Super Bowl LI: The Atlanta perspective

54thMA

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I agree, and the Atlanta fan(s) here have been great. But that's the type of loss that could haunt them for a long time
This is where I'm at as well.

Not a single player or coach on this team I dislike, they play the game the right way, Ryan has always been a class act, he showed it again tonight in defeat with his post game interviews, I'm sure they were not easy for him.

That said, this game is going to leave a mark and you have to wonder how they will deal with this loss going forward.

I wish them the best vs the other 30 teams in the NFL.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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You guys made bad decisions in the second half. Bad. Multiple times you should have been running it and chose to pass. Led to momentum changing plays and clock management issues.

Jones is a freak. Freeman is a freak. Those two impressed me a lot. You ran into your defense being worn out. The pats literally ran twice as many play on offense. That's tough to overcome. And the way the momentum shifted, with such a young team, that's a hard road.

On top, you got fucked like we did by Tyrell. Keep your head up, your a good young team and you should have another shot. You just got a couple GOAT punches.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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With regard to Atlanta's playcalling in the fourth quarter, the Falcons have played a lot of fourth quarters with big leads this season and been criticized for vanilla playcalling that has let their opponents back into games in which they should have been dead and buried. So today, with the Patriots defense clearly starting to dominate the line of scrimmage, they tried to play their normal offense and got badly burned. (Not having Coleman - the bigger, short-yardage back - available didn't help.) If they had done line plunges on second and third down on their final possession with the lead, every Falcons fan would have been thinking "Gary Anderson" as Bryant came out for the would-be clinching kick. So I think the decision-making was excusable.

(I did also warn that Quinn's clock management naivete was a potential Achilles heel for the Falcons, and we just saw that to some extent - e.g., clocking the ball on second down right at the end of the game was poor, as was not calling one or more defensive timeouts in overtime to try and slow the Patriots down and give their defense more time to rest.)

As for what this means to me as an Atlanta fan - particularly an Atlanta fan who was studying abroad in 1995-96 and never felt the Braves World Series win was my own - there's a real chance that this will fundamentally alter my relationship with sports forever. I'm sure Red Sox fans felt this way after 1986...but then, the Celtics had just crushed the Rockets in the NBA Finals a few months earlier, right? This just feels horrendous: the Braves are years away from relevance, the Hawks are violently stuck in the middle, and the NFL is too random to take anything for granted. (And the Flames and Thrashers are both in west-central Canada.) I don't begrudge any of you your joy after what just happened. But my disappointment is so crushing - too crushing to get to sleep, so I'm now in the middle of the worst all-nighter ever - that I really do wonder why I should bother with this whole sports malarkey. Surely no hypothetical, by-no-means-assured future joy can be worth this.
At least you've got Arsenal!

Sorry about the game man. I wish it wasn't you and your team on the receiving end of this one.
 

Toe Nash

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The fade was, um, not what I'd call an ideal play call but that wasn't really a dropped interception.
Yeah, he didn't even try to catch it because he couldn't reach it with both hands, he definitely swiped at it to knock it down.

Edit: I don't think there is any excuse for the playcalling after the Jones catch. Yeah there's a small chance you miss the FG but at least you'd take more time off the clock. Just do the easy thing that every other coach would do and you have a 95% chance to ice the game. Just as bad as the Seahawks not running with Lynch IMO.

And as EJ points out, the TD doesn't help you that much more than the FG. Two possessions and very unlikely to come back either way.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Atlanta hurt themselves badly, on their last 2 drives, by going for the knockout blow when all they needed to do was run the clock down and protect the lead.

If they run on 3rd and 1 and get stuffed, they punt (with a punter who was great in this game) and the Patriots have a long field to work with instead of just being able to punch it in. If they make it, they can, at worst, run time and Patriots time outs off the clock.

Then they are driving on their last drive, get into FG range, and all they absolutely needed to do was not get backed up and kick the FG. Absolutely didn't need a TD there. A couple of runs to set the FG up from the angle the kicker wanted as all they should have done.

As Mike Lombardi said in an emergency podcast with Bill Simmons, their opponent was the clock, not the Patriots.

