By Knox Bardeen

After writing a scathing column in The Boston Globe Monday where Dan Shaughnessy stated it was hard for Patriots fans to get excited about Super Bowl LI because of their opponent… the Atlanta Falcons, many people who call Atlanta home took offense.The Atlanta sports media scene exploded.

Shaughnessy joined “A to Z with Mark Zinno” Tuesday evening to discuss the column. You can listen by clicking below, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Shaughnessy explained why Atlanta is a dull opponent: “As we sit here in New England, the Falcons are [a] young, upstart team… not a lot of history and that takes a little bit away from the two-week, build-up buzz that we are used to. [It’s] just because all the other options were frankly, more appealing. That would be the [New York] Giants, who beat the Patriots twice in Super Bowls, and the [Dallas] Cowboys team being in the state of Texas and being “America’s Team,” that had a lot of cache. Seattle, the team New England played two years ago, Green Bay, there’s great football history and tradition and they’ve played the Pats in the Super Bowl. All those things were just were a little bit more buzz for story lines. This is not a dis of Atlanta’s team or their chances or their talent. It’s just the fact that it’s not as appealing as a matchup as some of the others.”
  • When Zinno equated the column and Shaughnessy’s defense of it to a back-handed insult, Shaughnessy said: “There’s no disgrace in being a college town that cares about their college teams more than the pro team. That’s what you are.”
  • Shaughnessy used the notion that two hockey teams left Atlanta, pro attendance is bad and the city keeps building new stadiums as detractors from Atlanta as a true sports haven.

Here’s the entire interview: