Ah, the NFL doldrums. We’re right in the thick of the time between the Super Bowl and the start of the new league year where the mind is prone to wander and you’re curmudgeonly sifting through an avalanche of mock drafts. With avalanches in mind, it’s time for some hard-hitting offseason #content.
The Winter Olympics, in my extremely humble opinion, are far superior to their summertime counterpart. Norse Gods flying down mountains at brain-melting speed. Cross-country skiing with guns. Tonya Harding. Compelling stuff.
So with the XXXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea in full-swing and the inevitability of combining something that makes you so sad with something so pure and unblemished, let’s imagine five Atlanta Falcons as Winter Olympians.
Biathlon: Matt Ryan
Endurance and accuracy.
Matt Ryan had some games in 2017 where his passing accuracy was a bit off, so I’m not sure you’d trust him on skis with a loaded rifle in his hands. But the 2016 iteration? Bring me the firepower. Biathlon is a grueling, long distance event requiring stamina and a keen eye. Ryan’s durability is unchallenged, having only missed two games in his entire career, and he has shown the capacity to put a football through a pinhole if he wants to. Put the man on skis.
Speed skating: Taylor Gabriel
I don’t know if Turbo can ice skate, but if he can I bet he does it real, real fast. Exploiting that 4.3 speed and cutting the inside lane puts a Falcon on the medal podium.
Figure skating: Julio Jones
Grace and footwork.
You know you want to see this. Even if it’s in your nightmares—you want to see it. Julio’s route-running prowess lends itself to some twirling in the ice rink, and his body control and dexterity at the NFL level is unparalleled. That toe-tap ballerina act he pulled against the Buccaneers for a touchdown in 2016 had all the trappings of a wide receiver taking secret skating lessons. Bring out the shiny metallic shirts.
Curling: Alex Mack
Balance and poise.
We all know center Alex Mack can maintain his feet when being physically assaulted by opposing defensive tackles, but does that equilibrium translate to something somewhat more … delicate? Yes, curling, a sport after my own heart. If American Matt Hamilton is the physical prototype, complete with a magic powers-wielding mustache, than Alex Mack will fit right in—albeit much, much larger. Let’s see how his ability to maintain a center of gravity works on ice.
Ice Hockey: Keanu Neal
Anticipation and anger.
I’d pay good money to see strong safety Keanu Neal check somebody into the boards at full sprint. It would be like a slow-motion train crash. He’s an enforcer on the field, and with Neal’s snap instincts and physicality, he’d be one on the ice as well. Now if Atlanta could just hold down an NHL team.
There you have it: your Atlanta Falcons Winter Olympic representatives. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of absurdity, feel free to do so in the comments.
(Author’s note: I’m lobbying Dave to change the Twitter handle to The Falcurlholic—he said no.)