I watched the Atlanta Falcons defeat the Seattle Seahawks in Saturday’s National Football League (NFL) playoffs. It was a lot of work. It’s pretty sad when you can’t relax and feel confident that your team can hold onto a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter.
That’s the plight of being a lifelong Falcons’ fan. Frustration. Disappointment. Finding defeat in certain victory.
The first season I really followed the Falcons was in 1977. That was the first year of the “Gritz Blitz” and a defense that set a record at that time for only allowing 129 points during a 14-game season.
There have certainly been some bright spots along the way.
The biggest moment was when Morten Anderson kicked the game winning field goal against Minnesota in the 1998 National Football Conference (NFC) championship to put the Falcons in their first Super Bowl. I was a very elated fan.
That elation was soon turned to another disappointment when the Falcons lost to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
Other disappointments that have conditioned me to be cautious over the years:
Dallas Cowboys 30, Atlanta Falcons 27 (1980 NFC Playoffs)
San Francisco 28, Atlanta Falcons 24 (2012 NFC Championship Game)
Green Bay Packers 48, Atlanta Falcons 21 (2010 NFC Playoffs)
Dallas Cowboys 20, Atlanta Falcons 17 (1978 NFC Playoffs)
So even with the victories, the Falcons have never had that “mojo” that a team needs to win consistently – especially in the playoffs. The image of Danny White leading the Cowboys back in the 1980 playoffs is still burned into the memories of Falcon fans. My stomach gets upset every time I see that game.
So forgive me if this seems a little negative. It isn’t just negativity, it has been my reality for the past 40 years. Expect disappointment but always hopeful.
I mean, the Cubs did win the World Series so anything is possible right?
Please don’t call Matt Ryan “Marty Ice” because that will mean a pick six is going to happen. I try not to be negative. Really I’m not.
When my wife asked me if I was excited about watching the Falcons’ game Saturday, I honestly answered “No” because it’s never easy. Watching the Falcons is a lot of work. I was physically worn out after the game.
That’s the life of a Falcons’ fan.
So now after a big win over the Seahawks, the Falcons will play again next week. I don’t care about who they play. It really doesn’t matter. I know it’s going to be another three hours of work.