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You say the Falcons are legit? Buddy, I’ve heard it before


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You say the Falcons are legit? Buddy, I’ve heard it before

I have this problem. I can never fully concentrate on watching the local NFL club actually play because I have one eye on that door.

See it? It’s the one that says, “Falcons Annals.” And I keep waiting for Dan Henning to walk through and bum a cigarette. Or Norm Van Brocklin to barge in and start stacking chairs. Or Marion Campbell to amble over and say, “What’s up, gahz?” (Swampy talk for “guys.”)

I came to work here in 1984. It took seven years before I actually saw a winning Falcons’ season, and when finally one arrived Jerry Glanville was coaching and the stereo was blaring so loud — “Back in Black” and “Wild Wild West” and “2 Legit 2 Quit” — that I never heard a single word in any postgame interview and I was too distracted by the sight of Wayne Newton sitting next to Hammer in the press box for anything to register.

And now I watch the door, and I wait. For Wayne Newton to sing, “Danke Schoen.” Or for Hammer to put a move on somebody. (On that surrealistic Sunday, Deion Sanders intercepted a pass and was returning it and Hammer stood up in the press box and yelled, “Put a move on him!”) Or for Steve Broussard to hit air.

I watch the door, and I wait for the other shoe to drop. I wait for the phone call in my hotel room at 10:40 p.m. on Super Bowl eve and the voice on the line to say, “My friend at a Miami TV station says a Falcon just got arrested.” And then, 20 minutes later, for the follow-up that begins, “It gets even better. It’s Eugene Robinson.”

I watch the door and I await the worst because, to be frank, how could you not? Forty-three seasons and never consecutive winning campaigns. The grim and resolute power of the great fickle Bird logo. The faith that, no matter how good anything might seem, that door is going to fly open and O.J. Santiago is going to ride in on a golf cart — and fall off the darned thing.

Only now I’m starting to wonder. Is it OK to take that one eye off the dark door? To borrow from “Marathon Man” — which didn’t end well for anybody — is it safe?

I spent the preseason fretting about one thing or another, from Harry Douglas to overconfidence, and finally I found something that seemed a clear and present danger. The defense. It stank. And what happened when the Falcons started playing for real?

The defense made four takeaways and didn’t surrender a point until the game’s 57th minute. Charles Dimry did not walk through that door and line up at cornerback. Keith Brooking did not get fooled on third-and-16. Instead everything went right. Or, for a student of Falcons history, everything went wrong.

And now I’m thinking: Could it be? Could brainpower have been the missing element all along? Are Smitty the coach and TD the GM smart enough to outwit a legacy of letdowns now on its fifth deflating decade? Are the men who wear the great fickle Bird at last flop-free?

Me, I’d never say such a thing just yet. Me, I’m still eyeing that door. But I’m starting to wonder. I’m starting to think there might indeed be a trophy behind that door, and not Glanville’s faux California Trophy. This one’s named after a coach. His first name was Vince. But I dare not mention his last name lest I jinx …

Wait! I see something! Guy says his name is Aundray Bruce, and he’s toting a machete!

http://blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/200...ell-me-another/

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At first glance this article might make you a little angry, especially coming from someone at the AJC. I still might be a little PO'd. But really you can't blame a lot of people for feeling the way he does I guess. Me, I wouldn't even dare think that way about my Falcons. I only think about the future. Hopefully everyone else thinks the same way I do. I know our FO does, because none of them where here during those times.

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At first glance this article might make you a little angry, especially coming from someone at the AJC. I still might be a little PO'd. But really you can't blame a lot of people for feeling the way he does I guess. Me, I wouldn't even dare think that way about my Falcons. I only think about the future. Hopefully everyone else thinks the same way I do. I know our FO does, because none of them where here during those times.

I don't see how it could make anybody angry, it's not even about the current team. It's about the tragic history of the franchise and all of the times that Falcons fans thought the team had turned the corner only to have their hopes and dreams crushed. That has a psychological effect on the fanbase that can't really be denied, and that's the point of the article.

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Wait! I see something! Guy says his name is Aundray Bruce, and he’s toting a machete!

Don't worry, that's just Jamaal Anderson. And chances are he's gonna trip over his own feet or get blocked by some furniture on his way over to you anyways, so I wouldn't fret about the machete.

