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     Sports teams can be losers for decades but if, when the moment finally arrives and they reach the mountain top, if they plant the flag and take home the trophy perception begins to change. If that team then goes on a sustained run of excellence, history can actually be overwritten.

     The Pittsburgh Steelers, from 1933 to 1972 were the worst team to ever lace them up. They are to this day the single worst sports team I ever personally witnessed on a playing field. If you played ten games between the Steelers of yesteryear and the Browns of today, the Browns would win 9 of 10. I remember one game where the Steelers QB ran backwards from his own 20 to try to escape a sack and ran into the goalpost, which was on the goal line in those days, and fumbled the ball which luckily for him was kicked out of the end zone during the recovery attempt. Like the Browns of today, the Steelers cut or traded talented players that went on to stellar careers of whom Johnny Unitas was just the poster boy. Then came Chuck Noll and everything changed. Why are the Steelers not remembered as having been the hapless losers they were except for the casual mention from someone like me? When they got to the mountain top they never slid back down. They planted the flag. Sure they didn't always win but they didn't flee into the goalpost in the Super Bowl before an international audience thus branding them for all eternity. The team we just lost to, the Patriots can be sited here in the same category of the Steelers. They never had that moment. Sure they were blown out by the Bears in the Super Bowl but they never had it won and let it slip away therefore they retained control of their future public perception, which they too have overwritten..

        The Boston Red Sox have had a good run of late however they could go on a two decade run of excellence and they still would be remembered as the hard luck losers they once were because of Bill Buckner's between the legs error that allowed the continuation of, and eventual loss of the world series. They had their moment of disgrace at the least opportune time, on the world stage during the biggest game.

     The Chicago Cubs are called 'lovable losers' because of their large following even though they haven't won but they could change all that beginning with last years championship except for one thing. There will always be 'Bartman' to remind us all of what they were.

     The Falcons just had their 'Jean Van De Veld' moment. Ask a golfer or google that name if you don't know who that is but chances are you do. No one will ever forget or will they let us forget the debacle that just occurred. Some smarmy sports caster like Chris Berman will give it a name like the 'Falcon Flop' or some such thing and it will forever live on in highlights to be hauled out anytime the team makes it to the summit. Someday this franchise will make it to the mountaintop again although, to steal a phrase from the great MLK, "I may not get there with you."  They may even plant that proverbial flag at the summit but after this, the public will never let us forget. 

     I have loved these Falcons for 51 years and I will until I no longer breathe the air but what I feel right now is a deep, gut wrenching mourning that we lost more than a Super Bowl. We lost the ability to ever overwrite our history no matter what the future brings.

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8 minutes ago, Waterjabbers said:

That's what hurts the most...Sunday was supposed to be the night the franchise planted the flag and they missed the mountain, stabbed their foot, and fell off the mountain in cartoonish fashion.

You made me laugh at least.

Because ... yep.

For 3 quarters, I was so **** proud. Vindicated. Everything I'd said to everyone I know for 2 weeks about them underestimating the Falcons and "These aren't the old Falcons" was vindicated. For the whole world to see. It was beautiful. I celebrated so hard at the Coleman touchdown that I hurt my hand badly enough to require an urgent care visit yesterday. Didn't care. We had it. We were showing the world.

And then it all fell apart and in one quarter we showed the world something else.

It flat-out sucks.

And I am far from over it.

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I watched several players post game interviews and I didn't see a tear, I didn't see a shock to the system in their eyes. What I saw was guys who are determined and knew they could play with the best every day. I saw guys who knew they could've destroyed the patriots but, didn't do it on Sunday. These guys will be back. Let's just be thankful we don't have a QB who pouts and walks out. 

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1 minute ago, The O.D.B said:

I watched several players post game interviews and I didn't see a tear, I didn't see a shock to the system in their eyes. What I saw was guys who are determined and knew they could play with the best every day. I saw guys who knew they could've destroyed the patriots but, didn't do it on Sunday. These guys will be back. Let's just be thankful we don't have a QB who pouts and walks out. 

