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I have an opinion as to why our fan base is so divided


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My opinion is this; we live in the South where college football rules all. The Falcons, for a lot of fans are second fiddle to the favorite college team. We have a diverse fanbase that consists of Tech fans, UGA fans, Auburn fans, Alabama fans and a few other smatterings of other schools. With those 4 main college schools all being rivals of one another, its hard for all 4 fanbases to come together and share common ideals in the NFL world when they are all pulling in opposing directions in the college football world.

You throw in that combination with a 5th element of folks that go to games that have no real allegence to the team but rather pick out a single player and place the guy on some sort of pedestal to be worshipped. I definitely don't want to bring Vick into any more discussions as I am glad that fiasco with him coming back here is over and I hope he never comes back but, it is a perfect example of what I am saying. There were a large number of people there yesterday that had no allegence to the Falcons at all but just wanted to see that idiot Vick do well. When you mix this "non-Falcon" fan group in with the mixture of the other 4, you have a hodge-podge of crap.

You don't have this going on in other cities with huge united fanbases such as Philly and New York and Denver and such. These places have nothing else but their pro-teams to cling to. No big college program to speak of and the ones that they do have, they don't follow with in real passion. So, each fanbase is united behind thier particular teams. As such, you would never see the idiot fiasco we witnessed yesterday in a place like Philly. They support the Eagles and nothing but the Eagles during football season. If McNabb had pulled a Vick and left their team in utter chaos and then came back there and scored a touchdown, there would not be one person in that place cheering. They would be ripping up seats from the concrete and chunking them on the field at him. That's is what a united fanbase does.

All that said, it is what it is. Its just what we are made up of in my opinion. And unfortunately for all of us that really love the Falcons, because of we live in the land where college football is king and the Falcons are the only team that is local to be embraced by these 4 college football powers, we never going to be any different. Hopefully our ownership can build us into a seasonal playoff team/super bowl contender and we will experience some unity behind that but I am not really sure that it will.

This is just how I see our fanbase and think why we, as a group, are really shizophrenic. Hopefully this can change with team success.

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My opinion is this; we live in the South where college football rules all. The Falcons, for a lot of fans are second fiddle to the favorite college team. We have a diverse fanbase that consists of Tech fans, UGA fans, Auburn fans, Alabama fans and a few other smatterings of other schools. With those 4 main college schools all being rivals of one another, its hard for all 4 fanbases to come together and share common ideals in the NFL world when they are all pulling in opposing directions in the college football world.

You throw in that combination with a 5th element of folks that go to games that have no real allegence to the team but rather pick out a single player and place the guy on some sort of pedestal to be worshipped. I definitely don't want to bring Vick into any more discussions as I am glad that fiasco with him coming back here is over and I hope he never comes back but, it is a perfect example of what I am saying. There were a large number of people there yesterday that had no allegence to the Falcons at all but just wanted to see that idiot Vick do well. When you mix this "non-Falcon" fan group in with the mixture of the other 4, you have a hodge-podge of crap.

You don't have this going on in other cities with huge united fanbases such as Philly and New York and Denver and such. These places have nothing else but their pro-teams to cling to. No big college program to speak of and the ones that they do have, they don't follow with in real passion. So, each fanbase is united behind thier particular teams. As such, you would never see the idiot fiasco we witnessed yesterday in a place like Philly. They support the Eagles and nothing but the Eagles during football season. If McNabb had pulled a Vick and left their team in utter chaos and then came back there and scored a touchdown, there would not be one person in that place cheering. They would be ripping up seats from the concrete and chunking them on the field at him. That's is what a united fanbase does.

All that said, it is what it is. Its just what we are made up of in my opinion. And unfortunately for all of us that really love the Falcons, because of we live in the land where college football is king and the Falcons are the only team that is local to be embraced by these 4 college football powers, we never going to be any different. Hopefully our ownership can build us into a seasonal playoff team/super bowl contender and we will experience some unity behind that but I am not really sure that it will.

This is just how I see our fanbase and think why we, as a group, are really shizophrenic. Hopefully this can change with team success.

other fan bases laugh at us.

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In no particular order:

* College football rules in the south

* No history or consistency of winning in over 40 years (first bullet point exacerbates this)

* Larger transient population than the majority of other major cities. I don't have any facts to support this, only my experience as a 35 year old Atlanta native and 10 year season ticket holder. There isn't a single season ticket holder within a few rows of me that I've talked to that is born and raised in Atlanta. Many of them are Falcons fans on a regular basis until their team comes into town (i.e. there are transient Dolphin, Saints, Eagles, and Steelers fans in Section 206, but they root for the Falcons).

