By John Fricke

The Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy took aim at Atlanta, the Falcons and our fans.

This is our response:

We’d like to begin by paraphrasing your opening statement to this:

We do not hate Boston nor its sports fans. We can’t even summon the old “Gone With The Wind” line when Rhett Butler tells Scarlett that “Frankly, I don’t give a damn.”

But if we did we would be guilty of following you into the muck.

Instead our answer is this…

You are Boston. Your city’s storied history is one all Americans feel pride for. There is no doubt of your incredible contributions to this nation. We cherish and honor that with the additional knowledge that, largely, your history has already been written.

We are Atlanta. Our new history is just beginning to unfold from an old history that you might recall.

There was a time in our collective pasts when the Sons of Boston rose up in arms. They joined those to march on us; and when they got here, they burned our city – board and nail – to the ground.

Still we were not beaten. Those ashes became the fertile soil of a revival. Of a place that now strives to become the next great city of the world. From that smolder came a phoenix rising from ruin to soar across the South. We are Atlanta.

You are Boston. Not long ago, when your town was hurting, we mourned your losses at the Marathon. We all joined “Boston Strong” from the distance. We prayed you would find healing. And when Patriots Day came again, and your best crossed that finish line without fear while Fenway cheers echoed across the way, we too rejoiced.

Now one of your adopted sons, a gunslinger schooled out of Chestnut Hill, joins the sons of Georgia and Florida and Alabama and beyond to lead a new march south, rallying behind a new cause, to Houston and Super Bowl LI. Our best will cross a different finish line on a different mission. And we will then rejoice in a different way.

You are Boston. Your sports accomplishments are a source of tremendous civic pride. Your teams fought and earned all their titles and your fans cried with joy at all your parades. But instead of reveling in all that glory, you instead chose to sink into the mud of Rumney Marsh.

Instead of welcoming us to one of the parties you seem to host annually, you fired shots in a war that does not exist.

You pointed out we have but one major pro sports championship. Which we know and accept is true. Today.

But after that fact…

You dismissed our teams as irrelevant, slammed our fans as uncaring and failed miserably in an attempt to use the pride we here have in the greatness of collegiate football as a hammer to pound on a people you obviously don’t know or understand.

You even went so far as to say you pity us.

Yet we do not envy you.

Yes, you are Boston. You’ve been there, many times. Please, act like it.

We are Atlanta. We are going there. When we arrive we will hold ourselves high.

You are Boston. When Sunday a week comes Atlanta will wish you good luck! And you will find that you need it.


We are… Atlanta. We are… the new history.

Rise up!

Comments (21)
  1. Just so Atlanta fans know, Shaughnessy is hated here. He does not speak for the fans.

  2. Love this. I’ve heard from Pats fans that this guy is just a troll. Still, great read.

  3. Paul Toste says:

    Boston sports fan here – Shaughnessy is HATED in Boston. So we’re brothers-in-arms on this one! I have no animosity toward Atlanta nor their sports fans. As a matter of fact, I was rooting for Atlanta to win the NFC because of the Patriots connections in your front office.

  4. Dan Minish says:

    Great, great piece! I loved every sentence! Not just the sentiment but the writing as well.As a former college prof of news and sports writing I would have given your column an A++! BTW,John Fricke, I commute from Carrollton to Delta Airlines,my employer, and listen to 92.9 The Game going to and from work. Used to be a 680 The Fan listener when I commuted to Marietta,but can’t pick up those folks once I get past the Camp Creek Parkway ramp. What a joke! Anyway, my highest compliments,John. You touched them all!! As does 92.9 The Game!

  5. Mark Grant says:

    As a born and bred Son of Boston I can assure the folks in Atlanta that Shaughnessy is a fraud, not only as viewed by the fans here but even when he looks in the mirror. He parodies his own shtick when making appearances on local media and was basically mocked right off the air on one of the local sports radio stations never to return for essentially having nothing to contribute. While it is true there is no sports ‘hate’ between our cities that does not mean we take you lightly, it’s simply a reflection of a lack of familiarity breeding contempt. No doubt there are teams you would feel more excited about playing against simply because you have some animosity for them as well. We certainly don’t pity any NFC city, except maybe Seattle as you have seen yourselves they are incredibly poor losers. Were the Patriots not your opponent this year many of us would be rooting for your team, there is a genuine affection here for Matt Ryan. Our lone Division 1 school hasn’t been relevant since he left. We are a pro town, you are an NCAA city and that says good things about both of us. We respect and participate in the legacy of the fans that came before us even as we pass it along to the next generation. As for Shaughnessy and his efforts to stir up a little something, don’t ever feed trolls it just makes them hungrier. .

