If you're my age (twenty-five), then you might not fully appreciate Atlanta's football franchise. We've come a long way, and if Ryan continues his rapid ascension, I'd like to think we'll hear the "D word" in the not-so-distant future. But we've been here before, believing El Lombardi was within reach. In fact, we've been here several times, and each time, the Falcons find a way to devolve into mediocrity.
After Atlanta clinched the Western Division championship in 1980, The Evening Independent published an article lauding the Falcons' progress.
"We may not have an overabundance of football players but they are like 45 fiddlers. They put on bow straps and play beautiful music," said [Atlanta Coach Leeman Bennett].
"It's a tremendous win but it's only a step along the track we are shooting for," said Bennett, who is in his fourth season with Atlanta.
"I'm just happy," said Van Note, wiping tears from his eyes. "It's a very emotional moment. I've always gotten a lot out of football but today I got a little more."
So what am I getting at? Simple. Here's my bottom line: we have to enjoy where our team is at while it's there. While TD roundhouse kicked his way out of a Black Hole once, he will falter sooner or later. Arthur Blank won't be our owner forever. Smitty might decide he wants to give up football and give interpretive dance a try.
Even the most storied franchises ebb and flow. I know it's hard to appreciate success when you see it. It's human nature. You're always looking for the next best thing. As a Falcons fan, you may have a hard time shaking that "something bad is around the corner feeling," making anything less than a SB victory unpalatable.
But try. Just try. Because what we have now is great. And it may not last.