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Why no buzz for the Falcons?


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Your help needed: Why aren’t we buzzing about the Falcons?

9:55 am August 24, 2011, by Mark Bradley

They're excited. Why aren't we? (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

As you know, I need all the help I can get, and today I’m asking for yours. See, I’ve having this problem. (Many problems, actually, but for today we’ll stick with one.)

It’s about the Atlanta Falcons. I think they’re going to be really good, Super-Bowl-or-thereabouts good. But then, when I listen closely, I hear no buzz about this team.

And I ask myself: Why isn’t there a buzz?

As ever, I have my own ideas, but today I’m soliciting yours. I’m hoping to write something longer later in the day — this will also be for Thursday print — about the buzz, or the lack thereof, and I’d like to incorporate (polite word for “steal”) your thoughts.

Possible factors, at least as I see it:

1.We’re more focused on college football starting.

2.We’re caught up in the Braves’ stirring season.

3.We still haven’t gotten past the Green Bay game.

4.We simply don’t trust the Falcons to win big when they’re supposed to win big.

Perhaps you’ve got another reason. Or perhaps I have, not for the first time, gotten it wrong. Maybe there’s not just a buzz but a full-throated roar about these Falcons that these aging ears haven’t detected.

Whatever the case, I’m asking you to let me know. I’ll try to cherry-pick comments and give you credit. (If you’d prefer to e-mail me and write something longer using your real name, as opposed to your screen moniker, I’m mbradley@ajc.com.) And I thank you in advance.

Update, 1:10 p.m.: Thanks for all the thoughts and submissions. You’ve given me way too much material, but I must note that my premise seems to have held — there is more skepticism about this team than you (or at least I) would expect.

I’m writing the longer post, the one with your sentiments included, now. But I’ll keep checking back here. And thanks again.

By Mark Bradley


I asked, ‘Why no buzz for the Falcons?’ Here’s what you said

4:19 pm August 24, 2011, by Mark Bradley

The rookie Julio Jones makes a buzz-worthy entrance. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

I’ve been hearing rather less about the Falcons than I thought I might, and much of what I have heard has been negative. So I got to thinking: Where’s the buzz about these Birds? And then I thought, “Maybe it’s just you. Maybe there’s this huge buzz you haven’t heard because you’re off listening to your warped vinyl records.”

So I asked. In a blog post on AJC.com Wednesday morning, I invited readers to tell me if such a buzz existed, and if not why not. And the results were overwhelming — 400 online comments in 4 1/2 hours, dozens of emailed responses, plus Facebook postings and Twitter tweets — and instructive.

From Paul Lipsey via email: “Thought you’d made a wacky assumption this morning, but I see nothing in the first hour of comments to indicate that you’ve made a mistake. No screeching outrage from the Falcon flock? I’m flummoxed.”

So that made two of us. The obvious next question: Why aren’t you buzzed?

From Tom on AJC.com: “Because the thought of Michael Turner running for two yards a carry and the defense getting repeatedly smoked does not make one excited.”

From Matt from MN on AJC.com: “Because the thought of another year of Mike Mularkey in charge of Matt Ryan and the offense is just too much to bear.”

From Derrick on AJC.com: “The reason for the lack of buzz goes back to that embarrassing playoff loss. It sucked the air out of our fan base.”

From Fred-D on AJC.com: “It’s a combination of both the Green Bay game and not trusting them to win big when they should.”

From Micky Woolsey via email: “The fans just don’t trust the Falcons because of the past. I have to admit that, even though I think they are the best team in the NFC, I still have doubts.”

From HJones on AJC.com: “I am 65 years old and lived in the Atlanta area all of my life. I have seen all of the bad times and the supposedly good times. I don’t have faith in the current Falcons to play at the high level required to win the BIG games.”

From JSS on AJC.com: “They are the NFC’s version of the Chiefs. No one except for the diehards or those just like long-suffering Cubs fans put much trust in them. When they finally win a title, it will be more of a relief than a feeling of honest elation.”

We pause to note: The Falcons were 13-3 last season and were the NFC’s No. 1 seed. They got blitzed by Green Bay in the playoffs, but the Packers did win the Super Bowl. The Falcons have added Julio Jones via the draft and Ray Edwards via free agency. A good team would appear to have gotten better on both offense and defense. Does glory not await?

From nickpaste on Twitter: “The Packers, Eagles, Saints, Patriots, et cetera, temper our expectations. ”

From jamaaliver on AJC.com: “Philadelphia signed the bigger names in free agency. A lot of the pundits are picking New Orleans to win the division.”

From NorthGANole on AJC.com: “Buzz usually comes with added personnel … The only major acquisition that was made [outside of draft picks] is Ray Edwards and we haven’t seen him play yet.”

From Mark Teems on Facebook: “Falcons starters are great. The rest of the team keeps losing preseason games.”

