These days, everybody in Atlanta has finally accepted that we have a bona fide (winning!) NFL team. And we’re actually supporting them -- ain’t that something? Anyways, it’s never too late to ride the D(fence) that helped us defeat Green Bay and get to the big game for the first time since ‘99. With that said, here's a list what might be unknown-knowns to you newcomers. Now, you can be prepared to at least pretend you’ve been down with the Dirty Bird gang this whole time.
We're here thanks to Samuel L. Jackson
Admit it, you knew when he made that first #RiseUp commercial that it would eventually happen, because Uncle Sam can will and/or scare things into existence.
Matt "Matty Ice" Ryan is better than anyone thought
Seriously. His third-down game is very impressive in terms of completions and conversions. It’s not inconceivable that he can outperform Tom Brady. He even made Aaron Rodgers look like the old Matt Ryan in the NFC championship game.
This is the last chance to proverbially “Defend the Dome”
Sure, the game is in Houston at NRG Stadium, but that’s neither here nor there. What matters is that the Georgia Dome goes away after this season ends, which is February 5, one way or another. Don’t let that T-shirt you never wore go to waste!
It's not an exaggeration to say the whole world wants us to win
You’re not the only fair-weather friend the Falcons have at the moment. Everybody hates New England. They’re rooting for us out there. We’ve got all the momentum.
It doesn’t hurt to have a new head coach who is basically Stone Cold Steve Austin. Fun fact, this guy broke a record for the hammer throw in college. He’s Thor! Also, he made our defense measurably better, and therefore made Seattle’s laughably worse.
Mayor Reed will absolutely take credit
For the rest of his natural life Hizzoner will make sure you know who was in charge when we went back to the big game. He’ll also be the guy in the background yelling “Throw on some Future!” during the post-game victory press conference.
Future deserves some credit though
Yeah, we saw Future Hendrix on the sidelines during the game against the Seahawks (what up Ciara!), dapping up Ryan Cameron. Yes, it was petty and savage. That’s life. Dirty Birds love Dirty Sprite.
Arthur Blank and his mustache are very happy
Namely because we didn't have another one of those first-round playoff knockouts. The man did spend about a billion on the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, so it’s not unreasonable that he told the locker room they’d better make something happen this year. This is what you call ROI.
We still love Michael Vick
That was evident when they rolled him out in a cart at halftime during our decisive ass-whooping of the New Orleans Taints (whoops).
Roddy White isn't tripping either
He rode out with Michael Vick at that Saint's game, and though he was still salty in 2016 after being let go (complaining about not being used enough by Falcons' offense), he’s acknowledged recently in an interview with CBS Atlanta that Atlanta is doing just fine now. Everybody loves a good sport.
There will be no fake noise in the Dome
That’s kinda because the NFL won’t let us host a viewing party there (even though Mayor Reed supported it). But you know it would be lit if we did.
Lady Gaga should be an Atlanta fan
Not only was she signed by ATL resident Akon, but we know how she feels about Elton John. Besides, she was born in Manhattan. So she should be pretty anti-Massachusetts by virtue of nativity. Also, it’s no secret that she’s got crazy support in the LGBT community, and get real -- this is Atlanta. Even the halftime show should be wild.
Nobody’s mad about Brett Favre anymore
Look man, that was 1991. A lot of fans who bring up the Falcons letting him go weren’t even born yet. It’s a new day.
Julio Jones is a mutant
The dude is stretchy like a Gumby doll on the field. He will catch all the balls thrown to him, run like Forest, and score numerous touchdowns.
Alex Mack and Julio Jones are only kind of injured
Just FYI, Mack injured his lower left leg and Julio sprained a damn toe. Both are expected to play. Everything’s fine! Everything’s fine.
Know Vic Beasley. Understand he is a beast.
Our star linebacker is All-Pro thanks to his 15.5 sacks that led the league during the regular season. He’s obviously not playing the Pro Bowl but I think he’s forgiven. He will probably floor Tom Brady at least once during the game. Brady deserves it.
We might have the inside scoop on the Pats
Our GM Thomas Dimitroff worked in the Patriots’ front office from 2002 to 2007, and as you may know they won a couple championships in that time. And we know how New England gets down with the scandals, so at least we should be somewhat prepared for whatever jankiness might come. Hell, we might even have our own...
Matt Ryan will be MVP
I know we’ve already talked about him once in this list, but he deserves another mention. Over at The Falcoholic they’ve got the stats, and it’s hard to argue against him being recognized in a major way for what he’s done this year. Also, have you ever seen him in a V-neck? That guy is chiseled!
HEY, ATLANTA COULD ACTUALLY WIN!
I can’t even fully fathom it yet, because of course this has never happened before. But just in case it does -- and it’d better -- I suggest we all go get a few cases of Crunk Juice (does Lil Jon still make Crunk Juice?), a few Migos mixtapes, and those green and gold Nike Air Trainer SC Highs inspired by the 1996 Olympics here in the hometown. But again... If we win?!? Shieeeeeeeiiiiit. Dabs. Bankhead Bouncing. Mad YEEKs.
But no matter what happens, next year will be awesome either way
We’re hosting the big game in 2018 at our brand new, retractable-roof, Benz-logo-sporting stadium. There’s nothing like coming fresh off an amazing season to build momentum for what we might do with our fancy new football field.
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