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I don't see how it could make anybody angry, it's not even about the current team. It's about the tragic history of the franchise and all of the times that Falcons fans thought the team had turned the corner only to have their hopes and dreams crushed. That has a psychological effect on the fanbase that can't really be denied, and that's the point of the article.

It is right after we beat dominated the 11-5 AFC East Champs of 2008. Look at how this article is written and tell me this guy isn't trying to step on CURRENT optimism, not focus on the past. (READ MY WHOLE POST BEFORE RESPONDING JUST TO THIS)

I am not looking to be inspired by the AJC, but I'm also not looking for a Moore replacement that constantly makes me feel bad for liking this team (or a racist for some reasons only Moore could come up with). Every f'ing year the AJC feels obligated to bring up the "non-consecutive winning seasons curse" to it's readers. It is a great way to take the past failures and blanket present successes. Relish in Moore's unadulterated joy of the 2005 season where we started 4-0, looked to break the curse, and then fell apart. Combine that with the great piece(s) on how the Braves keep blowing it right after we lost an 18 inning game to the Astros, and if you are a full Atlanta sports fan, misery loves company.

The truth is our paper sucks and has sucked for...EVER. The gimmick of putting down the team to sell papers gets tedious but that has been the MO for...EVER. I mean, even this messageboard waits until a *LOSS* before it starts being negative. The AJC can't even wait to do that and apparently neither can Mark Bradley with his pat you on the back with one hand and punch you in the groin with the other thinkpiece.

I love being reminded of Eugene Robinson's debauchery/Santiago's golfcart injury right after we beat Miami because it is so uplifting and relevant! Thanks Mark!

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It is right after we beat dominated the 11-5 AFC East Champs of 2008. Look at how this article is written and tell me this guy isn't trying to step on CURRENT optimism, not focus on the past. (READ MY WHOLE POST BEFORE RESPONDING JUST TO THIS)

I am not looking to be inspired by the AJC, but I'm also not looking for a Moore replacement that constantly makes me feel bad for liking this team (or a racist for some reasons only Moore could come up with). Every f'ing year the AJC feels obligated to bring up the "non-consecutive winning seasons curse" to it's readers. It is a great way to take the past failures and blanket present successes. Relish in Moore's unadulterated joy of the 2005 season where we started 4-0, looked to break the curse, and then fell apart. Combine that with the great piece(s) on how the Braves keep blowing it right after we lost an 18 inning game to the Astros, and if you are a full Atlanta sports fan, misery loves company.

The truth is our paper sucks and has sucked for...EVER. The gimmick of putting down the team to sell papers gets tedious but that has been the MO for...EVER. I mean, even this messageboard waits until a *LOSS* before it starts being negative. The AJC can't even wait to do that and apparently neither can Mark Bradley with his pat you on the back with one hand and punch you in the groin with the other thinkpiece.

I love being reminded of Eugene Robinson's debauchery/Santiago's golfcart injury right after we beat Miami because it is so uplifting and relevant! Thanks Mark!

And there's the point of the article flying over your head, well out of your grasp.

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And there's the point of the article flying over your head, well out of your grasp.

What he said. The article isn't about this current team at all. It's about the fragile emotional state of most Falcons fans. He said NOTHING in the article that could be seen as ripping on or tearing down the current administration of the team or the players.

I like Mark Bradley, been reading him since I was a kid. I don't think he is anything like Terrance Moore.

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I don't think there's anything wrong with him writing what most of the long time fans think (including me). I love my Birds or wouldn't have stuck with them since the '70s but I also have learned to take the big wins (like Sunday's) in context of the whole season. The only thing we've secured with that game is the 2nd overall selection should we and Miami both finish 1-15 this year.

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And there's the point of the article flying over your head, well out of your grasp.

Whatever's in your grasp, let go of it and wash it.

Yep, this wasn't a reminder of the past blanketed in two optimistic paragraphs at the end. In no way shape or form was it a "get pissed at the beginning" then "have some hope at the end" article. That's good journalism and that is what the AJC is known for!

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Whatever's in your grasp, let go of it and wash it.

Yep, this wasn't a reminder of the past blanketed in two optimistic paragraphs at the end. In no way shape or form was it a "get pissed at the beginning" then "have some hope at the end" article. That's good journalism and that is what the AJC is known for!

