(Editor's Note: the following is satire and not intended to be taken seriously, at all.)
It's only Wednesday the week before the week before the Super Bowl, and I swear I'm already going to pistol whip the next person that says WELCOME TO ATLANTA WHERE THE PLAYERS PLAY AND WE RIDE ON DEM THANGS LIKE EV-ERY DAY.
You may not know a whole lot about the Atlanta Falcons, and that's OK! You may also remember them from such episodes of Friends as "Didn't they start 5-0 and then basically lose out last year?" (they did!), "I guessed that the Falcons actually drafted Brett Favre at bar trivia one time!", "What's the worst that could possibly happen if we traded like 3 drafts worth of picks to get Julio Jones, REALLY?", and "The only day I actually want Chick-Fil-A is always Sunday!"
Here at Pats Pulpit, we're here to help! There's so much to catch up on with this bunch of jabronis that just so happen to wear the same color uniforms as their vastly more popular state college team, and there isn't much time before the big game, especially if you're making one of those fancy seven-layer taco dips or something.
Wherever you watch the game, Falcons fans will be there, and they'll already hate you, Patriots fans, for cheating and being ARROGANT YANKEES and CLASSLESS and mostly just because New England wins while their team either wins or projectile vomits on themselves in an Uber ride. Zero stars!
And now, let the 2017 Player Hater's Ball commence!
Oh hey, remember the fake crowd noise scandal?
What, you didn't think Patriots fans were going to let an *actual* cheating scandal slide, did you? "Actual", in this case, means "not able to be debunked by middle schoolers in science fairs".
If you remember the Colts almost getting popped for playing crowd noise over the PA in the RCA Dome in 2007, and the NFL "looking into it" and then going "Well, all good, nothing to see here!", Atlanta basically did the same thing, was dumb enough to get caught when the NFL started investigating, and then admitted they'd actually been doing it for years while their President was the spokesperson for the NFL's Competition Committee!
Of course, the NFL doesn't take kindly to violators of INTEGRITY, so they hit Atlanta where it hurts and...actually, just kidding, they lost a fifth-round pick and got fined $350,000.
Must be because they're not habitual line-steppers.
Atlanta wasted Roddy White's career and then ran him out of town
Geez, at least when Indianapolis cut Peyton Manning, they made a big old high school slide show production out of it that may as well have had "Time of Your Life" playing in the background. The Falcons couldn't even do that for one of the best receivers they've ever had.
Roddy White, the guy who has a whole boatload of Falcons franchise records - including but not limited to most career receiving yards (10,863), most 1,000-yard seasons (6), and most receiving touchdowns (63) - got frozen out by Kyle Shanahan and then the Falcons ended up telling him to pack up his locker and GTFO last winter. It took Roddy about 2 seconds to let everybody know what really went down:
"What (Shanahan) expected from me and what I expected from him was totally different", White said. "I expected to play a bigger role in the offense, and that's what I wanted to do. But he didn't have that in his desires. He had other people that wanted to play my role, so he wanted me to be out of the offense. That was the whole thing."
Come ON, Falcons, you have one of the only guys in the game that could legit talk trash to Richard Sherman, and that's how you send him out?
It took Matt Ryan 8 years to figure out he just had to do less thinking
Wouldn't it be great if you walked into your job on Monday (especially the Monday after the game, which should be a holiday by now), and your boss made like the surf teacher in Forgetting Sarah Marshall? "I need you to do less."
Well, it turns out that's exactly what Matt Ryan had to do to play like 2007 Tom Brady this season! From ESPN:
"Ryan - coming off the worst season of his career with the Atlanta Falcons - told my colleague David Fleming that his new "thing" was to see "spots" rather than "worry so much about where defenders should be or where they're supposed to be or all those kinds of things."
Pretty good conclusion to reach at 30 years old!
Remember Michael Vick?
Yeah, that happened all right. People don't forget!
They're replacing the Georgia Dome with this freaking thing
It's been described as Megatron's butt for a reason, folks!
