Some people are fans of the Atlanta Falcons. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Atlanta Falcons. This 2012 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read the other Why Your Team Sucks 2012 previews here.
1. GO BARVES. Right up until 2005, you could count on the Atlanta Braves to annually waste a playoff spot. They'd win their division, march into the playoffs, and then immediately be escorted out of those playoffs, putting up all the resistance of wet toilet paper. That's the Falcons now. The Falcons have taken up the Braves' quest to be the least effective good team in their respective sport. Maybe they'll win 10 games this year, but does anyone expect this team to actually DO anything once it reaches the postseason? FUCK AND NO. They've lost their last two playoff games by a combined score of 72-23. You may as well just have five teams in the NFC playoff field. Any team playing them in the wild card round in January may as well write BYE on the fucking schedule. If the Falcons end up preventing me from watching Cam Newton in a playoff game, I will buy a million copies of A Man In Full, hollow them out, take a shit in them, and mail one to every Falcons fan. Because you do not DESERVE the playoffs, especially ever since...
2. The goddamn 1998-99 NFC title game. I'm a Vikings fan, and so I am biased. That said, FUCK YOU O.J. SANTIAGO GAHHHHHHHH I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU FOREVER AND EVER. No one wanted you people in the Super Bowl that year! NO ONE DENIES THIS! You ruined everything! You and Chris Chandler and Jamal Anderson and Dan Reeves's decayed left ventricle... YOU ARE THE ENEMIES OF HISTORY. You robbed Cris Carter of his one shot at a title! You robbed Randall Cunningham of his greatest triumph! YOU STOLE MY INNOCENCE! If I could go back in time, I'd make sure Gary Anderson made that kick. I wouldn't even kill Hitler first. I'd let Hitler LIVE, just because I'm so bitter and selfish and despise you so very, very much.
3. There's something not quite right about Matt Ryan. Maybe it's the fact that his head coach is prone to going for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 29 in overtime. Maybe it's the fact that there are too many other, better QBs in the NFC. Maybe it's the fact that he kinda has a little beer gut. All I know is that Matt Ryan isn't the top-tier quarterback that the Falcons so desperately present him as being. They brought in Julio Jones last spring so that Ryan would claim the elusive "elite passer" label and he failed. He's a fraudulent superstar (like Ryan Reynolds!), someone who's very good at his job, but clearly not the best in the world at it. He's not as good as Aaron Rodgers, or Drew Brees, or Eli Manning. And now that Michael Turner is on his last legs, the Falcons will try even harder to make Ryan their centerpiece, to push him as the Hall of Fame-caliber player he'll never become. I wouldn't be surprised if GM Tom Dimitroff took a moment off from dazzling Peter King with his CNN viewing habits to stitch the name MANNING across the back of Ryan's jersey.
4. This is the year Julio Jones and Roddy White finally have their gang war! Never forget Gregg Easterbrook's trenchant analysis:
Jones is a highly touted glamour player from the University of Alabama. White went to the University of Alabama-Birmingham, which in sports is the state's public college for those who were not recruited by the prestige campus. Could there be some issue between these two players?
THERE COULD BE! This might finally be the year when Roddy decides he's had enough of Julio's GLOREE BOY ways and confronts him, only to be shot dead by Julio right in the middle of the locker room. That's what happens when you trade so many valuable assets to pick up a me-first player (WARNING: Me-firstness not verified!) like Jones. You're sending a message to your team and to the nation's CHILDREN that you prize individuality over team scrappitude.
And surely, Gregggggg would not approve of the Falcons trading for Asante Samuel, who routinely jumps routes in order to boost his interception totals. That's classic non-third-tight-end behavior.
5. Hear it from Falcons fans!
Mike Smith is clueless. Matt Ryan cannot throw the be ball more than 15 yards downfield. They traded two drafts worths of picks for Julio Jones, whose hamstrings are made of silly putty. They hired the Jaguars offensive coordinator to try and right the ship. Yes, you read that correctly: They hired the mastermind behind one of football's historically inept offenses. On the bright side, our last three playoff appearances have resulted in losses to eventual Super Bowl teams, so at least the failures were justified.
I grew up in Georgia when six broadcast television stations were the norm. The result was countless Sundays watching the Billy Joe Tollivers, Hugh Millens, Scott Campbells and Bobby Herbets of the world lead an NFL offense against Joe Montana/Steve Young led 49ers and solid LA Rams teams. After this tragic upbringing, I should be basking in the Golden Age of Falcons football but somehow its more painful and saddening than ever. First, we are going to steal a playoff spot from a deserving NFC team only to have our defense outscore the offense before heading off to the Gold Club to start the offseason after the first game regardless of seed. Next, the fan base would rather the herpes infested, dog rasslin' Ron Mexico lead the team despite the fact he is on record saying he shafted the team the whole time he was in Hotlanta. The owner looks like a creepy Rhett Butler that cannot stay off the sidelines. The franchise quarterback goes by Matty, which is fine for a 3 year old, but any grown man calling him Matty Ice today should feel a little creepy and make sure they are not on certain registries. Dan Reeves wasted a decade of John Elway's talent but led Atlanta to the Super Bowl.
Did I mention that the current rendition of the uniforms was brought out of the mothballs by Jerry Glanville? How does an NFL franchise post 1995 allow a Jerry Glanville derived decision to stand? I can only assume half of the offensive practice snaps are spent on Run-N-Shoot plays, this might explain the playoff performance.
I understand Arthur Blank owns the team and can do as he pleases, but he needs to stop coming down to the sidelines very early in the 4th quarter, standing pretty much beside head Coach Mike Smith, like he wants to call in a play or something. I can't imagine the fear players, coaches, and staff feel when Blank is up front on the sidelines during a critical part of the 4th quarter, looking like the head of the mafia, in his $5,000 suit, breathing down everyone's neck. STAY IN THE BOOTH WHERE YOU BELONG.
Seriously every single time I go to Home Depot there is ALWAYS a fucking follow up visit. They forgot to remove the security tag, the shit's the wrong size, the old lady wants a different size. It's fucking HORRIBLE. That place needs to die. I fucking HATE Home Depot. I don't know anyone that likes Home Depot. Thank you.
And there you have it. Best of luck to all the Falcons fans selling their playoff tickets on StubHub. Atlanta sports fans are the fucking worst.
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