Lifelong Atlanta Falcons fans Caedmon and Owen Churchwell reflect on Super Bowl LI and Atlanta’s history of painfully mediocre sports. The Falcons lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI after holding a 25-point lead earlier in the game. Cartoon by Ashley Lawrence.
By CAEDMON CHURCHWELL – Staff Writer
By OWEN CHURCHWELL – Print Staff Writer
On Feb. 5, the Atlanta Falcons squandered a 25-point lead to the New England Patriots, losing Super Bowl LI and leaving Atlanta fans disappointed for yet another year.
For as long as we can remember, our family has held a traditional barbeque on Super Bowl Sunday. For as long as we can remember, it has only featured the Atlanta Falcons once, and that was this year’s Super Bowl LI — we weren’t alive when John Elway and his beloved Broncos rolled over the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.
This year was supposed to be different.
Not only did the Falcons make the Super Bowl, but they had done it in awe-inspiring style, blowing out the Green Bay Packers 21-44 in the NFC Championship, thus earning a ticket to Super Bowl LI.
It was exciting seeing our beloved Falcons take a 28-3 lead early in the second half, but seeing them blow it was devastating. From the countless penalties and annoying third-down conversions to a crucial fourth quarter fumble by QB Matt Ryan off a careless missed block by running back Devonta Freeman, everything seemed to go south for the Falcons.
But to be honest, it’s not just a Falcons thing. It’s an Atlanta thing.
To put it in perspective, there only has been one championship won by any Atlanta professional sports team (home of the Falcons, Hawks, and Braves), and that was the Braves in 1995.
When compared to cities like Boston (home of the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox), which has 36 titles, it’s just flat embarrassing.
To be an Atlanta sports fan is basically asking for a lifetime full of catastrophic losses and constant settling for mediocrity. Just think about it — the Braves went to the World Series five times in the ‘90s and won only once.
And how many times have the Atlanta Falcons and Hawks fallen short of a championship season?
Every year promises a new hope for Atlanta sports fans, but no matter how different or promising that year seems to be, our teams always find a way to fall short.
Honestly, it difficult being an Atlanta fan, now more than ever.