The Atlanta Falcons demolished expectations and made a historic run to the Super Bowl in 2016. I didn’t expect it. You probably didn’t expect. But it happened nonetheless. And as welcome surprises go, this one was pretty neat.
Going forward we’re hoping the Falcons will keep trending in the right direction and somehow land back in the Super Bowl next season. That’s going to be extraordinarily difficult. Meanwhile, for what it’s worth, from a popularity standpoint, the Falcons are starting to get some respect. In fact, it appears the Falcons are particularly popular with young, talented football players. College Football 24/7 recently polled a random sampling of 25 players at the Senior Bowl. Consider this:
The Atlanta Falcons might not have won the Super Bowl, but they apparently won over their share of the 2017 draft class. Seven players polled chose the NFC champions as their favorite team, with a much more tradition-rich club -- the Dallas Cowboys -- finishing a close second with six votes. While the Falcons' high-flying offense is an easy draw for new fans, those at the Senior Bowl weren't all new.
This is significant for a couple reasons. First, it says something about the style of play in Atlanta. In short, the Falcons are playing fun football. Second, it shows how far this franchise has come. Not too long ago, the same random sampling would’ve produced dramatically different results.