The Patriots vs Falcons showdown for Super Bowl LI is less than a week away now. And while Bill Belichick and Tom Brady no doubt have their team ready to go for their fifth title since the turn of the century, there are a lot of fans around New England that find themselves not as prepared for this match up as they might usually be.
All this week I've been hearing about how people don't know a lot about the Falcons. Sure we've learned the X's and O's by now. Pass first offense with an All-Pro QB and an All-World WR. Defensive holding first defense with Vic Beasley, Deion Jones, and 9 schmucks. But that's not what fans want to hear about anymore. We got all that already. Now people want to know what's inside this team, how to hate this team. And honestly? I'm kinda stumped here.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I had all but accepted that the Patriots would be playing Green Bay in the Super Bowl before Atlanta made them eat their own cleats on Championship Sunday. And I was ready for the Packers. I had all my jokes lined up. It was going to be 2 weeks of fat cheeseheads, Olivia Munn, and Aaron Rodgers being hated by his family. Easy right?
But now? Now I have to drum up Super Bowl caliber hate for Atlanta? How the hell am I supposed to do that? Atlanta is the most irrelevant multi-team city in American sports bar none. They've never done anything worthy of my ire. The only franchise in that town that's ever won anything is the Braves, and they only did it once because they played Cleveland in the World Series and I guess one of them had to win. For God's sake they couldn't even keep a hockey team in business. You know you're a garbage sports town when your team decides to up and move to fucking Winnipeg after 10 years. Even Nashville still has the Preds and the only thing to do in Nashville is kill yourself in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Now I'm not saying that this Super Bowl will be spoiled by the fact that the Falcons are as boring as Dan Quinn is bald. But I am saying that having some venom attached to the game makes a victory all that much sweeter. Remember that Seahawks game? That had Poodle Pete, Richard Sherman running his mouth, and that insufferable zealot Russell Wilson. That locker room had more hatable people than Adderall pills and it was awesome to beat them.
Maybe this is just spoiled Patriots fan syndrome, but when you make it this far into the season, you should be able to play someone you can hate as much as they hate you. And we all know every other organization in this league has a dartboard on the wall with Pat Patriot's face taped over it, so the hate levels are already hard to match, especially when you're playing a team with the collective personality of a vanilla pudding cup.
Fortunately for the Patriots it doesn't matter how much the fans can or can't hate the Falcons. Bill Belichick will find a way to fill that bulletin board with enough material to drown in. Motivation has never been a problem for this Patriots team, and with a record setting fifth Super Bowl title on the line for Belichick and Brady, it won't be a problem this time either. And if this team does manage to set that record, none of us will remember how boring the Falcons were, we'll just remember how great it felt to witness history.