Rise Up!

This was going to be the year – the year I was planning to turn away from watching so much football. It had been my favorite spectator sport for years, but my interest had begun to wane. Several factors were responsible for my declining interest:

  • In spite of a shocking upset of Florida State, Georgia Tech only won three games in 2015.
  • After a very successful run as the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, one of the classiest coach in college football, Mark Richt, was dismissed.
  • The salaries being paid to head coaches had grown exorbitant, especially when compared to university presidents. In my mind, college football was becoming too much like big business, or like the NFL.
  • The documentary, Last Chance U on Netflix revealed disturbing exploitation of football players at a community college program in Mississippi. If the things that series revealed were going on at a community college, I could only imagine what must be happening at the power schools.
  • Alabama won yet another national championship- Ho-hum.
  • The movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith, painted a picture of the NFL seemingly disregarding the evidence pointing to the dangerous long-term impact of head trauma with its players. Other documentaries, like Gleason and books like Ben Utecht’s memoir, Counting the Days Until My Mind Slips Away: A Love Letter To My Family, left me hoping my grandchildren would pursue other sports.

And so, I intended to devote many less hours to watching football in 2016 and devote more time to writing or a number of other worthwhile and productive activities. I purchased no tickets for Georgia Tech games. And then, a series of events occurred:

  • Georgia Tech won nine football games in 2016, including an exciting comeback win over the Georgia Bulldogs in their rivalry game and a Taxslayer Bowl victory over Kentucky.
  • The ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) had the best post-season record of any conference ever, its teams winning 9 games against only three losses.
  • In perhaps the most exciting game of the year, Clemson (an ACC school), defeated those bullies, the Alabama Crimson Tide, to win the National Championship.

And now,

The Atlanta Falcons are playing in the Super Bowl!!!!!

imageSo fly high, Matty Ice and Julio Jones! (my favorite former Alabama player) Rise up, you Dirty Birds. Take it to those lying, cheating, ball-deflating New England Patriots. The hopes of my championship-starved home state of Georgia rest on your mighty shoulders.

As far as those other issues I raised earlier, I heard this week that concussions are down 11% in the NFL this year. So there’s that!

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2 thoughts on “Rise Up!

  1. One more reason to turn away from football, ‘The way Super Bowl 51 ended’. After discovering how the game went, I am so glad I didn’t have a way to watch it live. If I had saw that game live my heart would have literally been broken, tears would have streamed down my face. I swear the NFL should have immediately given both teams a drug test after that game. Say all you want about how great Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are, and yes they deserve props…, but as I watched the highlights of that game I couldn’t help but think, either the Falcons are coming down from drugs at the end of that game or the Patriots were getting hopped up on some kind of performance enhancer. I know it sounds ridiculous, but so does Donald Trump winning the Presidency, or so I thought. In todays day and age we have to admit that even the most wildest theories may someday be proven. And I’m telling you something was going on under the surface during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 51. Yes, it was the greatest Super Bowl of all time, the only overtime Super Bowl game in the history of the NFL, and the greatest Super Bowl come back ever, but no one, and I mean no one can deny the aura in the air felt smoggy when that game was finished. Whoever you are, no matter which team you rooted for, you can’t tell me you didn’t, or couldn’t detect the hint of 3 day old fish in the air. No one said a word about it but it was there. It was in the announcers voices as events played out. In the insight commentators breakdown of the game. And it coated anchors editorials like a moldy film, but no one brought it up. I am a life long Falcons fans, and I know I sound like a crazy conspiracy nut, but I’m sorry, just watch the film. This was no Bill Buckner, ground ball between the legs. The truth is I don’t know what it was, all I do know is that when it’s all said and done, I can’t help but think somethings up.


    • Or the Falcons defense just ran out of gas after Brady gave up trying to run the ball and bombarded them with those relentless short passes. So many ways the Falcons could have won. Three interception opportunities missed at the end. First down on Patriots’ 22 after Julio’s catch- just fall on ball and kick the clinching field goal. Just wasn’t to be. Quit being paranoid with your conspiracy theories. It just wasn’t meant to be. Looking forward to next year. Falcons appear solid for the long haul.


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