Be logical if you're going to criticize this team. Rant and rave about how frustrating it is when BVG doesn't adjust his blitz schemes or refuses to stop calling for a zone defense. Scream and yell about how asinine MM seems when he runs Turner into the middle of the offensive line again and again and again. Cry hysterically and pound your collective fists when Roddy drops yet another pass. But don't - under any circumstances - accuse the entire team of sucking. Don't say they don't care. Don't insinuate that we should cut every player and start anew. Why? Because you don't have to and - if you're honest with yourself - you'll realize you shouldn't.

We may not make the playoffs this year. Heck, if I'm taking an objective view of things, it's highly unlikely we will. Nonetheless, there are many young, talented players on this team and it's just a matter of time. It will happen. The question is when. That's something I ask myself weekly and I don't blame you if you're asking the same thing. There's no greater thrill than seeing your favorite sports franchise thrive. In the meantime, don't jump ship, not just yet. The best is yet to come.