Losing is easy, winning is hard. Staying on top once you get there is the hardest thing of all.
There was a time, been around 40 years ago now, that Sports Illustrated wrote a big cover store on sports in Atlanta and titled it “Loserville, USA.”
The teams in town at the time were, well, bad. OK. Really bad.
Still it was also a fun time to be an Atlanta fan. I’d go to Fulton County to watch bad baseball or sloppy football. Then I’d head to the Omni for average basketball and middle-of-the-road hockey.
Hey there was no pressure. The teams weren’t very good, but then we fans didn’t expect much. Play the best you can and if you don’t win, oh well.
Since that article there have been wins. Lots of them. There’s been a World Series title and multiple appearances in the fall classic. There’s been a pair of trips to the Super Bowl.
Georgia and Georgia Tech both won a national title in football, both made the Final Four in men’s basketball. Still it’s been up and down and there’s never consistently been a true winner in the area. The Braves were as close to a powerhouse as we’ve ever had.
Now winning has come again. This time it’s the NFL club. The team that is loaded with talent from the top down. There’s no reason I can find that the Falcons shouldn’t make a run (and get to… and win) more Super Bowls over the next five to seven seasons.
Still I hear, see and read fans who claim that true Atlanta fans are “realistic.” What in the Sam hell does that even mean?
Oh, I am “realistic” since I whine about why we don’t win titles and I am “realistic” if I “know for a fact” that we will choke again and that our management or coaches or players will find a way to fail. Being “realistic” is easy! It’s simple to be a quitting whiner. All you have to do is quit… and whine.
I have my own reality. Now, it takes more faith and more work than the other. My reality is that this town needs an emotional sports enema. Flush that crap! Give me fans who expect success!
If you are a Falcons fan you just tasted that. During the playoff run it never even crossed your mind we would not beat Seattle or Green Bay. Matter of fact, it did not surprise you when we torched both of them. Further, you expected the blowout because you knew how great this team was becoming. And those fans know, the Super Bowl was 28-3 and that was the real game! What happened after that point was 50-plus years of collective Atlanta sports history thrown into less than 20 minutes of ‘what?’
That is now out of our system. So here is the real reality.
The Braves are building for a long run through a strong farm system. This will happen and they will be strong contenders and World Series champs again, not too far down the road.
The Hawks have an owner committed to building a NBA champion. He will make this team into a true contender.
Tech and UGA have fresh new coaches in their key sports, determined to run to national prominence.
And the Falcons are going to win. And win a lot. By a lot of points! And yes, they will win a Super Bowl… maybe this season.
So please reset yourself. Stop telling me what I am supposed to be “realistic” about.
Stop whining! Start winning!