When you cheer for the teams that I cheer for, once the season starts winding toward the playoffs and the championship game, you’re sort of like the kid that couldn’t find a date to the prom. Instead of drowning my sorrows in a pint or two of ice cream, I’ve found that finding a team to hate makes the misery of being an Atlanta Falcons fan during the playoffs much easier.
This year, finding the team to hate is no problem at all. I’m looking at you, New Orleans.
I can’t hate the Rams. When their coach played high school football in the state of Georgia, I don’t know, like 3 years ago, he was the top rated player in the state. And the running back for the Rams is Georgia Bulldog great, Todd Gurley. What’s not to like?
I can’t hate the Chiefs either. Their quarterback is really fun to watch. As I noted before, he’s the Steph Curry of the NFL. And again, Justin Houston and Chris Conley, two former Bulldog greats, play for the Chiefs. In a way, I feel that I have a kindred spirit with Chiefs fans. They always have pretty good teams but never can close the deal when it counts–just like my teams. On top of that, if you close your eyes while the Chiefs are doing really good at home, it sounds like it’s 1995 and the Braves are on their way to winning their first of many, excuse me, their first World Series.
You might think that I would hate the Patriots. They’re really good all the time, their quarterback sort of looks like the mean older brother from a CBS After School Special about the dangers of huffing spray paint cans, and they gave the Falcons a humiliating loss in the Super Bowl.
Let’s address this one at a time. The Patriots are good all the time. And that may or may not be because they cheat. But to hate a team just for being good makes me feel like a kid on a college campus somewhere in California who hates everyone with more money than him. And yes, Tom Brady could easily play the role of the older brother in a CBS After School Special about the dangers of huffing spray paint cans. But kids need to learn these lessons today and who better to teach it to them than the greatest quarterback to ever live? Finally, it’s not the Patriots fault that the Falcons forgot to play offense during the second half of the Super Bowl. If there’s a team to hate for that it’s Atlanta and believe me, I’m tempted.
Oh yeah, and two really good Dawgs, Sony Michele and David Andrews, are key contributors for the Pats.
Finally, we have the Saints. The Saints do have some redeemable qualities, namely Drew Brees and Ben Watson. Both of these men are covered up with integrity and Watson is a certified Bulldog great. But that’s not enough to atone for the team for which they play. Cheering for the Saints to win the Super Bowl would be like cheering for Auburn or Tennessee to win the national championship on Georgia’s field. This just can’t happen.
But as I was reminded last night as I was cheering for the Eagles, whoever I throw my support behind is guaranteed not to win. With that in mind, there’s a good chance that I’ll be watching this year’s Super Bowl while wearing a Saints hat and a Bernie 2020 shirt. Man, that’s painful to write but I’m willing to make the necessary sacrifices.
So to summarize, basically the only way you could make me cheer for the Saints would be if their entire roster was filled with Georgia Bulldogs, they got a new coach, they moved from New Orleans to somewhere around Macon, Georgia, and paid me $500 for past damages. Everyone has a price tag.
Speaking of sacrifices, Business Insider is reporting that Tom Brady likely set aside between 60 and 100 million dollars over the course of his career in order to give the Patriots more room to acquire good talent. This is how good teams are built. Aaron Rogers is a great quarterback but he makes so much money that the Packers have no other options but to fill out the rest of their roster with washed up roller derby players. More elite athletes should follow Brady’s example here.
Finally, the best thing I saw all week was the reaction to Bears kicker Cody Parkey. In case you forgot, and if you’re a Bears fan, you’ll never forget, last week Parkey missed a 43-yard field goal that ended the season for the Bears. As a result, media pundits, many of whom can’t walk from their table to the buffet line without stopping for a snack, ripped the kicker.
Look, I get it. He should have made the kick. But to suggest that his job is one that anybody could do is absurd. And the good folks at Chicagoland’s Goose Island Beer Company were kind enough to prove that. They created a contest where anyone who could hit a 43-yard field goal would win tickets to a future NFL game of their choice. Out of 100 contestants, no one made it. No one. If only Rex Ryan would’ve been given a chance.
And to Parkey’s credit, he took his failure like a man. He did his interviews and he owned his failure. I’ve seen much more prominent athletes after a loss who whined like toddlers on the playground at McDonald’s. Parkey is a good example to us all of how to handle failure as well as the importance of thinking before critiquing.
Oh, since no one won the kicking contest, the Goose Island Beer Company decided to donate $20,000 to a charity of Cody Parkey’s choice.
He chose the Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Until next week, happy footballing!