There were also a couple of plays where they snapped the ball with 15-20 seconds left on the clock - that was free time they could have run off but didn't.
 

m0ckduck

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I can feel the Falcons' fans' pain, but will the curse of the SB loser continue? Losing Shanahan, plus Freeman's gripes about salary, plus any post-choke job hangover, certainly makes me expect a step backward next year.

And as many others have said, this is a very likable team, so I am not wishcasting.
I think dome teams are always in a bind in terms of building for playoff success. Call it Indianapolis-itis: the same tendencies that lead to dominant home field advantage and great regular seasons don't play well in the postseason. This is over-simplifiyng a bit, but we saw this yesterday to some extent with the small, fast Atlanta D playing out of their minds for 2/3rds of the game and getting ground to dust at the end. If I'm a Falcons fan, I'm praying for management that's courageous in its evaluation of the team and doesn't just play to the dome-- for example, a willingness to invest cap space in linemen over flashy skill players, etc, stuff like that.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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If it wasn't the Pats doing this to them I'd actually feel bad for them.
As there is really nothing that can destroy my feelings of joy today, I do feel empathy for Atlanta fans, as gut punch losses (and this may be the worst in NFL history) are something all NFL fans often...it comes with the territory.
 

Flunky

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I felt bad for Arthur Blank on the sideline. Wishing that on jerry jones
Pretty funny, still all the hate despite the Cowboys not being even the conf. champ game for over 21 years. I'd take that happening to him, it'd mean they actually won a game or two in the post season.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Respect to Conigliato's Potential, and congrats for his exciting young team. I know that can be taken as patronizing, I hope it isn't.

I fucking love Julio Jones. He's blown by Megatron and is closing in on Moss, TO and Rice.
 

lexrageorge

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I felt the biggest gut punch of this year's playoffs prior to last night's game was the Cowboys loss. I never got into all of that America's Team crap around Dallas, and hated the Irvin/Smith/Aikman years for some reason. But I actually felt sorry for Dallas fans after that loss to the Packers, thinking that's a game that only Aaron Rodgers could pull off.

Falcon fans took a bigger gut punch last night. As noted by EJ and others above, there really was no reason to call 2 straight pass plays after that Jones catch in the 4th quarter. Dialing in 3 running plays would have forced New England to burn at least 2 timeouts (probably all 3), and even an unlikely missed FG would not necessarily have put Atlanta's defense in any worse position than they ended up.

I'd like to see Atlanta do well next year. But, sorry to say, it's so hard to recover from a Super Bowl loss. The NFC had a lot of good teams this season that are only going to try to get better.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Running the normal offense and not vanilla when we were steamrolling back makes plenty of sense. Like the HIghtower strip sack, I've heard some grief on that playcall and it is 3rd & 1, but Freeman picks up the damn block and Ryan has some awareness and at worst you're punting and we need that many more yards down 16.

But at some point situational football has to win over and it was once they were firmly in FG range after the Jones catch. Also, someone said Ryan's weakness is not throwing it away, and it really cost the Falcons dearly last night.

EDIT: Worth noting we didn't use any TOs (or 1 at most) on the game-tying drive, but still.
 

Boston Brawler

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Have to say, I respect the true Atlanta fans. I checked out their message board on their official website (which seems to be the most popular one) and anyone that brought up the refs screwing them or alleged we cheated was shot down immediately by almost every poster in the thread.
 

Monbo Jumbo

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....

So, once you guys eventually calm down, here's the question: where does Atlanta rank on the list of cursed sports cities now? Because it's got to be pretty high right about now.
I think it ranks very high. I've lived in this town 26 years and thought a ch-ship would be good for this place. You must be hurting. I never bought into the Falcons, and drifted away from the NFL in my years here. But the Falcons will be helped by their new, state-of-the-art stadium next year.

I'm not willing to say the same about the Braves. This town may hate the Braves more in their new digs after they fight traffic and can't find parking.