     The millisecond that ball crossed the goal line in OT, my TV went off and I saw none of, nor do I care to ever see any thing from that game or post game interviews as long as I live. I am only here discussing it now so that hopefully I may be able to get it out of my system enough to at least sleep. I'm glad the players and coaches said all the right things because I sure couldn't have. 

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10 minutes ago, The O.D.B said:

I watched several players post game interviews and I didn't see a tear, I didn't see a shock to the system in their eyes. What I saw was guys who are determined and knew they could play with the best every day. I saw guys who knew they could've destroyed the patriots but, didn't do it on Sunday. These guys will be back. Let's just be thankful we don't have a QB who pouts and walks out. 

All the quotes from the guys at their lockers today (tweeted out by the Falcons) helped me feel marginally better.

We blew a golden opportunity, perhaps the best opportunity we'll ever have. It is HARD to get a first-round bye. It is HARD to get to the Super Bowl. And to be up by 25 midway through the 3rd quarter? That exact series of things will likely never happen again.

But ... it doesn't mean it's impossible to get back.

Those players aren't giving up.

And since it's not like I can flip a switch and stop being a fan (even if the heartache right now makes that sound like a great idea), I'm not giving up either.

[Please don't get me wrong. I'm still flat-out devastated and angry and shattered by Sunday. But if I don't start trying to inject some positivity into my thinking, especially living up here in Boston, I might jump out a window. So you'll see me being a little all over the place on these boards over the next few days - mourning one moment, optimistic the next.]

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I think i went through all of the emotions between Sunday night and Monday night.  I'm good now.  Loss sucked ***, probably the worst sports loss i've ever been witness to but F it, can't go back to Sunday afternoon and relive it.  I just accept what is and hope for the best this season.  I hope you all that are still feeling things about the game can find a way to cope.

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"Indelible moments" are mainly retrospective.  The Falcons are a very good team, with very young players.  If they achieve what I believe them to be capable of, the significance of the "indelible moment" that is painful to contemplate now will be very different from the current perception.  The key to success is grit.  You get smashed in the mouth and you get back up and go back in again.  There really isn't any other way to look at it.  The game was shocking, but if you let others define you by your failures, then you will fail.  I see no reason why the Falcons should do that.  No successful team, person, army, movement has quit when experiencing a set-back. 

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51 years of losing. We arent lovable losers, we are just losers. There is no goat curse or curse of babe ruth and nothing to draw you into the team other than you actually like losing. Right now we are batting a thousand at being losers. There is no top of the mountain for this team.

Heck it supercedes this team; Losing infects this state. Bulldogs havent won since 80. Braves lost so many times with "good teams" they had to move just to get people interested in the team again. We've run 2 hockey teams out of the state. The hawks? They are just as bad as these birds.

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2 minutes ago, conalthomas said:

"Indelible moments" are mainly retrospective.  The Falcons are a very good team, with very young players.  If they achieve what I believe them to be capable of, the significance of the "indelible moment" that is painful to contemplate now will be very different from the current perception.  The key to success is grit.  You get smashed in the mouth and you get back up and go back in again.  There really isn't any other way to look at it.  The game was shocking, but if you let others define you by your failures, then you will fail.  I see no reason why the Falcons should do that.  No successful team, person, army, movement has quit when experiencing a set-back. 

Quitting is not the point. All we can ever do is move on and make the best of it but the reality is this debacle will always be there in the history books and will always be a stain that won't go away!  A female friend of mine said to me (disclaimer: I am only repeating her words to me, I in no way am comparing a loss of a game to this but she said) "it's like losing your virginity to a rapist." After getting over the initial shock of that statement, I have to admit it does ring true. 

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34 minutes ago, The O.D.B said:

I watched several players post game interviews and I didn't see a tear, I didn't see a shock to the system in their eyes. What I saw was guys who are determined and knew they could play with the best every day. I saw guys who knew they could've destroyed the patriots but, didn't do it on Sunday. These guys will be back. Let's just be thankful we don't have a QB who pouts and walks out. 

I saw Matt Ryan sprint across the field 15 seconds after the game to shake Tom Brady's hand and congratulate him. I didn't see a shock to the system in their eyes either. I didn't see a tear either. I didn't see anger.

