Too close. Only leading to the ultimate letdown.
It was Dan Quinn's second biggest nightmare. The first, of course, has 30-foot metal feathers, red glowing eyes, and an insatiable thirst for blood. Both are terrible. However the poor first half and ref problems come in second, with Quinn sacrificing a trusted friend easily ranking first.
Quinn understands the need for the deity. With the right sacrifice, good luck is brought onto the franchise. Wins stack up. Cam Newton goes from MVP to channeling Jake Delhomme in only one offseason. Matt Ryan finds a single, lucky glove that is instrumental in his best season ever. Mohamed Sanu can finally catch footballs. Magic happens.
But with each passing week, the dark rings underneath Quinn's eyes grow deeper. His face is pale. His trademark shaved head is now bristly and unkempt. He's been rotating the same pair of shorts for what seems like weeks. Some have noticed him wearing the same mustard-stained shirt at least six times since training camp. Why doesn't he do laundry?
People are worried, but he can't tell them about the 42-foot tall bird. How can you possibly explain the bloodlust of an ancient deity that only grows stronger by the day? Or that you have kicked you friends into the lake of fire? Quinn will never forget the look of betrayal in their eyes. Or their screams. He's haunted by their screams.
"You came to Atlanta to win a Super Bowl," he tells himself over and over. If that means spending late nights in the film room, running up and down stadium steps before the game, and sacrificing friends and dedicated players to a fire-breathing bird named Samuel L. Falcon, then so be it.
He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and leads another unwitting sacrifice into the bird's lair. And for the first time in years, we see Quinn smile.
Tony Corrente didn't even see it coming. That shouldn't be a surprise. Corrente missed an obvious pass interference call on Richard Sherman that sealed the game. The same staff ignored endless late hits on Matt Ryan, and called one of the most impactfully poor games fans have seen in years. Put this next to to Jeff Triplette's Saints game and the end of the NFC Championship Game. What an embarrassing group of refs.
But will the falcon accept such an offering?
"Yes he deserves to die, and I hope he burns in... well, just this lake of fire would be the most convenient," screeches Samuel L. Falcon. The loud caws don't seem to bother the cloaked Arthur Blank, Thomas Dimitroff, and Rich McKay. As always, the three nod in agreement at the sacrifice, chant in unison, then silently do the dirty bird.
Quinn kicks Corrente into the falcon's fire of judgment. It burns so bright Quinn shields his eyes. Samuel L. Falcon is pleased. "I don't like violence, Tony. I'm a football coach. Blood is a big expense," Quinn says. It was too late for Corrente. He had been accepted to the fire and would never escape. Robert Alford miraculously lives another week.
Who was the game's MVP?
There were some technical difficulties with Matt Ryan's MVP campaign. Ryan is close to his playing at an all time high, if he isn't already. Against heavy pressure on the road, Ryan came back and bent the Seahawks defense. At this rate, he's should be on his way to an MVP award and should be able to push the team into the postseason. Especially with Corrente now a pile of ashes.
Congrats SprPog51 for not only getting the most recs on their name, but giving us the option to soon make some bad Samuel L. Jackson jokes, too.