The Homer's Guide To The 2014 Atlanta Falcons
By TJ Hatter
So I was at the gym this weekend #Humblebrag and on the main TV in front of all the cardio machines was the Food Network. The hell are you doing, gym? This is like putting "Cheers" on TV during an AA meeting. It also didn't help that the poor woman in front of me was watching it the way a sex addict watches porn. There would have been less saliva if you replaced her on the treadmill with a doberman. Seriously, what is the point of having that channel being one of the 12 you carry, gym? If this woman rushed home after her workout and then rewarded herself with that ridiculous chocolate thing some over-caffeinated chef was making, there was utterly no point to her toiling away for 45 minutes. Is this your scheme to create dependency? You people are sociopathic monsters.
Anyway, time for me once again to put forward a column based on Drew Magary's brilliant "Why Your Team Sucks" series.
The Atlanta Falcons, who have had a pretty solid 10-15 years of providing fun for their fans. Atlanta gets a fair amount of flak as a sports town, which is partially because it and Nashville are southern capitals that attract a wide variety of fans and also partially because of traffic. Driving around that city is tough and that takes the fun out the game experience. But if you've been a Falcon fan since 1998 you've done pretty well for yourselves. You had the most exciting player in the league when he wasn't busy brutally murdering dogs like a serial killer, and now you have an organization that fairly reliably leaves you smiling on Sunday evenings throughout the fall. With the exception of last year.
4-12. Like the Houston Texans, the ATL was a trendy pick to go to the Super Bowl this time last year only to have that blowed up real good. So many key players were hurt. So many. Where was Hawkeye Pierce and the rest of the M*A*S*H gang when they were needed? Nowhere, that's where.
Mike Smith, who has produced a reliable winner in Atlanta and does some nice charity work and probably has the best Sopranos-esque coiffure in NFL football. Lots of organizations would willingly perform horrific acts of self flagellation to have as competent a head coach.
Matt Ryan is an instant upgrade from his predecessor in that, as far as we know, he doesn't electrocute his pets. Ryan stepped into a bad situation and brought Atlanta right back to being relevant on the field rather than something we referenced when we had to explain to young children that there are jackasses out there that murder dogs. He's easily a top 10 NFL quarterback, which you need to have to be taken even remotely seriously in this league. For all the whining about the playoffs, the fact that he's in them is an accomplishment in and of itself. I'm not sure if people are aware of this but most teams, in fact, do not make the playoffs. The fact that Matt Ryan has and several of the teams the Falcons have lost to have won the Super Bowl means that people need to stop listening to the talking heads so much and stop being so entitled. Making the playoffs means you've had a great year. Stop being the turd in the punchbowl. Also, another thing about Matt Ryan? He also doesn't seem like he'd be a bad dude to have a beer with, particularly because he doesn't shoot household pets for fun.
Why Your Homerism Might Be Legit:
Your division has lots of talent, but feet of clay. Tampa Bay is going to be a question mark on offense, Cam Newton has no one to throw to in Carolina and the New Orleans Saints morph in the the Huntington High School Junior Varsity whenever they're on the road. Your schedule, to me, looks tougher than it should be given that you're coming off 4-12, but it could also be true that I'm putting way too much faith in teams like the Giants and Steelers having annoying bounce-back years as well. Just get your defense right, don't let being on Hard Knocks annoy you too much and stay healthy, Atlanta. You will absolutely have a chance to win this division.
Again, feel free to post comments supporting — or trolling — below. The Bataan Death March of Homerism continues with the Tampa Bay Bucs.