So what I have to gather from what I DID see was a bunch of millionaires that just played a football game. While I sat on my couch, devastated, wondering how I can pay my next utility bill and caring about this God forsaken franchise over a 51 year span. Probably caring more about this game and this franchise as a lonely fan than any Falcon player has EVER appeared to.

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15 minutes ago, slider said:

Quitting is not the point. All we can ever do is move on and make the best of it but the reality is this debacle will always be there in the history books and will always be a stain that won't go away!  A female friend of mine said to me (disclaimer: I am only repeating her words to me, I in no way am comparing a loss of a game to this but she said) "it's like losing your virginity to a rapist." After getting over the initial shock of that statement, I have to admit it does ring true. 

I suspect the comparison to rape was made by someone who never had that experience.  I couldn't disagree more with this for a number of reasons.  

5 minutes ago, 66fairfan said:

I saw Matt Ryan sprint across the field 15 seconds after the game to shake Tom Brady's hand and congratulate him. I didn't see a shock to the system in their eyes either. I didn't see a tear either. I didn't see anger.

So what I have to gather from what I DID see was a bunch of millionaires that just played a football game. While I sat on my couch, devastated, wondering how I can pay my next utility bill and caring about this God forsaken franchise over a 51 year span. Probably caring more about this game and this franchise as a lonely fan than any Falcon player has EVER appeared to.

I feel quite certain that Matt Ryan was extremely upset about the outcome, but he is a disciplined man, and he is doing what he believes is the correct thing to do.  It gives me confidence going forward.  I want discipline.  I want someone who is going to do the thing that he is supposed to do, no matter how difficult at the moment.

As a fan, you're free to internalize all the disappointment you want.  I don't think it does you any good, but if that's how you choose to feel (or cannot avoid feeling), that is certainly your right. 

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24 minutes ago, slider said:

Quitting is not the point. All we can ever do is move on and make the best of it but the reality is this debacle will always be there in the history books and will always be a stain that won't go away!  A female friend of mine said to me (disclaimer: I am only repeating her words to me, I in no way am comparing a loss of a game to this but she said) "it's like losing your virginity to a rapist." After getting over the initial shock of that statement, I have to admit it does ring true. 

So, if they come back and win four Super Bowls in the next 10 years you don't think the narrative will be, "They were spurred on to greatness by the depth of their disappointment."?  There are no indelible stains.  Thinking that lets others define who you are.

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1 minute ago, conalthomas said:

I suspect the comparison to rape was made by someone who never had that experience.  I couldn't disagree more with this for a number of reasons.  

I feel quite certain that Matt Ryan was extremely upset about the outcome, but he is a disciplined man, and he is doing what he believes is the correct thing to do.  It gives me confidence going forward.  I want discipline.  I want someone who is going to do the thing that he is supposed to do, no matter how difficult at the moment.

As a fan, you're free to internalize all the disappointment you want.  I don't think it does you any good, but if that's how you choose to feel (or cannot avoid feeling), that is certainly your right. 

I wasn't trying to make any point to trash Matt Ryan. He is a class act and the greatest quarterback the Falcons have ever had.

I  have become more than jaded now. I have had it. I was 6 years old in '66 watching them. I don't know how long you have been a fan of this team. Bob Berry was a disciplined quarterback, Steve Bartkowski was, Bob Lee, on and on.  What they are supposed to do is win, particularly with a 28 point lead in the Superbowl.

But if it doesn't happen, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for us fans to maybe see a little anger, just a little. Tom Brady and the Pats showed more emotion, and they won the game.

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19 minutes ago, conalthomas said:

So, if they come back and win four Super Bowls in the next 10 years you don't think the narrative will be, "They were spurred on to greatness by the depth of their disappointment."?  There are no indelible stains.  Thinking that lets others define who you are.

