Watch this...and get ready to blame the onions.
How many times during this euphoric ride did you think to yourself..."this team is gonna win a Super Bowl"?
What was once a period of frustration over some questionable coaching decisions has become sorrow as I look back in appreciation of what Mike Smith and crew did to overcome unthinkable odds.
Who really wanted to come here in 2007? Who could have come here and done better? Truthfully, I don't know that anyone could have. To bring an unparalleled level of success to this team is something that we should remember as Smitty's time in Atlanta ends. A culture of winning is something the Falcons have never had. Expectations were never higher, but as they say out there in the world, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
And oh how we fell. From just a few yards away from the team's second Super Bowl trip to a disastrous 4-12 season just 12 months later. It's amazing how the mighty fell.
I believe in my heart that the 2012 team was good enough to win the Greatest Game football has to offer. That team was as magical as it was mysterious. A good chunk of that team is still here, too.
It's left up to interpretation as to exactly whose fault this truly is. No doubt without Dimitroff's improvements, the team would not have improved to 11-5, even if Smitty had arrived. But one could argue that as the early regime talent left, the team started to leak water before eventually sinking altogether in 2013. That's for another time.
Join me this morning in saluting Mike Smith, the greatest Falcon coach of all time. He'll be remembered for many things, but don't let his recent struggles dilute his body of work. He brought about some of the happiest times I've had as a Falcons fan, and truthfully he and his team brought about the beginning of my truly dedicated fanhood to the team. From that first pass in 2008, to the unmitigated disaster that was this past Sunday's game, it has been one hell of a ride...and a ride I won't soon forget.
(Credit goes to Sterling Harrell Designs, which you can find on Instagram right here.)
For all the times, both good and bad. For just ten more yards. For believing in the process. For all of it, I'd just like to say...