  6. Using a Shaughnessy article as representative of sentiment in that market is ridiculous and the author knows it. Does Stephen A. Smith represent America, while we’re at it? Worth it for the page clicks, I guess

  7. Robert Smith says:

    “Shank” gets his nickname cuz he stabs folks in the back. He made his bones off the agony of longstanding RED sox fans with his curse of the Bambino. He’s better known here in Boston as the curly headed girlfriend…after losing a nickname war with Mensa member and ex Ed Sox Carl Everett

    Great article. Atlanta is a fabulous city with a mix of that Savanna southern charm and NYC culture and smarts. I’m a big Pats fan…two great franchises and the two best teams in each NFL represent the Super Bowl…I’d bet some Ipswich clams vs some boiled peanuts on the outcome. MAY the best team win.

  8. Lisa Venezia says:

    We don’t even listen to Dan Shaughnessy! He’s a moron!

  9. I’ve lived, work and was born, in Boston. Shaughnessy is an insufferable tw@t and speaks for no one other than himself. The only reason he still has a job is that a percentage of readers in any market are attracted trolling and infantile drama… I have much respect for the Atlanta fans and sports teams, present and past. I’m a Patriots fan and have been a season ticket holder and live 15 minutes from the stadium and I am fully aware that we could be running headlong into a buzz saw in the form of the Falcons.

  10. Alan Jones says:

    Context is important here and the only only people who follow Shank are Jets and Ravens fans. F
    Shank is despised in NE and only wrote this article to flame Atlanta fans

  11. Rob Britt says:

    To all the Patriots fans, thank you for your comments. I don’t know much about Shaughnessy, and, according to what should be his own “fanbase”, I’m not missing much. Your support is encouraging.

  12. Wow, John Fricke. I am so impressed!! This is beautifully written and eloquently stated. It’s perfect!

  13. Apparently you guys think Dan “the red headed step-child” is a Patriot employee or even a fan, he’s not. If you polled 100 Patriot fans you might get 1 that likes him. Out of 100 Patriot fans you’d also get 1 clinically insane guy, but I digress.

  14. BTW, the globe is owned by silent partners of the Red Sox, who compete for the same fanbase.

  15. Andy Lynch says:

    Very well written piece! I am from Boston. Born in the city, went to high school in the city, went to college in the western part of Massachusetts. I now am married to my beautiful wife who hails from southern Georgia. She has been a lifelong Georgia sports fan (Dawgs, Braves, Falcons) just as I have been a lifelong fan of all Boston and New England teams. Suffice it to say that there is a little tension in our house right now. Oh, and did I mentioned out house is in Fayetteville, GA? After living in New England we moved here 5 years ago to be closer to her family and I do not regret it one bit. The people here are lovely, and while it took me some time to “readjust my time expectations” at the grocery store, ha ha, we are gladly staying.

    Quick story about Shank: I was at the Last Drop, a bar near Boston, one night and he was there by himself. I knew i would have one chance to ask him a question. So I asked “Dan, why do you hate the Red Sox so much?” Yes, not only does he disparage team outside of Boston, he does so to his own local clubs. Why, you ask? For the readers, the eyeballs, the clicks. That night we actually had a good conversation and he admitted as much. His job is to rile up people and get them talking about his writing, no matter whom it might offend or infuriate.

    Sorry for the length of this comment, but suffice it to say, he’s been a troll long before the term “troll” came into vogue. Please do not take his “work” as the opinion of all New Englanders or Patriots’ fans. With that said, Go Pats!

  16. Janet Healy says:

    Dan Shaughnessy is a complete and utter ass. Trust me. No one in Boston likes him and he most definitely does NOT speak for Boston Patriots fans.

    On behalf of Boston, the Patriots and their fans, may I offer an apology to Atlanta, the Falcons and their fans for the idiocy of a singular MORON.

  17. my Aunty Mila just got Toyota Highlander just by some part-time working online with a pc…
    Get More Information>>>>>>>>>>>

  18. This moron trolled Cleveland, the Cavs, and the Indians before the Celtics and the Red Sox were humiliated by each Cleveland team. He’s a hack who makes his living writing ill-informed, non-researched pieces based on stereotypes and simple-mindedness. Here are some of his gems:

    Keep in mind, this is a man who’s so ugly, the paper uses a cartoon drawing instead of his photo. THE BOSTON GLOBE. A CARTOON.

    That basically says it all.

    From a person born and raised in Americus, GA, and a die-hard Braves, Dawgs, and Falcons fan, let’s put the New England patsy in his place. Along with all of his bretheren. Don’t just win, win by 60.

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