As I vent my frustration and disappointment, the last thing I need is a Tony Robbins speech. One day I hope to see those four super bowls, **** just one would be a good start but to answer your question, no I don't think this super bowl loss will ever be forgotten. The narrative of "they actually rose up and overcame" is not one I think the general public will embrace. After whatever period of excellence is over the attitude will be that it's a sorry franchise that had a good run and is now returning to it's losing ways. If the Steelers suddenly had 5 straight losing seasons folks would wonder what happened to this storied franchise to send them off their rightful path. With the Falcons you just show the highlights of the 'Falcon Flop' and everyone says, oh yea that's who they are and that's where they've returned. 

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The manner of the loss makes it feel horrific, but the bottom line is that it doesn't really matter that much. A loss is a loss, whether it's a heart breaker or a total spanking, and it happens to someone in the SB every year. It is up players and coaches to be strong and fight like **** to make sure that this loss doesn't define them and their careers.

Sure, people will remember the manner of our loss for a while, it will be brought up next time we are well ahead in a big game, and we will be the butt of some jokes, but that will subside over time. As time passes, people will remember the accomplishments of Pats and Brady more than the manner of their victory.

Like the other 30 teams who didn't win on Sunday, The only thing we can do now is devote our very best efforts to getting better and putting the best team we can on the field for 2017. If we could somehow find a way to rebound from this and win a title in the next few years, it would be an incredible and inspirational fairytale and one of the truly great sporting stories. It is up to us to write it that way.

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43 minutes ago, slider said:

Quitting is not the point. All we can ever do is move on and make the best of it but the reality is this debacle will always be there in the history books and will always be a stain that won't go away!  A female friend of mine said to me (disclaimer: I am only repeating her words to me, I in no way am comparing a loss of a game to this but she said) "it's like losing your virginity to a rapist." After getting over the initial shock of that statement, I have to admit it does ring true. 

I fully understand you're only quoting someone else, but speaking as a woman, that is a horrendous analogy and it does NOT ring true.

As completely and utterly devastated as I am by that loss, and as much as I agree that I hate it's in the history books no matter what we do next, that's a ridiculous comparison.

 

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2 minutes ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

I fully understand you're only quoting someone else, but speaking as a woman, that is a horrendous analogy and it does NOT ring true.

As completely and utterly devastated as I am by that loss, and as much as I agree that I hate it's in the history books no matter what we do next, that's a ridiculous comparison.

 

I agree it is not a comparison I would have made.

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1 hour ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

I fully understand you're only quoting someone else, but speaking as a woman, that is a horrendous analogy and it does NOT ring true.

As completely and utterly devastated as I am by that loss, and as much as I agree that I hate it's in the history books no matter what we do next, that's a ridiculous comparison.

 

One other thing though. Males lose their virginity too. They can also be raped so females don't own the subject matter. That being said, I have a daughter and 2 grand daughters so I understand the sensitivity. I would not have originally made the comparison and I guess I should've just been a man about it and not said anything here. How's that for being sexist. Sorry I offended. 

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1 hour ago, slider said:

One other thing though. Males lose their virginity too. They can also be raped so females don't own the subject matter. That being said, I have a daughter and 2 grand daughters so I understand the sensitivity. I would not have originally made the comparison and I guess I should've just been a man about it and not said anything here. How's that for being sexist. Sorry I offended. 

Totally valid point.

The only reason I specified my gender was that you said a female friend had said it and I was a little shocked by that.

They weren't your words and I know there was no offense intended.

All good. Actually helps perspective-wise. Ultimately, as much as this hurts, it IS a game.

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3 minutes ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

Totally valid point.

The only reason I specified my gender was that you said a female friend had said it and I was a little shocked by that.

They weren't your words and I know there was no offense intended.

All good. Actually helps perspective-wise. Ultimately, as much as this hurts, it IS a game.

Very true. Life goes on. For those that have one:huh: 

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2 minutes ago, harveybirdman said:

Dat Julio catch doh....m

Should have been the game icer and the best catch in Superbowl history...

That's worth another watch

Can't bear to watch it for exactly the reason you said.

It SHOULD have been the icer. Our amazing wide receiver playing through extreme pain to come up with (essentially) the winning catch. A ball from our MVP put in the absolute perfect spot. A ball that set up Matt Bryant for his own moment of glory, the icing points in his only Super Bowl to date.

You can't write a better script than that.

Hate you, Kyle Shanahan.

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