Before the game tonight, this is from my blog and why I'm a Falcons fan. Also how I became one, it's a cool read. Check it out. http://allen-strk.blogspot.com/2011/12/ ... ation.html
Everyone always asks me on why I'm a Falcon fan and how did I become one. It's really strange because New Yorkers take so much pride in their town. Yet I'm always the person that's different and doesn't always catch along to things. I'm not an all New York hater, since I'm a hardcore Saint John's fan and if I care about baseball, I'll put my David Wright shirt for the Mets but other than that nothing else. I'm all for showing passion and dedication to your New York team but it's the bias thinking and over hyping your team is what annoys me. Giant fans always bring up the 2007 Super Bowl when it comes to debates yet they fail to realize that they have gone on a three year streak of late season collapses. Meanwhile Jet fans buy into the hype that their own coach tells everyone. It's not that bad because you should believe in your coach, but look at the talent on your roster before thinking Super Bowl. New York fans just annoy me so much, but I've calmed down recently because it's decreasing. Some friends of mine are like me and that's having modest expectations and knowing what to expect. It's all about being a realist at this age, if you're not a realist then you need to get a clue. You're not thirteen years old anymore where you can live in a fantasy land.
Now as for becoming a Falcon fan, it all started in 1998. The Super Bowl was on between the Broncos and Falcons, which was the first game that I've ever watched. At just four years ago, the game immediately was caught on by me. For some reason even though they lost, I loved the colors (red & black), how they ran the ball, and their style. It was a few years later when I was eight years old. The 2002 season really got me interested in the Falcons with Michael Vick leading charge. He was so dynamic to watch even though the Falcons didn't have much talent in the receiver position. He just took the team on his back for a playoff berth. The defense was young and hungry with everyone believing in themselves. It was fun to watch especially becoming the first team to beat the Packers on their home field ever. Michael Vick took the stage and ran with it, along with showing off his arm. Brett Farve was battered and beaten down for most of the game, which led to a complete blowout. It was that moment where I became a dedicated Falcon fan and knew it would stick for life.
The years between 2003 and 2007 weren't very fun as a Falcons fan. Other than the historic 2004 season when the Falcons made it all the way to the NFC championship, the team struggled from injuries, inconsistent play, lousy coaching, and a quarterback going to prison. It wasn't fun watching them anymore but I stuck by them for the most part. Eventually a new era was born led by new coach Mike Smith and Matt Ryan. It felt like a breath of fresh air as a Falcon fan after years of being tormented by lackluster coaches like Jim Mora and Bobby Petrino. The average overpaid defense wasn't much better and the lack of offensive playmakers. That all changed in 2008 when the young Falcons came to play and showed everyone they weren't going to be a three win team. That season made me so proud after analysts said this team is going to possibly the worst team in the league. Every game they fought even with the lack of defensive talent and offensive playmakers. New stars were born like Roddy White, Michael Turner, and Jonathan Babineaux. They won eleven games to clinch a playoff berth which made me so proud. They lost in the first round but the point was that the years of horrendous play was over.
The next season was marred by injuries and not returning to the playoffs, but they did manage to have a winning record in back to back seasons for the first time in franchise history. I've always been big on jerseys and owning clothing from my favorite team. Even simply getting red and black which became my favorite colors was always something I needed. The jersey collection started from the great Jamal Anderson who was one of the greatest running backs to ever wear a Falcon uniform. It was from 2000 season when I got it which was really cool even though he retired two years later due to career ending injury. Then eventually just like every Falcon fan did, the Vick jersey was bought. If you were a Falcon fan between 2002 to 2006, you would get a Vick jersey because he was the most popular player in football and he was your franchise icon. Then if you were a true Falcon fan in the summer of 2006, you would have thrown it out or burned it to pieces. It sickens me when Falcon fans still have Vick jerseys because he put the franchise through so much problems. I do know if it wasn't for him, they wouldn't have gotten Matt Ryan or this great core of players but this is morally speaking. Dogs are the greatest animals ever and I'm a dog lover myself, which saddens me deeply to see someone you looked up to kill these animals for money. This scandal was everywhere in America and it made me sick to even wear anything that had his name on the back of it. I'll forever be a Michael Vick basher, but I'll give him his due that he has improved a lot since going to Philadelphia and has performed well. Immediately after that incident, a new Falcon jersey was needed so I bought a DeAngelo Hall jersey who was considered one of the best defensive players on that team. The jersey lasted a strong seven months before Hall got sick of the lack of talent on Atlanta and demanded a trade. He always seemed selfish and very overrated, but Hall is someone I'll always love for being a playmaker. Now with the resurrection of the team between 2008 till now, the jerseys that I currently have are authentic thanks to some sweet hook ups from my buddy Nick Sipp. The guys are Michael Turner, Roddy White, and John Abraham with a Matt Ryan shirt as well. I've stocked up now and don't expect to buy anymore since football jerseys are rarely worn other than for games. But this is just another reason why people know that I'm a hardcore Falcons fan and never jumped on any bandwagon.
The way that I became a Falcons fan is really weird, but I'm very loyal to it. The team has given me plenty of disappointments but I've always stuck by them. The questioning of me jumping on a bandwagon started last year when the Falcons were the best team in the NFC at 13-3 also making a strong case for best team in the NFL. It would take five minutes to tell people how long I've been a fan and how dedicated I am. They all understand and never have I been ripped on for it. Of course you get the your from New York thing, but it's sports. You are open to rooting for whoever in sports unless you live in Europe where you can die for rooting for another team that isn't in your town. The coolest thing in my experience of being a Falcons fan was how much attention I got last year. Even though in high school I was popular, it never hit me that people really knew how much of a die hard fan I was. When the Falcons got demolished at home by the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, that night had me get about fifty text messages and seven comments on my Facebook profile. It sucked for people to make fun of you, but the attention was cool. People felt bad because they knew I would be pretty depressed for the next few days or so but still it was nice to be recognized. Now it is present day and the Falcons just clinched a playoff spot. Even though a division title is highly unlikely with the Saints pretty much wrapping it up, expectations are high in Atlanta. The team hasn't won a playoff game since 2004 and Matt Ryan is already 0-2 in the playoffs. Another first round elimination will bring upon serious questions about Matt Ryan not getting the job done when it counts. Tonight will be a huge measuring stick for the talented but inconsistent Falcons. They have won seven out of their last nine, but nothing is worse than getting swept in the season series to the Saints. It should be fun tonight, I'll be going wild.