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SB Nation article on how Atlanta is a cursed sports town

People complain about the length and pace of baseball games all the time. On Wednesday, the Atlanta Braves did the unthinkable and actually lost a game in the first 20-ish minutes when they gave up 10 runs in the top half of the first inning to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Atlanta sports fandom isn’t easy. I’ve done it all my life, and it has left me immune to trulybeing upset at anything bad that happens now. It’s not because I don’t care, but rather because I’m protecting myself. Not getting emotionally invested in my teams is a form of self-care that I refuse to not practice.

That said, the city of Atlanta has definitely been cursed since 1996.

This is something that has been widely discussed within Atlanta, but not something I was firm on until that first half-inning of baseball. It begins sometime either during or after the 1996 Olympics. The year before, the Team Of The ‘90s finally got their first, and tragically only, World Series, and things haven’t been great since.

I’m not going to run down every little thing that has since gone wrong for Atlanta sports because nobody has time for that. There’s a laundry list of bad things — big and small — that we’ve been witness to over the last 23 years (and also before then!).

But I will highlight some notable events:
  • In 1996, the Braves were five outs from taking a 3-1 World Series lead before a Mark Wohlers 2-2 pitch was sent just over the left field wall by a guy with this batting stance:

The Braves lost four in a row to give the Yankees their 23rd World Series title.

  • Easily the best team in the National League in 1999, the Braves got swept by the Yankees in the World Series. They were up 6-0 in Game 4 and still lost.
  • The Falcons lost Super Bowl XXXIII 34-19 to the Denver Broncos. Falcons safety Eugene Robinson was arrested the night before the game for solicitation of a prostitute. He won the Bart Starr Award that same day, given to the NFL player who “best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community.”
  • The Atlanta Thrashers.
  • Michael Vick, one of the most electric players to ever grace a football field, went to jail for two years for DOGFIGHTING of all things, and we never saw him in red and black threads again.
  • Game 3 of the 2010 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, specifically Brooks Conrad’s errors.
  • The infield fly rule wild card game in 2012, also against the Cardinals:

The 2012 NFC Championship Game.

  • The Atlanta Dream, while good, have gone to the WNBA Finals in 2010, 2011, and 2013, and been swept each time.
  • The Atlanta Hawks have been either incredibly bad or just average enough to get beat in the first or second round of the playoffs since 1996. Yeah, they went 60-22 in 2014-15 and made the Eastern Conference Finals, but then LeBron James happened.

We also knew, as hot as that team was that season, it wasn’t going to stick. They had the first 17-0 record in a calendar month in league history (January) after only losing two games in December. The team wasn’t bad, but they certainly weren’t capable of staying that hot.

  • Bobby Petrino, with his swift escape and 78-word letters left in the lockers of all the players as he made his way to Fayetteville, Arkansas:

“Out of my respect for you, I am letting you know that, with a heavy heart, I resigned today as the Head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons. This decision was not easy, but it was made in the best interest of me and my family. While my desire would have been to finish out what has been a difficult season for us all, circumstances did not allow me to do that. I appreciate your hard work and wish you the best.

”Sincerely, Bobby Petrino.”

  • Y’all seeing what’s happening to the Falcons this season?
  • 28-3.

The Braves losing before they could put their first batter up to the plate in the deciding game of an NLDS isn’t as bad as the Falcons blowing a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl with a quarter and a half of football left. Nothing is ever going to top that, and if your team ever does (gigantic emphasis on the fact that this has not happened and the Falcons wear the Crown Of Sadness firmly upon their head), well, sorry in advance.

I have text receipts of hesitation when people were celebrating at that point in the game. It was the Falcons. It was the Patriots. It was Tom Brady. There was time, and all the bad things that could happen within in that formula, happened. I could also simplify and leave it at: it was the Falcons. The game is not over until it is over, and everybody’s either gone home, or shut off the TV.

However, at no point in my time on planet Earth did I think the Cardinals could hang 10 runs in the very first top half of an elimination game against the Braves. That’s why this particular event did it for me, instead of the worst thing on a field or court that has ever happened to any sports team ever.

Expectations weren’t even outrageously high for the Braves this year. After the way the regular season played out, it seemed reasonable to expect the Braves to at least get to the NLCS. If they lost to the Dodgers, it wouldn’t have been shocking. But that was supposed to be as bad as it got.

Instead, half the lineup went cold as they do when October comes around, and the Cardinals offense bullied the Braves like a team from MLB Slugfest 2003.

I do believe that at some point, this curse will be broken. I don’t know what it’s going to take, or when it’s going to happen, but it will. The Braves have so many young, promising players. Even the Hawks look like they’ll be legitimate contenders one day. [Insert something nice about the Falcons and how things have to go right for them, eventually.]