Using sarcasm when it's clear you didn't understand something in the first place is pretty foolish.

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Using sarcasm when it's clear you didn't understand something in the first place is pretty foolish.

Being condescending and sarcastic aren't that much different. I did understand the article and ironically took history of written articles and applied it to a quasi-optimistic article about history.

Your opinion differs from mine, but going the "you didn't understand it" route is borderline juvenile.

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How could anyone who has watched the Falcons over the years NOT feel the way MB writes about??? That's why IF we do break this LONG LONG LOOOOONG history of failure/bad luck/curse whatever you want to call it....we need to have a parade down Peachtree for TD, Smitty and the team. I want to rip that monkey off our collective backs and STOMP IT INTO OBLIVION !!!!

Serenity now... serenity now

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I don't see how any rational fan could be angry at that article. If you are an Atlanta sports fan then you are one of the unluckiest fans in the world. One world title in ALL sports in the HISTORY of the city. That is beyond horrible. I hope we are finally breaking the Falcons curse with the current regime but I'll wait to puff out my chest until AFTER they do something.

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I don't see how any rational fan could be angry at that article. If you are an Atlanta sports fan then you are one of the unluckiest fans in the world. One world title in ALL sports in the HISTORY of the city. That is beyond horrible. I hope we are finally breaking the Falcons curse with the current regime but I'll wait to puff out my chest until AFTER they do something.

I am tired of the same article coming up over and over and over and over and over and over and over, year after year after year after year after year.

Link

Mark Bradley

More kudos for the Falcons: Is it all too much too soon?

6:01 am June 24, 2009, by Mark Bradley

It was just a year ago we weren’t sure the Falcons would win a game. Now they’re all the rage. From Mike Smith being ranked the league’s eighth-best coach by RealScouts to five Birds being listed among Peter Schrager’s top 99 NFL players on FoxSports.com to Roddy White being named the fourth-most indispensable player by Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders …

And now this: Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com rates the Falcons’ coaches the best staff in the NFC South. Which, given that Sean Payton has taken New Orleans to the NFC title game and John Fox has led Carolina to the Super Bowl, is saying something.

And part of me thinks it’s great. It’s been a while since anybody had nice things to say about this franchise, and the folks in charge are good people. But another part of me — the part that says, “You know, this organization still hasn’t had consecutive winning seasons” — wonders if it’s too much too soon.

The 2008 Falcons were a delight because nothing, almost literally, was expected of them. The Sporting News, as we all recall, picked them to go 1-15. (I picked them to go 5-11 and felt charitable.) They went 11-5 and made the playoffs. But now the forecasts are for bigger and better, and the schedule is much tougher and …

The huzzahs regarding the Falcons are:

* Justified.

* Premature.

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Have we ever spent a summer getting excited about the Falcons only to wind up in the gutter along the boulevard of broken dreams? Only about a dozen times.

I’m thinking it won’t happen this fall. I’m thinking this organization is too sound and this roster too gifted. But honesty compels me to report felt the same in 1999, when a team coming off a Super Bowl went 5-11 after Jamal Anderson hurt his knee; and in 2003, when the giddiness of the playoff win at Lambeau was lost once Michael Vick broke his ankle, and in 2005, when Jim Mora’s NFC runners-up started 6-2 and managed not to have that second consecutive winning season.

My head tells me these Falcons are different. But my gut keeps growling and saying, “Yeah, but they’re still the Falcons.” And here’s where I reach for the Rolaids.

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Good article, representative of the way a lot of Falcons fans feel. Not me. I've already embraced that this is the beginning of the glory days for the Falcons.

agree. Know I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Something is going to happen, it may be at a point where we're 6-2 again like the last time we had a chance to feel this good about our future or it may be sooner. Just too much history weighing down to get too excited right now.

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I am tired of the same article coming up over and over and over and over and over and over and over, year after year after year after year after year.
If we want these articles to stop, we have to stop repeating history. We have the chance, but any Falcon fan who's been around a while will be tempered in their excitement.
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It speaks to what I call fan reformation and it is a scary proposition. I, myself, felt that way until December of last year. I didn't trust our FO. In fact, after NO shredded our defense I hoped we would not make the playoffs if that was going to be a sign that this team was complete. I came back around but you don't shake off years of misery overnight.