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In no particular order:

* College football rules in the south

* No history or consistency of winning in over 40 years (first bullet point exacerbates this)

* Larger transient population than the majority of other major cities. I don't have any facts to support this, only my experience as a 35 year old Atlanta native and 10 year season ticket holder. There isn't a single season ticket holder within a few rows of me that I've talked to that is born and raised in Atlanta. Many of them are Falcons fans on a regular basis until their team comes into town (i.e. there are transient Dolphin, Saints, Eagles, and Steelers fans in Section 206, but they root for the Falcons).

Yep. The people that sit around my seats as a season ticket holder at Auburn are Auburn Alumni and are the same folks every week in the same seats. I see different folks in the same seats almost every Atlanta home game which to me shows no dedication to the team. Just buy the tickets and sell them on NFL Ticket Exchange and make money.

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That sounds about right. I also think it's divided because a lot of people that live in Atlanta aren't from Atlanta and they still support their home teams. Half of my friends are from out of town and it seems like every new person I meet has just moved here.

When I watch other NFL game like in NY or Green Bay and when their Defense is on the field, the fans are always on their feet making as much noise as possible on every down. But in the Dome, fans only get up on 3rd down, if the team even forces a third down. The city just isn't passionate about our team.

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Atlanta in general just isn't a sports city for some reason. No one seems to like any of the teams unless they are doing well. Ever since the Braves stopped being a power, they fell off the radar in terms of fanbase. The Hawks just GOT a fanbase in the last few years. And if the whole Vick debacle didn't show everyone what the population of Atlanta thought about the Falcons, I don't know what could. The Dome was packed until he was off the team.

I think your point about college football is very valid. I was born in Athens and my whole family is huge Dawgs fans. My grandfather (RIP) and an uncle both went to law school at UGA. And I can honestly say that the Falcons are just a team they all pull for, but have never actively been engaged in supporting like we have with UGA. And I think that's just the nature of the region in general.

As someone who is very passionate about both UGA and the Falcons, I've been in the military for 8 years and been around people from all over the country.... Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Jersey, NYC, Seattle, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, etc. It always amazed me how drastically different their passion was for their NFL teams over what I've been accustomed to with the Falcons. The Falcons just generally have a very very very weak fanbase and tons of fair-weather fans.

I wore my Falcons stuff in 2007 when we were a 4-12 team reeling from the Vick drama. I took my lumps in stride living in Cowboys land, where even in the worst season you'll still see all kinds of people wearing something with a blue star on it. It wasn't even ok to like the Falcons. I got all kinds of Vick dog fighting comments and crap, but I took it with as much as Vick actually meant to me... nothing. And with the pick up of Ryan and our playoff run last year, people accepted it and then these boards started blowing up. It's almost sad... but that's just how it is for the Falcons.

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If a team doesn't win it all every once in a while, you get an Atlanta type fanbase. Believe me, it PAINS me to say that, but it is the truth.

There are other factors, too:

Traffic

Poor City Planning

City not getting behind it's teams

Horrid sportswriting

But when it all comes down to it, we will/would sacrifice to see a team that has won it all. Yes, a great example would be the Braves. Braves fans were rewarded with one championship. That one championship offset years of mediocrity, 50-win seasons, and losing in game 7 of the WS in 1991, or watching teams celebrate their series victory in front of Atlanta crowds.

It's hard to be an Atlanta sports fan. Outside of Cleveland, other cities might stink in one sport but make up for it in another. Think of the worst individual sports teams possible.

Detroit Lions? They're pretty bad. Yet four years ago the Tigers went to the WS, and the Red Wings have a lot of success. The Pistons are a well-respected team.

Chicago Cubs? Perennial losers that play in a small stadium, surrounded by bars that support the team; they pack their stands because Wrigley has history and is a great place to visit. 85 Bears won it all and went to a SB a few years ago. I don't know much about the Blackhawks, but the 1990's Bulls Era trumps it all. Jordan and Pippen winning over and over eases the pain of Cubs fans. You can't be a Cubs/Sox fan (or at least, not respectably) but the Sox did win the 2005 WS.

I don't even need to continue.

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