I am pretty sure that my heart stopped beating. Through three quarters of Super Bowl LI, I thought that an Atlanta sports team would finally experience something that I had never seen in my lifetime. For a few minutes I believed that we would be champions.
Oh how wrong was I. The game was seemingly too good to be true, and what started off as a dream turned into a nightmare. Matt Ryan played like an MVP in the first half, and the Falcon's defense rose up to new heights that I had never seen before. Yet for some reason, just before we were going to ascend to the height of the sports world we fell down. We fell flat on our faces and let Tom Brady (who played a hell of a second half) and the New England Patriots take the championship away from us.
Honestly I have immense respect for Brady and his head coach Bill Belichick. They epitomize greatness and have been consistent performers throughout their tenure together. However they already had FOUR RINGS before Sunday's game. All I wanted for my team was just for one chance, one moment, one opportunity to revel in the glory of being a champion.
I was sad last night as I saw the Patriots and their fans celebrate their comeback victory, but I could not even imagine the emotions Falcon's players, coaches, and especially the owner Arthur Blank were experiencing. Personally, I felt as if someone stuck a hand through our chest, ripped our hearts out, and waved our most vital organ around for all to see. This game will forever be etched into my mind, and not in a good way.
Many of us Atlanta fans have been through hell and back already, and I really can not fault anyone for hopping off the wagon. I did not choose this fandom, but instead it has been part of me since my birth. Being an Atlanta sports fan defines me more than any resume or any biography could. It has never been easy, but I would not trade being a fan of Atlanta for anything. Today I am at an all time low, but the beautiful thing about life is that each day is brand new.
Tomorrow will be the first day in a series of days that will one day result in our redemption. I will not sit down and mourn for long. I will get back up on my feet and cheer on this team, and this city. The Falcons fought too hard and too long for me to give up on them now. I will keep the faith in Atlanta, the city that I raised me and the city that I love. We are a young team with talent, a brand new stadium, and most importantly a Brotherhood. Even now, I truly believe that one day I will see the Falcons and the city of Atlanta ascend to the mountaintop.
I am down today, but tomorrow I will Rise Up...