Yeah yeah, I get it a lot, and you read it in many articles about how the city of Atlanta is one of the worst sports towns in the country. And this is going to be coming from someone who was born and raised in the town so this is obviously going to be a little biased.
But the fact that my city does get that press is unfair. They talk about we don’t support our teams. And the big thing is that we don’t support Hockey since we’ve had two teams leave the city (The Flames and Thrashers).
Valid points, attendance is down for many of our teams and we have lost two professional hockey teams. But my counterpoint to that is this. Why should we support mediocrity? Let me give you a rundown of our teams.
Braves. For years the crown jewel of the city, but with only one World Series title that was won in 95, why should we continue to support this? And with the management, new and old, taking a passive stance on things, it’s obvious things aren’t going to look much better in the near future. And I am of the belief that Bobby Cox was allowed to manage a little too long. We would hit a glass ceiling, but to management, at least publically, it appeared to be acceptable that we just win divisional titles. And with this meltdown last season along with the lack of any moves this offseason, it looks as if we’re in for another season of mediocrity with the division going to the Phillies again.
The Hawks. I can tell you from personal experience, this town WANTS to support the Hawks. We want this to be a very successful franchise, all you have to do is look at the season in 2008, when after many losing seasons finally got to the playoffs and nearly took out the number 1 seed Celtics. Every home game during that playoff run was sold out and the crowd was very loud in support of the Hawks. However since that run, they’ve been very passive, but not without management taking chances. Unfortunately, they’ve been the wrong type of chances, most notably the resigning of Joe Johnson to a max deal. Financially it’s crippled the Hawks in terms of making any sort of significant moves, and unfortunately, like the Braves, they’ve pretty much hit the glass ceiling.
The Falcons. If you have looked at what they’ve done since drafting QB Matt Ryan, you’ve seen this team has now become the crown jewel of the city. This city continues to support the team and manangement continues to do what it needs to do to make this into a winner and the fans see and support it. A year ago they made the bold move of moving up in the draft in order to get Julio Jones. This past season, after a disappointing loss in the playoffs, owner Arthur Blank came out and apologized for the disappointment and stated this is NOT acceptable. This is what the fans want to see, they want to see mananagement get mad, tell the fans we’re going to do what it takes to get better. That’s all.
And the other teams just don’t seem to get that and just stay complacent. The fans aren’t going to support that, which is why you see declining attendance. Why support something when you know the result is going to be the same?
You put an effort out there, we’ll support it. Look at the other national teams. They may not win either, but at least manangement shows they care and are at least trying. They don’t seem to be doing that here other than the Falcons.