NFL PLAYOFFS: Well the NFL Playoffs are here in full swing again! Stories of Redemption & Revenge for the Falcons if they can get back to the Big Dance. Internal drama drama drama in New England with the trading of bad ass Jimmy Garapolapalopoloplo to the 49ers. Pittsburgh wanting to redeem themselves from the epic smack down the Jags gave them earlier in the year. Scramble Sensation Mariota and the Titans wanting respect they’re not being given (deservedly so almost). The Vikings with their Fairy Tale story of Case Keenum, that annoying horn they blast in peoples’ ears through out the game (that I secretly hated and now LOVE) and boy ole boy that number one stacked defense. And Finally the Red Hot Big Easy Saints with Drew Brees on fire looking incredible! I. Can’t. Wait. Let the games begin!
I was born and raised in Hot-lanta and my first NFL game was in Fulton County Stadium with my Dad and older brother John. Brother “Bubba” John had been talking all week about our number one draft pick and how awesome he was. Being so young I really hadn’t been paying attention all I knew is that we were going to the big game to see the Falcons. Walking down the tunnel and seeing the lights and field come into to view was magical and I’ll remember it the rest of my life. The field looked so different than it did on TV. We got to our seats and it was difficult for me to see when all the adults were standing up for the big plays. Being so young I was kinda bored because not much had happened in the game. I leaned over to my Dad half way through the first quarter:
Gav: Dad, who were you and John talking about all week that the Falcons got?
Dad lifted me up onto his shoulders and pointed out to the field and pointed to Number 21.
Dad: You see that player right there number 21? Deion Sanders, our number 1 pick from FSU. They’re about to punt him the football. Keep your eyes on 21. Don’t take your eyes off 21.
The kicker got the snap and punted it to Prime Time himself. And a life long Falcons/NFL fan was born. Deion got the ball, broke two tackles and ran it back to the house for six! Fulton County Stadium went apeshit, the contagious energy and emotions flooded through my mind and body. I vividly still remember this day. Absolutely Amazing. And I spent the next several years cheering for my woeful Red & Black Falcons. Dad even shed tears when we beat the highest scoring offense Minnesota Vikings in 1998 to go to our first Super Bowl where we lost the the Great John Elway and Denver Broncos.
Side story, Brother John, Sister “Big C” Caroline, Me and Dad also brought a 3 foot tall E.T. The Extra Terrestrial punching bag to another game. We decked the doll out head to toe in Falcons attire, Ball Cap, Shirt and red pom-poms just so we could get on TV. Atlanta got absolutely obliterated to the 49ers and the mean cameraman realizing that some fans wanted to just get on TV crushed our dreams in a 5 second close up of ONLY E.T. When we got home we fast forwarded through the entire VHS tape to see if we got on TV and only E.T. was seen and the Color Commentator dropped this gem:
Commentator: “Well, there’s one Atlanta fan that wants to Go Home.”
Fast forward to the biggest Super Bowl choke in history. Leading 28-3 towards the end of the third quarter, America’s Son, Super Tom Brady brought the Patriots back to win in over time. I did 3 back-to-back shots of tequila with my lovely girlfriend and got into a Uber. I refused to watch a single second of the celebration and confetti falling. We only had to go a mile to get home. Repeat, One Mile. I was so belligerent and mad I was kicked out of such Uber for vulgarity spewing from my sweet lips at the heartbreaking, sole crushing loss. And now…..
Atlanta vs Philadelphia: ….Atlanta has a chance to be like the NY Giants on their run to their first Super Bowl to beat Tom Brady. Getting hot at the perfect time. Our Defense is firing on all cylinders and Mattie Ice Ryan and the offense finally seem to be clicking with Julio and Freedman/Coleman and new Offensive coordinator Steve “I Love To Drink” Sarkisian. We have the perfect road and opportunity to get to the Super Bowl…
The Philadelphia Eagles are the first number 1 ranked team to be a underdog at home in the history of the NFL. As of now the spread is Atlanta -3. Without MVP candidate Carson Wentz and the Eagles having to rely on subpar backup Nick Foles the Falcons have a legitimate shot at facing their division rival Saints or Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship. Rise Up Atlanta, there’s unfinished business on the table. Stay Hungry and Chippy Baby!
Prediction: Falcons 24 Eagles 10
New England vs Tennessee: Lets get real. As much as I love the run Mariota is leading his Titans on, I just don’t see them taking down the champs. And I want the REMATCH!!! Vengeance would be oh so sweet…but New England with the greatest Coach and QB combo to ever play the game will be a David & Goliath task for the Titans.
Prediction: Patriots 34 Titans 17
Pittsburgh vs Jacksonville: I’m a Blake Bortles fan. Poor dude takes so much heat for not being a so called up to par NFL quarterback, he plays tough and wants to win. I’d like to see him and that all powerful Jags DE pull off the win. This will be extremely difficult since Big Ben has stated that he wants the rematch from the drumming the Jags handed them earlier in the season 30-9. Was a absolute ass kicking and made Big Ben question his NFL longevity. Will be closer than most people think. Pittsburgh will love having Antonio Brown back from his calf injury.
Prediction: Steelers 26 Jags 17
And now the game I’m most looking forward to.
Minnesota vs New Orleans: The Vikings Defense is absolutely Top Shelf, problem is, so is Drew Brees. If the Vikings DE can limit Brees and the high-powerd Saints to limited end-zone touchdowns, and Fairy-tale Wings Keenum doesn’t make costly turnovers the Vikings will hold. So on the fence with this one. I do not want my Falcons to have to face Brees and the Saints again because they had our number last time we played. The Vikings did too 14-9, but that was earlier in the season and I don’t think they can beat Atlanta a second time.
Prediction: Saints 20 Vikings 17
Strap on your seatbelts, get the BBQs rolling and the Budweiser flowing. Should be a radical weekend of quality NFL Entertainment!!!!!