I watched the Bills/Pats game and it just amazes me how things always seem to work out for the Pats. Until recently we were the polar opposite of the Pats. Things always managed to NOT work out for us.

I can't claim that all my nagging doubts have been squelched but I am mostly a reformed fan now.

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Being condescending and sarcastic aren't that much different. I did understand the article and ironically took history of written articles and applied it to a quasi-optimistic article about history.

Your opinion differs from mine, but going the "you didn't understand it" route is borderline juvenile.

Ok you're just being ridiculous.

Anyone who is over maybe 25 years old and has been a Falcons fan for a substantial part of their life already has all of what this article says in the back of their head 24/7... which is why each and every single year you are going to see this board get tense when we're hovering around 5-7 wins. We've been through this sort of thing before. We went from the Super Bowl to nothing. We went from the NFC Championship game to nothing. We went from 4-12 and no hope in sight to 11-5 playoff coulda-shoulda-wouldas.

No idea at all why you're upset about this article. The AJC is trash, but this article is anything but Moore material. If anything, it's a Falcons fan acknowledging that things look uncommonly bright this go around while preparing himself for what our franchise has deemed inevitable.

If it really bothers you that much then move on from it. People keep so much negativity in their lives these days.

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Ok you're just being ridiculous.

Anyone who is over maybe 25 years old and has been a Falcons fan for a substantial part of their life already has all of what this article says in the back of their head 24/7... which is why each and every single year you are going to see this board get tense when we're hovering around 5-7 wins. We've been through this sort of thing before. We went from the Super Bowl to nothing. We went from the NFC Championship game to nothing. We went from 4-12 and no hope in sight to 11-5 playoff coulda-shoulda-wouldas.

No idea at all why you're upset about this article. The AJC is trash, but this article is anything but Moore material. If anything, it's a Falcons fan acknowledging that things look uncommonly bright this go around while preparing himself for what our franchise has deemed inevitable.

If it really bothers you that much then move on from it. People keep so much negativity in their lives these days.

Life long Falcons fan of 32 years now. This is nothing new so don't try to educate me on the curse. That is the whole point right there: WE ALL KNOW ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!! A fan of 12 could go on any online football community/messageboard and see the "never had back to back winning seasons" jibe at a Falcons fan in less than 30 minutes of searching. It is the quintessential reminder of this team's mediocre history, other than never winning the big one. Since the Saints never went to a Super Bowl, the curse comes up a *LOT* when trash talking.

Now I am not upset about anything, I am stating my opinion. I expect nothing from the AJC because also being a native Atlantan, the ol' moniker of "Atlanta Urinal and Constipation" still stand true today: It is crap. I can't be upset because the paper itself is horrible.

The curse articles have been going on since we lost to Arizona. We know. The author knows. The readers, for the most part, know. Then during the preseason, the articles continue. The only person that wouldn't know about the curse at this point would be a bandwagon BC/Matt Ryan fan or someone very young that couldn't understand the game/season last year.

Now we just beat Miami, a good team. Is it necessary to bring up the curse again? Not in my eyes. It is already there in my gut, a reminder each and every year. However, we looked really good. Why kill the enthusiasm so early?

We have a retooled coaching staff, offense, and now a defense. Even outside fans that just love football don't understand "curses" and what not. This team is taking the field for it's first season. We're 1-0. The only way to be negative about that is to think of the past.

This is like blaming a goat or trading Babe Ruth: It's a hang up of superstition.

I'll move on when I'm good and ready. If you don't like it, take your own advice and move on.

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Thanks for the post. I don't know that any article speaks to my feelings as a Falcons fan more. The only difference is I do have this profound hope that says they WILL put it all together someday.

I said it to a couple of Dolphins fans Sunday. "What, are you waiting for me to respond to that? I've been a Falcons fan too long to talk smack about anyone."

I would say I have turned the corner. I expect this team to win. However, I haven't gotten over my need to protect myself just a bit. I would descibe my short term outlook as "Guardedly Optimistic." My five year outlook is much more positive. In fact, I'm sure it will happen. The core group we have here now will wear a ring. We have a owner who has ALWAYS been committed to winning. He has recently added a more realistic understanding of what his role in that ultimate victory should be. He has learned how to identify solid football minds and allow them to run the on field product.

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