It’s here. It’s Super Bowl weekend and the Falcons are still playing football. This is that season folks around here have been waiting on for nearly twenty years. This is that moment.
Most year’s you cook food, gather around with friends and watch the Super Bowl almost as much for the commercials as for the game itself. Most season’s you have no real vested interest in the score other than how it affects your chance of winning money on the pool. Rather than truly caring which team is winning, you are calculating how many touchdowns, field goals, safeties or two point conversions it would take to put it back on a square with your name in it.
This year is different. This year all around the state of Georgia, friends will live and die on every play of the Super Bowl for a change. Yeah, it would be nice to win the pool but you would gladly give up that money for a Falcons win. This year you actually have clothing to wear that matches one of teams in the game. Ain’t that grand?
Even more important, the Atlanta Falcons have a very real chance of winning this game. The prolific Falcons offense could be enough to carry the day even against the vaunted New England Patriots defense. If Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and company can score early and build a lead, the Patriots could find themselves forced to alter their game plan. This game is winnable for Atlanta.
I will not deny that I am apparently more concerned about Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s missing tote bag than most. In case you haven’t heard, Shanahan’s backpack containing his playbook disappeared at the media session in Houston. It was returned about a half hour later by San Francisco Examiner reporter Art Spander who claims he grabbed the backpack by mistake. Spander sounds like an upstanding guy for a reporter. So as far as the rest of the world seems to be concerned the issue is over. But is it? This is the New England Patriots we are talking about here. This franchise has a history of questionable behavior in the name of winning and have been accused of underhanded espionage to win games much less important than this game. I don’t mean to sound all conspiracy theorist here but you can copy a playbook in thirty minutes. Will the 78 year old reporter soon be retiring in Aruba? I am just kidding folks. Mostly.
This should be a great Super Bowl. The best scoring offense in the NFL against the best scoring defense in the league. Something has to give. I know I am a Falcons fan but I do like Atlanta in this game. If the Falcons can overcome the advantage New England has of having been in so many of these games and not let the wonder of the moment affect their focus, Atlanta might pull away late in this game. No matter what, I finally get to watch my Falcons in the Super Bowl. Their only other appearance in the big game I was on a delayed flight from New Orleans to Atlanta and missed everything but the final moments of Atlanta’s loss to Denver. This is a moment I have waited a very long time to see. Go Falcons.