I had about 500 words of stuff written here, but decided to change it. Hooray. Most of you will be reading this as I make the drive back to school Sunday morning, hopefully arriving in time to catch the start of the game (as well as conjure up some food for myself). If all goes well, I'll get to my apartment around 12 or 12:30, in plenty of time to get settled.
In any case, I have conjured up a letter to the Falcons. I'd probably actually send it to them if I had any idea of how to get it to them, but I don't. But let's not mince words here. I wrote this letter, and it goes a little something like this:
To the Falcons, the best team ever,
It's game day. I knew you'd be back in the playoffs. You guys kinda have that...thing going on, where you get to the playoffs a bunch because you're awesome.
It's a far cry from how things used to be. I've only been around 23 years, so the really bad times (save for some of the 90s and 2007) were before my time. Lot of fans around here have seen it all and, quite frankly, I don't envy them.
I do worry about this game. I know without a shadow of a doubt you guys are capable of not only winning, but stomping the Giants in the hoo-hah and running them out of their own stadium. The thing is...the city of Atlanta...well, I think it's cursed. Voodoo, witchcraft, or something. Basically someone, somewhere, killed a goat, and then wrote "ATLANTA" using its blood on a piece of parchment, and Atlanta sports have been in a rut ever since.
This probably happened around 1830, so nobody really knows what went down. But I digress.
Its been a long time since Atlanta won an important game in....well, anything. I don't think I'm alone in saying that this is probably the best collective team that Atlanta has had in at least the past decade, and maybe ever, though the mid 90's Braves would probably like to have a word with me on that one.
This might sound silly to you, but as a diehard Atlanta sports fan, I just want to see one championship in my lifetime that I can actually remember. Preferably football, since I care less about baseball/basketball/cricket.
I talk about curses, but you guys have already broken so many of the "Same Old Falcons" curses: back to back (to back to back) winning seasons, back to back playoff appearances, and a QB that is actually kept upright more often than not, to name a few. It's been quite the experience. I'm not sure all of the fans here are used to so much winning.
But I talk about winning...it's about that time, don't you think? There's still one more curse left in Falcons lore that remains, and it's the big goose egg next to the number of championships the Falcons have. There's one ugly stain on this regime's record, and it's zero playoff wins. I ask myself whose fault it really is, whether it was because the team broke down or whether some divine influence decided the Falcons would, once again, be struck down, or be the embarrassed team, or be the laughingstock of the playoffs.
I can't answer that, but I do know one thing for sure.
This is it. This is your best chance, Falcons, to break that final curse, one baby step at a time. You have players like Tony Gonzalez who has played his ass off for years and not even tasted the euphoria of a playoff victory. One of the most selfless players in the League, who's 100 football years old and still manages to make it happen. He's never had the chance to experience what it's like to win in a win-or-you're-out situation.
Could you imagine what that's like? I imagine there's not much of a worse feeling. I imagine players like Barry Sanders know it all too well.
But no. I believe in you. I feel like today's the day all of us Falcons fans have been waiting for, the day where that ugly zero becomes a one, and we collectively take another step forward in the quest to achieve that elusive Lombardi Trophy.
Please, Falcons, win this ball game today. Please reward our continued faith in you with a victory. I know you can do it. Show the whole damned world you can win a high pressure, high stakes game with everything on the line, because if you can win one, you can win another, and for now, that's enough.
Just go out there today and do your thing. If you relax and do that, I fear for what great, falcon-like reckoning may be brought down on the poor Giants.
I'll be watching every second of this ball game in the hopes that you guys will come through, but no matter what happens today, I'm proud of you. And I'll always be proud to be a Falcons fan, even in the worst of times. You guys don't give up, and I admire that. It makes me even prouder to be a Falcons fan because of that.
Go out there and give 'em hell. We'll support you from here. Just know that I'll be yelling like hell from my apartment and even though you can't hear me, I'll still be yelling. Break the final Falcons curse. If anything, do it for Gonzalez.
Play each play like its your last, and if something bad happens, put it behind you and keep going forward. If you do your thing, you will win. I believe in that 100%.
GOOOOOOOOOOO FALCONS! CRUSH THOSE GIANTS!!!