Well. there's always ECHL hockey a mile from my house.
 

johnmd20

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I felt the biggest gut punch of this year's playoffs prior to last night's game was the Cowboys loss. I never got into all of that America's Team crap around Dallas, and hated the Irvin/Smith/Aikman years for some reason. But I actually felt sorry for Dallas fans after that loss to the Packers, thinking that's a game that only Aaron Rodgers could pull off.

Falcon fans took a bigger gut punch last night. As noted by EJ and others above, there really was no reason to call 2 straight pass plays after that Jones catch in the 4th quarter. Dialing in 3 running plays would have forced New England to burn at least 2 timeouts (probably all 3), and even an unlikely missed FG would not necessarily have put Atlanta's defense in any worse position than they ended up.

I'd like to see Atlanta do well next year. But, sorry to say, it's so hard to recover from a Super Bowl loss. The NFC had a lot of good teams this season that are only going to try to get better.
In terms of gut punch losses, last night isn't even in the same galaxy as the Dallas game. Dallas never had the lead for the final 3 quarters of the game and they were behind huge, before making a frantic comeback. The Falcons had a 99.3% win probability and they lost.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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small thing but the challenge on the Edelman catch... it was the last chance in the game to throw the challenge flag, but it cost Atlanta their final timeout, and any shot at driving for a winning FG at the end of regulation as it turned out. The replay also clearly showed the call would be upheld. I guess we rushed to the line and made Atlanta panic a bit, but another mistake here.
Agreed. I was amazed that in a game where timeouts were precious (either ATL would need them to help a gassed defense or on offense should the Pats score to tie it up) Quinn threw a TO away on a long-shot replay. I assume the coaches in the box saw the same views we got at home -- how could they challenge there?

As to the Atlanta (the city/sports community), like many here if it hadn't been the Pats, I would have been all in for the Falcons. That franchise struggles in the shadow of UGA football and the fans come and go depending on the quality of the team. A championship might have locked down some of the bandwagoners and it would have given the many, many, transplants a reason to adopt the home team. I hope this back-breaker doesn't send the franchise into a tailspin. They're young, with a great organization, a good coach, and a franchise QB/WR combo.
 
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steveluck7

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what was more boneheaded about the challenge is that there was no way the Patriots were gonna get the next play off before the 2 minute warning. So, he had a built in breather to look and decide to challenge (or not).
 

steveluck7

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You think? I haven't re-watched but recall that it got challenged at 2:03 and the pats weren't totally lined up.
no big deal but i just remember seeing 2:03 and thinking it was a waste
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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As for what this means to me as an Atlanta fan - particularly an Atlanta fan who was studying abroad in 1995-96 and never felt the Braves World Series win was my own - there's a real chance that this will fundamentally alter my relationship with sports forever. I'm sure Red Sox fans felt this way after 1986...but then, the Celtics had just crushed the Rockets in the NBA Finals a few months earlier, right? This just feels horrendous: the Braves are years away from relevance, the Hawks are violently stuck in the middle, and the NFL is too random to take anything for granted. (And the Flames and Thrashers are both in west-central Canada.) I don't begrudge any of you your joy after what just happened. But my disappointment is so crushing - too crushing to get to sleep, so I'm now in the middle of the worst all-nighter ever - that I really do wonder why I should bother with this whole sports malarkey. Surely no hypothetical, by-no-means-assured future joy can be worth this.
When you finally do win, it will be all the sweeter because of this.
 

coremiller

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- On the 3rd and 1 play that resulted in the sack/fumble, I don't mind lining up in spread and throwing. I think a short pass is a perfectly reasonable call. But I don't understand why they were trying to take a deep shot. The passes on the next series when they were in FG range though were awful.

- I don't buy the "they can't come back from that" narrative. Sometimes that happens, but there are plenty of counterexamples. The Bruins blew a double 3-0 lead (3-0 in the series, 3-0 in Game 7), which is as bad a choke as there can be, and won the Cup the next year. The Red Sox got Aaron Boone'd (again about as bad a loss as there can be) and won the World Series the next year. The Spurs blew Game 6 in 2013 despite being up 5 with 28 seconds left, then lost a tight Game 7 in which Tim Duncan missed a game-tying layup, and won the title the next year. Etc.
 

