Though known on Twitter and his afternoon talk show Highly Questionable as a dispassionate, rational voice on all things sports, music, sports culture and sports media, Bomani Jones has some real angst when it comes to the city of Atlanta and its sports teams. He was born there, after all, and attended Clark University.
If, like Jones, you harbor nagging suspicions that this year’s Falcons may turn out to fall flat on their face sometime down the stretch, congratulations, you are an Atlanta Falcons fan with a modicum of historical perspective. Following the Falcons’ absurdist and incoherent loss to Kansas City, Jones reminded himself and us of Atlanta’s sordid history with respect to sustainable success and playoff football.
That’s an impressive menagerie of Most Falcons Things Ever, prompted of course by Matt Ryan’s two interceptions that netted nine Kansas City points last week. Still, Sunday’s loss and subsequent backsliding in the NFC South standings comprise just the latest instance of “oh no, not again” gasps uttered among Falcons fans over the franchise’s 50-year history.
Let’s remember some good times.
Jones makes the very good point that the only thing missing from Sunday’s loss was a Falcons player being arrested for solicitation. Whatever happened to Eugene Robinson, anyway?
Also high on Jones’ list of Most Falcons Things Ever is Michael Vick’s side venture in illegal dog-fighting.
Ah, the 1972 season. A 6-7 record and no playoffs. Better still, Dave Hampton. Poor, poor Dave Hampton. You were a running back on the 1972 Atlanta Falcons. You entered the final game of the season with 930 rushing yards. A cool 70-yard effort to surpass 1,000 — no problem, right? Dave Hampton ran for 65 that day and ended the year with 995 rushing yards. Who did the Falcons play in that game? You guessed it, the Chiefs.
Watching those old NFL Films Presents episodes, ever notice how stunningly historical moments always seem to transpire with Falcons players flailing about in the background? Add Jerry Rice’s five touchdown receptions back in 1990 to the pile. Joe Montana in fact threw six TDs that day, but nobody remembers Mike Sherrard. Also, Jones wonders what Deion Sanders was doing during the game. He didn’t record a single tackle.
Bobby Petrino’s Irish goodbye letter still rests toward the top of a list of Most Falcons Things Ever, not least because he was 3-10 as head coach and moved on to even worse behavior at Arkansas. He’s No. 4 on Deadspin’s list of worst NFL coaches, which features a couple of other ex-Atlanta greats (Hi, Marion Campbell!).
On Jan. 8, 2012, Atlanta scored two points in an NFC Wild Card game against the Giants. Matt Ryan threw 24-of-41 for 199 yards and no interceptions. He also failed to find the end zone and was sacked twice. Early in the second quarter, Eli Manning was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone, so really the Falcons are only kinda responsible for scoring two points that day.
It’s difficult to recall what happened in the second half of the 2012 NFC Championship. Probably a lot of alcohol was involved. Anyway, the Falcons were up 17-0 at halftime, and then they weren’t when the game ended. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Thanks for the memories, Bo.