Rise Up for What?

By Damian C. Reynolds

Fifty years. Fifty. Years. Fiddy. And no Super Bowl for the Atlanta Falcons to show for it.

Take a look at the Super Bowl champions breakdown since the Falcons’ existence:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (6)
  • San Francisco 49ers (5)
  • Dallas Cowboys (5)
  • Green Bay (4)
  • New York Giants (4)
  • New England Patriots (4)
  • Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (3)
  • Washington Redskins (3)
  • Miami Dolphins (2)
  • Denver Broncos (2)
  • Baltimore Ravens (2)
  • Baltimore Colts (1)
  • Indianapolis Colts (1)
  • New York Jets (1)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (1)
  • Chicago Bears (1)
  • St. Louis Rams (1)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1)
  • Seattle Seahawks (1)
  • New Orleans Saints (1).

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers who wore these jerseys. The New Orleans Saints whose fans did this. These franchises each have a Super Bowl victory to their credit. The Falcons had their chances to hoist the Lombardi trophy. They lost to John Elway’s Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 38.

The Atlanta Falcons have seven playoff victories in the last five decades. Seven. Victories. In fifty years. As a fan, I appreciate the optimism with the “Rise Up” campaign, but for what? There’s nothing to celebrate.

When the Falcons have a chance to rise up, they break down like fractions. Ten years passed before the Falcons reached the playoffs for the first time. The Super Bowl loss to Elway’s Broncos is a bitter disappointment for Falcons fans everywhere. The 2013 NFC Championship is something no Falcons fan wants to remember as well.

Here’s how the Falcons finished the last five seasons:

  • 2014: 6-10 (missed playoffs)
  • 2013: 4-12 (missed playoffs)
  • 2012: 13-3 (Blew 4th Quarter lead in NFC Championship Game)
  • 2011: 10-6 (Lost 24-2 on the road in wild card round)
  • 2010: 13-3 (Lost 48-21 at home in divisional round)

The results are disappointing considering Matthew “Cold Water” Ryan is the franchise’s all-time leading passer and former mediocre coach Mike Smith is the winningest coach with 66 wins. Atlanta finds a way to underachieve despite the talent surrounding them. The Falcons have more blown leads (196) than comeback victories (176) in the last 50 years, including the playoffs.

I would love to say great things about my beloved Atlanta Falcons, but there’s nothing to talk about. Look through the history books, and you’ll see their shortcomings. Hold up your Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick jersey, and you have the number of Atlanta Falcons playoff victories.

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are trying to hold the fort down, but wake up and smell the roses Falcons faithful. Atlanta sports teams are snake-bitten, and the Dirty Birds are no exception.

Appreciate the fact a professional football team is in the area. As history reminds you, there’s no need to rise up.

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