Kull

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Where does Atlanta rank on the list of cursed cities? Well you guys are certainly at the top of the list today. As for "levels of losing" gut punch losses, this one probably ranks right up there with the Red Sox World Series Game 6. Multiple run lead, nobody on base, literally one strike away from the end of the curse, and then.....well...it felt like death by a 1000 cuts. Just one play after another, all adding up, and the entire fan base is watching in disbelief, all the while thinking, "this can't be happening".

And that's kind of similar to what the Falcon fans must have experienced yesterday. I'm sorry - really - but this is going to hurt for a VERY long time.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I have nothing against Atlanta and really like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, so if I allow myself to think about the Atlanta perspective a bit I actually do feel kind of bad for them. The whole thing is surreal, but after the Pats made it a one-score game and they had the ball in FG range with a couple of minutes left, that really should have been it. The sack and penalty there on back-to-back plays was just so, so bad. That's an epic gut-punch loss and one that I would have had a lot of trouble coming back from.

All I can say is that sitting on my couch after Grady fucked up in the Toilet in '03 I remember wondering why I bothered, but you have to keep coming back. It's why sports are great.
 

lexrageorge

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You think? I haven't re-watched but recall that it got challenged at 2:03 and the pats weren't totally lined up.
no big deal but i just remember seeing 2:03 and thinking it was a waste
It would have been very close. But the chances of their getting a play off were probably less than 50/50.

- On the 3rd and 1 play that resulted in the sack/fumble, I don't mind lining up in spread and throwing. I think a short pass is a perfectly reasonable call. But I don't understand why they were trying to take a deep shot. The passes on the next series when they were in FG range though were awful.

- I don't buy the "they can't come back from that" narrative. Sometimes that happens, but there are plenty of counterexamples. The Bruins blew a double 3-0 lead (3-0 in the series, 3-0 in Game 7), which is as bad a choke as there can be, and won the Cup the next year. The Red Sox got Aaron Boone'd (again about as bad a loss as there can be) and won the World Series the next year. The Spurs blew Game 6 in 2013 despite being up 5 with 28 seconds left, then lost a tight Game 7 in which Tim Duncan missed a game-tying layup, and won the title the next year. Etc.
Correct, in that I don't believe there will be some sort of carry over affect. I do believe the rigors of training camp and then the regular season allows the players to avoid dwelling on prior losses. Fans may feel differently, but players either move on or find themselves unemployed.

The real issue is that the competition is not static, and there were really a lot of good teams in the NFC this year. And recall how many Patriot seasons we've seen derailed by untimely injuries.
 
At least you guys are being kind about it, which is nice.
You think? I haven't re-watched but recall that it got challenged at 2:03 and the pats weren't totally lined up.
no big deal but i just remember seeing 2:03 and thinking it was a waste
The Pats were about to snap the ball, and no definitive replay had yet been seen on the broadcast, and I know I myself was dubious at the time that it was a legal catch - I think the challenge there was defensible in the split-second Quinn had to make it. (Burning those other two timeouts earlier in the half, on the other hand...there was far too much of that throughout the season from the Falcons.)
 

teddykgb

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It would have been very close. But the chances of their getting a play off were probably less than 50/50.



Correct, in that I don't believe there will be some sort of carry over affect. I do believe the rigors of training camp and then the regular season allows the players to avoid dwelling on prior losses. Fans may feel differently, but players either move on or find themselves unemployed.

The real issue is that the competition is not static, and there were really a lot of good teams in the NFC this year. And recall how many Patriot seasons we've seen derailed by untimely injuries.
Football also has a big roster and a lot of turnover. Clearly Super Bowl losers have had some struggles from time to time but I'm not sure that's because of the nature of the game as much as it is the reality of the Salary Cap and the fact that a good run at the right time can make a good team appear better than they are. I'm not sure the nature of the loss impacts the 2017-2018 Falcons all that much because the roster will turnover, the work that goes into a new season is immense, and they'll have a new OC with a new set of questions to answer.
 

8slim

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At least you guys are being kind about it, which is nice.
There's no reason to spew hate towards Atlanta. We have no rivalry and Falcons fans are perfectly fine. This isn't like 2 years ago where I worked myself into a hateful lather towards Seahawks fans because the "12" stuff was so damn obnoxious.