Until then, I’m going to continue to root for my Atlanta sports teams, even though I know the chances of me being disappointed are high.
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I know people do not really respect soccer but if you are mentioning WNBA then definitely need to mention that Atlanta United won the MLS Cup last year in their second year as a franchise. There is no curse just simply teams that have failed to live up to their expectations, either mismanaged or players not been clutch.

Edited by falcon22
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5 minutes ago, falcon22 said:

I know people do not really respect soccer but if you are mentioning WNBA then definitely need to mention that Atlanta United won the MLS Cup last year in their second year as a franchise. There is no curse just simply teams that have failed to live up to their expectations, either mismanaged or players not been clutched.

I feel like WNBA was mentioned so he wouldn’t have a bunch of liberal snowflakes calling for him to be fired. 

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Also getting real dang tired of people talking about the Thrashers without telling the whole story.  The Thrashers, along with the Flames and every other sports franchise here, has been cursed with bad ownership and management (the owners of both hockey teams completely sold them out for a quick payday when their other business ventures were failing), and the blame always gets piled on the scapegoated fans.  Simple as that.

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8 hours ago, falcon22 said:

I know people do not really respect soccer but if you are mentioning WNBA then definitely need to mention that Atlanta United won the MLS Cup last year in their second year as a franchise. There is no curse just simply teams that have failed to live up to their expectations, either mismanaged or players not been clutch.

Not the top league in it's own sport.  He didn't mention AAA baseball either :lol:

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Atlanta is not a cursed sports team the Atlanta franchises are just ran to be good not great. Starting Folty in a game 5 was a stupid decision. Not calling time out when you are on the 30 yard line and all you need is a field goal to close out the Super Bowl and a passing play comes in from the sideline is a stupid decision. Deciding to take Vic Beasley with the 8th pick when he was projected at as aearly 2nd round pick was a stupid decison. Trading Dominique Wilkins was a stupid decision. Atlanta teams dont win championships because of the stupid decisions they make, plain and simple. Same reason Jets, Browns, Lions, dont win championships. Same poor decision makers get the same results year in and year out. Change the way things are ran the the result may change. 

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59 minutes ago, Refried Beans said:

Atlanta is not a cursed sports team the Atlanta franchises are just ran to be good not great. Starting Folty in a game 5 was a stupid decision. Not calling time out when you are on the 30 yard line and all you need is a field goal to close out the Super Bowl and a passing play comes in from the sideline is a stupid decision. Deciding to take Vic Beasley with the 8th pick when he was projected at as aearly 2nd round pick was a stupid decison. Trading Dominique Wilkins was a stupid decision. Atlanta teams dont win championships because of the stupid decisions they make, plain and simple. Same reason Jets, Browns, Lions, dont win championships. Same poor decision makers get the same results year in and year out. Change the way things are ran the the result may change. 

Here's the thing

These bad decisions and bad luck span different owners, Different players, different coaches, Different GM's, Different Stadiums and 3 different teams in 3 different sports over a 50 + year history. The ONLY common denominator is these teams reside in Atlanta or Ga as a whole if you want to include UGA.

I think that is why us long term fans see that the only common pattern is the teams are in ATL/GA. You'd figure just by luck you would see different patterns from these teams given 50 + years in the city/state and all the different people involved with these teams. But nope the 3 long term ATL pro sports teams seem to act in a very similar fashion almost all the time when put in the spotlight and fold like lawn chairs. It makes no sense and a city/state wide curse is pretty much the only thing that even resembles something that could explain it.

 

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10 hours ago, Ergo Proxy said:

Or just dumb not to run and kick FG in SB51...

Or dumb enough to start 2019 Folty twice in a 5 game series but staff Ace Soroka gets 1 start...

But that's logic. Something our managers and coaches have lacked in critical moments.

This has been our argument about the Super Bowl. Regardless of how simple it sounds, it's still hindsight. The fact that we blew a 25 point lead debunks any thoughts of that one possession losing it for us. There were a lot of things that we done wrong.

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26 minutes ago, octoslash said:

Without naming names or being flat-out rude...people who believe in things like 'curses' aren't very bright.  What nonsense.    

Then what is it then

2012 Falcons up 24-14 at halftime loss 28-24

2014 60 win Hawks gets to the conference championship gets swept by Lebron 4-0 

2016 Falcons up 28-3 (ugh) in 3rd qtr loss 34-28 in OT

2017 Falcons has 4 chances to get a TD vs Eagles Julio slips cant score 

2018 Georgia 20 -10 3rd qtr tua comes in brings then back. Georgia Loses in OT on a busted 3rd and 22 play smh

2019 Georgia again up vs Alabama in the Conference championship 28-14 now jalen hurts comes in for tua brings them back Georgia loses 35- 28

2019 Now finally a good Braves team lets the Cards score 10 runs 10!! in the first inning on a winner moves on to the next round game 

This list is the worst luck i have seen for a sports town 

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