The Falcons GM is a cycling nut
There's riding your bike to work, and then there's CYCLING! You already know what we're talking about.
Get a load of this freaking Thomas Dimitroff guy on Grantland a couple years ago:
"I showed up at 7:30 in the morning, having ridden two miles from my house to Falcons Landing, a grassy area between Philips Arena and the Georgia Dome. On the way over, I'd seen just one other biker on Atlanta's mostly cycling-hostile streets. But there was Dimitroff, 49, in his light-blue kit with the words "Rise Up" on the back. He's smaller than you'd expect, maybe 5-foot-9, but built like a pit bull. He took a bite of a banana, stuck it in his jersey's back pocket, and addressed the assembled crowd of mostly large men in spandex. There was also a septuagenarian lady with fearsome calves, a 14-year-old boy on a pink bike, and a guy in loafers."
You may be thinking to yourself, hey, that's not a good reason to hate on someone! He's into fitness and I'm sure he's one of the good cyclists and doesn't make road signs like he's Torrey Smith wildly flailing hoping Colin Kaepernick notices he doesn't have anyone covering him!
You just know he's yelled "RULES OF THE ROAD!" at some folks before.
A couple inches of snow shuts Atlanta down for days at a time
Fun fact, if you just google "Atlanta snow", the first search suggestion is "Atlanta Snowpocalypse". Try it!
That's because the kind of snow we call a "dusting" in New England is only slightly less hazardous than the virus from the Walking Dead and the alien invasion from Independence Day combined when it hits Hot-lanta.
While Boston takes a historic snowstorm last winter as an invitation to "Hold my beer and watch me jump off my roof into this snowdrift!", Atlanta got shut down over 3 inches a couple years ago.
This CBS News quote doubles as both post-apocalyptic terror and top-shelf unintentional comedy:
"...rescuers rushed to deliver blankets, food, gas, and a ride home to countless shivering motorists stopped cold by a storm that paralyzed the business capital of the South with less than 3 inches of snow."
Hey, if you guys want to go on and on about the how great the SEC is, we get to make fun of you for getting wrecked by snow that's not even high enough to get your socks wet, that's how this works.
Dan Quinn tried to build "Seattle East" and basically did the opposite
Definitely can't blame Falcons coach Dan Quinn for parlaying his obliteration of the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl into a sweet head-coaching gig, and to his credit, he's always said he never wanted Atlanta to be "Seattle East".
Yeah, right. That's why you got hired!
More than that, check out these guys that the Falcons have drafted since DQ got to town:
2016, 1st round: Keanu Neal, strong safety, 6'0'', 211 lbs
2016, 2nd rouond: Deion Jones, outside linebacker, 6'1'', 222 lbs
2015, 1st round: Vic Beasley, outside linebacker, 6'2'', 235 lbs
2015, 2nd round: Jalen Collins, cornerback, 6'2'', 198 lbs
We're NOT building Seattle East, we just happen to like the exact same type of players that Peyton Manning still wakes up screaming about. Got it!
One tiny problem: the defense is still a mess, ranking 27th in DVOA and allowing an average of 20.5 points per game.
Good thing they're playing a washed-up Tom Brady who can't throw properly inflated footballs anymore, right?
Just to make sure we didn't miss anything, we asked a Saints fan!
Since the Falcons are to the Saints what the Jets are to the Patriots, we asked a real live lifelong Saints fan about the Falcons and Gunner the Saints Fan did not disappoint:
"Atlanta is a sprawling sh-t city with no culture of its own. Everyone is a transplant or a UGA fan and no one ever gives a sh-t about the Falcons except now. I bet the team won't even realize they're in Houston because all the BS strip malls are exactly the same"
"And Arthur Blank looks like a super villain. Which is actually kind of cool because he's probably the kind of Bond villain who tells you details to his secret plan but then you can easily escape."
"Also, the Falcons were fined for the lamest and saddest NFL crime: fake crowd noise."
He's not wrong!
Oh, and one more thing:
The Varsity sucks.
There. I said it. It's fine. It's not great.