I have a few genuine Falcons fan friends and they're pretty devastated. I feel for them, we've been there and it's gut wrenching.
 

Old Fart Tree

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I thought Atlanta was underrated going into this game. I think the way they played confirmed it for me (very BB-like in terms of demeanor). The patriots played some of their best football in the 4th quarter that I've seen in awhile.
If Quinn stays in control, I can see the falcons becoming long-term contenders.

Wait Eric is alive? I just, kinda assumed...
 

loshjott

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At least you guys are being kind about it, which is nice.

The Pats were about to snap the ball, and no definitive replay had yet been seen on the broadcast, and I know I myself was dubious at the time that it was a legal catch - I think the challenge there was defensible in the split-second Quinn had to make it. (Burning those other two timeouts earlier in the half, on the other hand...there was far too much of that throughout the season from the Falcons.)
That's a no brainer to challenge. At that point in the game the 20 or so yards are precious and the play so unreal I thought Quinn had to do it.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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At least you guys are being kind about it, which is nice.

The Pats were about to snap the ball, and no definitive replay had yet been seen on the broadcast, and I know I myself was dubious at the time that it was a legal catch - I think the challenge there was defensible in the split-second Quinn had to make it. (Burning those other two timeouts earlier in the half, on the other hand...there was far too much of that throughout the season from the Falcons.)
Yup -- I think there's also some psychology when you see a team rush up to the line to try to take a quick snap after a dubious play. You don't want to be the guy who ended up with the flag in your pocket on a massive play that if you'd challenged would have been overturned.

On a bigger theme in part of this thread, I feel a lot that some of the discussion about Atlanta's play calling late in the game is very similar to the second guessing of Pete Carroll. Coaches made suboptimal calls all the time. Most of the time, they work out. Or at least they don't end up costing you. The Patriots' too-early onside kick, for example. You still have to make a play on the other side. Yes, you can criticize throwing in field goal range. But only because the Patriots stepped up and made a great play. The great play part seems to always get dropped off, like it's fucking obvious or something that if you drop back and throw a pass that off course you're going to get sacked for a ten-yard loss. Or that if you throw a pass on the goalline, a guy is going to make a once in a lifetime play. These calls are always only judged in hindsight. If the Falcons get another first down and the Patriots have to burn both time outs and then the Falcons get three points with 2:30 left or whatever almost taking even an onside kick out of the equation, then it's brilliant.
 

Super Nomario

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At least you guys are being kind about it, which is nice.

The Pats were about to snap the ball, and no definitive replay had yet been seen on the broadcast, and I know I myself was dubious at the time that it was a legal catch - I think the challenge there was defensible in the split-second Quinn had to make it. (Burning those other two timeouts earlier in the half, on the other hand...there was far too much of that throughout the season from the Falcons.)
Also, you are never going to get another opportunity to challenge (since plays under 2 minutes are auto-reviewed), and it's reasonable to try to give your D a blow there since they'd been on the field so much.
 

Eddie Jurak

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At least you guys are being kind about it, which is nice.

The Pats were about to snap the ball, and no definitive replay had yet been seen on the broadcast, and I know I myself was dubious at the time that it was a legal catch - I think the challenge there was defensible in the split-second Quinn had to make it. (Burning those other two timeouts earlier in the half, on the other hand...there was far too much of that throughout the season from the Falcons.)
I thought it was close enough that, had the officials called it an incompletion, the Patriots might have lost the challenge. I think it was a legitimate catch, with Edelman completing the catch before any part of the ball touches the ground. But it was thisclose.

- On the 3rd and 1 play that resulted in the sack/fumble, I don't mind lining up in spread and throwing. I think a short pass is a perfectly reasonable call. But I don't understand why they were trying to take a deep shot. The passes on the next series when they were in FG range though were awful.
Disagree, strongly. The Atlanta punter was pinning the Pats deep all game long and the Patriots ended up needing just about all of the time they had. A knockout blow would have been nice, but all Atlanta really needed on that drive was to run clock and not turn it over inside their 30. The Pats had virtually no margin for error at that point and they ended up needing just about all of the time they had to tie it up. The 30 to 50 yards Atlanta gave away by not punting could easily have made the difference.
 

