In the sea of mostly positive, admiring articles about the Atlanta Falcons this postseason, there have been a few articles that have dismissed the team
There have already been many dumb, bad articles written about the Falcons this season, some of which originated from this very website. There will be more dumb, bad articles, opinions, videos, and Twitter fights about this team in the years to come, of course, because this is the NFL and that’s a given. But in the run-up to the Super Bowl, with the Patriots as the next team in Atlanta’s sights, and with the Boston sports media getting into the mix, you’re going to get your share of hot takes.
Take yesterday’s gem:
This is objectively bad. I have seen very few people focus on the idea that the Patriots are the bad guys this week (and certainly no more than is typical), but this article is intent on ensuring you think the Falcons and Patriots are on equal footing (or Atlanta is worse) for their parts in two stupid scandals the NFL was busy litigating so it wouldn’t have to take a serious stance on domestic violence:
There is a cheater in our midst, football fans, a lousy, conniving NFL franchise that has no respect for the integrity of the game we love.
There’s a serial violator of Roger Goodell’s sacred rulebook headed down to Houston, set to take the Super Bowl LI stage just two seasons after losing our trust. And it’s hard not to wonder how much the club would have struggled throughout 2013 and 2014 if it hadn’t skirted league rules, hard to believe the ethics of that club now, after so much subterfuge.
And it’s about time that the Atlanta Falcons (and their fans) accept their much-deserved scarlet letter, taking their rightful place among the NFL’s most unethical franchises.
That’s not overwrought or anything, is it?
Or take Dan Shaughnessy’s opus, an article that he admitted was lazy but still kicked off a firestorm that has seen Boston and Atlanta radio stations sniping at one another for the last 24 hours, including former Patriots backup quarterback and current defender of Boston Scott Zolak:
So The Game radio station in Atlanta is now on race bait takes.....classeless, saying Boston is a racist city... that's The Game in Atlanta— Scott Zolak (@scottzolak) January 24, 2017
Throw in the projections of Patriots fans who literally cannot imagine Tom Brady and company losing this game and you have a recipe for frustration at the exact time that no Falcons fan should be feeling frustrated. These articles stand out because they hit that old familiar note indicating that the Falcons are either a bad or irrelevant franchise, so they rankle even when we’re getting a lot of positive press elsewhere. Whether Atlanta’s going to win this game is up for debate, but it’s no fluke that they’re here.
Here’s the thing: This happens to every NFL team, in one form or another, when they come under the lights in the run-up to the Super Bowl. It’s going to be especially bad considering one of the NFL’s titans is facing off against a team that wasn’t in the playoffs over the last three seasons. We just have to accept that and realize that it’s really not a big deal.
You’re never going to get respect from New England media and a lot of New England fans unless the Falcons win, so until then, we all need to take a deep breath, realize that the only thing that matters is that Atlanta is IN THE SUPER BOWL, and let the bad takes roll us over like a foul-smelling tide. In about a week-and-a-half, none of them will matter.