As the umpteenth pointless controversy and backup debate rages on to quench our summer thirst for anything football related, part of me wanted to just sit the entire Falcons fan base down and just make sure everyone’s on the same page.
Do you all realize how good we have it right now?
When you take a magnifying glass and survey the states of other teams in the NFL, you begin to think, “y’know, we’re in a pretty great spot right now, like, a really, totally great one.”
Just look at the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are about to go into their season with Josh Allen under center, a patchwork offensive line, and a passing offense whose best option just might be Charles Clay. Poor LeSean McCoy. The defense is better, but has yet to have a second season to cement Sean McDermott’s success. They literally might go 3-13, and plenty of NFL heads don’t think Allen will be the guy. If he’s not, that sets this team back about a half decade, so Bills fans will see their team be largely irrelevant if the kid from Wyoming doesn’t cut it. That...is not ideal.
Or, think of the Browns. They’ve won two games in the last...two seasons. A win a year! Or, the Raiders. The Raiders haven’t been relevant since 2002, and they brought back a coach who wants to take them back to 1998. Or, the Jets, who literally were responsible for the Butt Fumble, and have done nothing of note since their quarterback literally ran into and was technically tackled by another teammate’s butt. Or, the Cowboys, who will fail to do anything important until Jerry Jones retires. Or, the Saints, who won a Super Bowl in part by cheating in 2009, and gave us the ample opportunity to make 7-9 jokes at them for nearly a half decade, until last season, where their magical run was quite literally ended by a last-second touchdown in the divisional round of the playoffs. They are very good, except for that the best player on their team is nearly 40 years old. Or, the Dolphins, who peaked in 1972. Or, the Bengals, who peaked in “let’s bring a football team to Cincinnati!” Or, the Washington football team, who really don’t have a justifiable reason to still exist.
Right now, you could say that only the Eagles, Patriots, Rams, Texans and maybe Vikings are in equal-to-better shape than Atlanta for the next few years. DeShaun Watson still has to withstand the sophomore slump, and Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff...uh, aren’t Tom Brady. So...really...just the Eagles and Patriots. And, the Patriots could lose both Brady and Belichick at any point from here on out. And, the Eagles have to pay Wentz in a few years, and when they do, they’ll have to shed a lot of these lucrative contracts. Maybe the Packers? But we still need to see that defense get better. The Bears? Still a lot in the air there. The Niners? They won like six games. The Steelers? Big Ben is 100 years old.
Do you realize how well off the Falcons are? Yes, the Atlanta Falcons. The team you cheer for. They’re one of the most stable, talented, well-coached teams in the NFL. Their star QB just signed a major extension, locking him in for the likely duration of his career.
Now, look, Steve Sarkisian worries you a bit, but heck, even if he’s just marginally better than last year, isn’t that all you need?
The team heads into 2018 with a third-place schedule and a team that could easily compete with a first-place schedule. They’ve got their most talented roster in years, aren’t coming off the most awful Super Bowl loss of all time and, have a young, hungry team that isn’t going to let the most awful Super Bowl loss of all time hold them back more than it has to. Do you realize how good the Falcons have it right now?
Now, things can change, and moments fade. But, while you’re in one of the good moments, enjoy it. If you just want to be Ebenezer Scrooge and call every season without a Super Bowl a failure, then that’s your right. But, for the rest of us cheery civilians, really begin to appreciate what the Falcons have built, and how fun 2018 is going to be, no matter the outcome. And, probably, how fun 2019, 2020 and 2021 will be. The Falcons are built to succeed, and while I can’t guarantee a ring for you, I can guarantee you’ll probably have a really good team to cheer for in that stretch, and perhaps even after.
So, take a second and breath it in. This is what it’s like to be one of the good teams that don’t have a lot to worry about. Don’t let this moment slip you by. Revel in cheering for something good, and don’t leave yourself kicking your own butt on the day we stink again for not appreciating what you had before it was gone.
Because, trust me, that day will come sooner or later. Better enjoy the sunny days before the clouds roll back. Sun’s in the forecast for a good bit. How special is that. How thankful we should be.