A Love Letter to Atlanta Sports


Michael Smith

Atlanta, you beautiful champions!

Michael Smith, Reporter, Photographer

Dear Atlanta Sports,

There’s nothing I love more than your atmosphere. I always know what to expect. I never have to worry about parades with confetti and security bullying through crowds to guard million dollar, world champion athletes. I never fear a bright, shining trophy distracting me on a drive home. I never tire of fair weather or ignoring the final minutes of a game because I know who will not pull through for me and this city I have had the fortune to grow up in.

A quick list of the five most entertaining sports cities in the grand U.S. of A.

  1. Philadelphia– I think they won a World Series or Stanley Cup or something at some point in my lifetime. And although the fans show up to games perennially inebriated and ridiculously rambunctious, they bond together and hate other fan bases while holding true to their local allegiance.
  2.  Buffalo– Weather so cold it freezes souls and pumping blood. But at least the 90s generated plenty of football success. Kind of.  Even Doug Marrone, the previous head coach, knew he did not perform well enough to match Buffalo standards, so he left to coach the offensive line in Jacksonville. But thankfully, Buffalo replaced him with the Jets’ sloppy seconds. Oh wait. I meant the Jets old “it just didn’t work out between us.” And his brother. No doubt the press conferences certainly have potential.
  3. Detroit– Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson, two Hall of Famers and absolute stars most franchises would kill to call their own. Sure, the Lions may play in a stadium named after the business that built the city then ran off to underdeveloped countries. Detroit always has teams so invigorating and newsworthy arguably the greatest running back of all time just quit while still dominating the league. And the same occurred with a bona fide Hall of Fame receiver. Not to mention, the Lions remain the only franchise since 1982 to own a goose egg at the season’s end. But at least there’s some baseball and basketball positives…?
  4. Cleveland– They’ve got Lebron. He’s pretty good. The fact that Siri gives you directions to FirstEnergy stadium (the home of the Browns) when you ask for directions to Sadness occurs solely because of biased programmers. It has nothing to do with thirteen losing seasons in fifteen years, or their last playoff victory coming under Bill Belichick in 1994, or  endless busts from top ten picks. But At least Johnny Manziel made some news cycles. Bless the soul tasked with managing him.
  5. Atlanta– Possibly no city keeps it together in crunch time like Atlanta. The NBA and NFL’s officiating provide the only reason the Hawks and the Falcons have failed to claim a championship in their respective leagues. The Braves won their division from 1991 to 2005 and won a (1, uno, single) World Series. The fans certainly never waiver in loyalty or interest until teams begin often fruitless championship runs. According to the New York Times, most cities average three close calls for every championship. But Atlanta’s ratio? A ridiculous 14 to one.

Solely resulting from bad luck. Not a result of leaders like the current Falcons management, which has drafted two players from 2009 to 2012 that still own a spot on the roster.That kind of middling performance absolutely does not develop the kind of atmosphere where a fan can easily see people sporting merchandise from all 32 NFL teams at the Georgia Dome on any given Sunday. It does not breed a society where yours truly, someone who has lived in Atlanta since 1999, can honestly say they know no true, diehard Falcons, Hawks, or even Braves fan. This level of performance certainly does not develop the expectation that leads to the host of Atlanta’s afternoon show on sports talk station 680 The Fan, Matt “Lanta” Chernoff, to retain one wish— to see a championship in his own city. No one will ever surpass you or exceed you and your mediocre consistency, Atlanta.


Best Wishes and Good Luck (you need it),

Michael Smith

April Fool’s, you fool!

XOXO, The Chant