From Big Ray on AJC.com: “True diehard Falcon fans are excited. But even we were burnt by the loss to Green Bay. We’ve got to win that first playoff game under the Dimitroff/Smith regime.

Many respondents pointed, with cause, to causation: The lockout diverted our attention, and the Braves captured it. And we tend to pay attention to college football around here. And it is still preseason.

From Ronald D. Willard via email: “The vast majority of reasonable fans understand that this team is in such good hands that there is little need for hand-wringing … It is simply too early to get excited or worried. You know that Dimitroff, Smith and the players will be well prepared and will give us the maximum effort at all times. Their efficiency has both spoiled us and given us a sense of security that long-time fans have never had the luxury of enjoying.”

From Jason Reittenbach via email: “My prediction: If we beat Chicago in Week 1 and then have Vick and prime-time TV coming in Week 2, the excitement will be through the roof once again.”

On those cheery notes, I’ll end. But not without saying thanks to everyone who responded. I’m in your debt.

By Mark Bradley


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Half of this board falls under 3. and 4. Even the die hards still remember old times and don't put full faith in this regime despite a 33-15 and numerous times proving they are in full control and know what they are doing.

No faith in Smitty to develop young players, no faith in TD to do what is right for the team not what satisfies the fans thirst for headlines.

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I'd rather be under the radar let the dream team and the Patriots Steelers and what not take all the hype.

I think it has alot to do with MS being a low key guy and this gives us the low key type vibe and hence because of the lack sensationalism the media choose not to follow us.

I say let our results do the talking andthen the buzz will follow.

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The league thinks Matt Ryan is a dink and dunk game manager. If they didn't, we would be on everyone list to win it all.

As far as the media and the 'outside sports world'; this is true. I will not lie to you all: As much of a die-hard fan I personally feel I am, numbers 3 and 4 apply to me; more so 4 than 3 at this point. I've gotten over the GB playoff loss, but I am far from the confidence of Patriots or Steelers fans in this team. I have the belief that anything can happen, but I do not have the confidence; does not make sense, seems like an oxymoron but it is what it is. Alot of my criticism of this team stems from my frustration and desire to see this team win a big game on the big stage.

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I'm disappointed in this article. So much negativity. And it's total BS.

There is plenty of buzz about the Falcons.

Several sportscasters and premiere writers, including Steve Wyche, have us as superbowl contenders.

Most everybody has us in top four in the conference.

The teams that have us on thier schedules are buzzing about us. You can bet on that.

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You want the truth? The truth is that Atlanta is not a great NFL market in comparison to Dallas, NY, NE, Phi, et al. Writers are motivated by rating numbers, not by being right or telling the truth. If you write an article about the Eagles, Patriots, or Cowboys, you will have more readers view your article. That's why the national media concentrates more of their coverage on the bigger NFL markets and why the local media doesn't bother with them.

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You want the truth? The truth is that Atlanta is not a great NFL market in comparison to Dallas, NY, NE, Phi, et al. Writers are motivated by rating numbers, not by being right or telling the truth. If you write an article about the Eagles, Patriots, or Cowboys, you will have more readers view your article. That's why the national media concentrates more of their coverage on the bigger NFL markets and why the local media doesn't bother with them.

+1 Great insight.

Also gives them a cindarella story to fall back on later in the season if/when any smaller market team does good.

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The really simple answer is they haven't earned it. We have only sniffed greatness one time in over 4 decades. For your average fan last year was just more of the same ole Falcons. Get excited and then another season ends without a trophy.

I believe this is the team that will do it but I can't blame those that look at our history and think we are snake bit. Even I fight those thoughts off at times and I am a pretty big homer.

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3.I still haven’t gotten past the Green Bay game and we only added one dude to fix it!

Isn't it amazing that after that game we still aren't any better off at nickle? You'd think if nothing else we would have signed someone as an insurance policy against having all of the key components minus one.

It will be awful if we lose and nickle plays a big role again.

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We are getting the right kind of attention. We have an extremely solid team. We will be playoff contenders again. Our hype isn't on the scale of a darling team yet, but our respect comes from inside the league. I'm as excited as ever...

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See people dont need to get to up or down based on things that have happened in the past. You can learn from the past but the next time we play in a game that means something will be 2011, not 2010.

There are plenty of things to love about this team but if you honeslty take it one game at a time you should never get to high or down on the team.

This team is what it is, efficient, fundamental, and wanting to kill the clock. To some thats not exciting football, I on the other hand love the idea of physical pounding on a team by running the ball, it doesnt need to look pretty, it just needs to make it easier to get that quick strike TD in the 4th qt and now with Julio it will be.

I still dont expect to blow teams away, I just expect to win by 14 instead of 7 now. We have the team to beat anyone so in the 4th qt when we are up and need to put a team away we will, we had multiple chances last year late in games to put teams away and couldnt, I expect us to put them away this year.

Thats exciting.. to me atleast.

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