Al Zarilla

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I just saw Alford hot dog the last 15 yards to the end zone on his INT. I guess I turned away when it was live and for all the repeats. Freeman I did watch with his body flip and land on his back act. Just want to point out that you'll never see a Patriot player pull that shit.
 

johnmd20

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I just saw Alford hot dog the last 15 yards to the end zone on his INT. I guess I turned away when it was live and for all the repeats. Freeman I did watch with his body flip and land on his back act. Just want to point out that you'll never see a Patriot player pull that shit.
The flip by Freeman was fine, to me. He flipped into the end zone, going full blast. Alford was extremely obnoxious. You would definitely not see a Patriot do that and, if they did, it wouldn't end well for the player.
 

koufax32

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Petty Alert:


You know who we didn't hear speak up about the witch hunt that was DFG? Arthur Blank. Don't screw with the Patriots or they will crush your soul, Arthur. Screw him and any mouth breather Falcon fan who thinks the Patriots are the cheatiest cheaters ever. I sincerely hope AB thought to himself in horror"what have we created?!" as the comeback was reaching breakneck speed.


Add to that the amazing moralizing coming from a fan base (lol) that was so lame the team had to break the rules to actually create a home field advantage in a dome.
 

Al Zarilla

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The flip by Freeman was fine, to me. He flipped into the end zone, going full blast. Alford was extremely obnoxious. You would definitely not see a Patriot do that and, if they did, it wouldn't end well for the player.
What's the point of the flip though? I would think if you catch a cleat or something you could break your back. Maybe a worst-worst case, but why? I know we've seen it before, SB 38, DeShaun Foster.
 

gammoseditor

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Petty Alert:


You know who we didn't hear speak up about the witch hunt that was DFG? Arthur Blank. Don't screw with the Patriots or they will crush your soul, Arthur. Screw him and any mouth breather Falcon fan who thinks the Patriots are the cheatiest cheaters ever. I sincerely hope AB thought to himself in horror"what have we created?!" as the comeback was reaching breakneck speed.
This is my general feeling toward the entire league, but if there anything specific Falcons or Arthur Blank related? Or is the criticism just because he didn't take our side?

I'm good either way. Just curious if I missed something.
 

Captaincoop

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I just saw Alford hot dog the last 15 yards to the end zone on his INT. I guess I turned away when it was live and for all the repeats. Freeman I did watch with his body flip and land on his back act. Just want to point out that you'll never see a Patriot player pull that shit.
I totally forgot about that Alford garbage. I hope he thoroughly enjoyed his sleepless night last night and all the times from now through old age that he thinks about how he almost, shoulda, coulda, woulda won a Super Bowl.
 

koufax32

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This is my general feeling toward the entire league, but if there anything specific Falcons or Arthur Blank related? Or is the criticism just because he didn't take our side?

I'm good either way. Just curious if I missed something.
No, just that he chose not to do the right thing.
 

Jettisoned

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He doesn't seem especially bad besides dressing like a prohibition-era gangster and trading in his wife for a younger one every 20 years like they were Toyotas.
 

Joe D Reid

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I guess this is the right place to mention that ConigliarosPotential put on a clinic on how to participate in a an opponent fan forum. No trolling, pushed back on some of the more obvious ridiculousness. Kudos.
 

Archer1979

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Hey, congratulations guys - what a comeback. (I want to cry, obviously...particularly given that I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. for this and need to leave for the airport in just over 3 hours.)

So, once you guys eventually calm down, here's the question: where does Atlanta rank on the list of cursed sports cities now? Because it's got to be pretty high right about now.
Curses? Bah. That's a CHB invention. There was at least one parallel though that I saw last night that reminded me of 1986. Everything about Arthur Blank and his wife on the sidelines screamed Jean Yawkey in the visitor's clubhouse at Shea with the Sox up in Game 6.

Atlanta's got a good young football team with the reigning NFL MVP at quarterback. They'll contend.