Feel free to put a chip on your shoulder, Falcons fans.
Not that you should be surprised, but ESPN’s website presents convincing evidence that most football fans don’t believe in your team.
On its SportsNation page, which polls fans for predictions and other questions, only a majority of fans in Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and, oddly, New Hampshire predict a Falcons win.
The rest of the country, as well as the website’s international readership, is behind Green Bay.
For what it’s worth, Wisconsin residents believe more in their team than Georgia Falcons fans do. Among Wisconsin residents, 91 percent call for a Packers win. In Georgia, 88 percent of voters are behind the Falcons.
The only state preventing a complete sweep outside the Southeast is New Hampshire, where 53 percent back the Falcons. Live Free or Die, indeed.
NFL.com analyst Michael Lombardi calls the Packers his lock of the week, remarkable considering Seattle is a 10-point underdog to Chicago and New England is favored by nine over the New York Jets.
A New York Times football blog goes so far as to say the Falcons are “quite lucky to be where they are” and assigns the Packers a 68 percent win probability. For what it’s worth, the assertion is made from a purely statistical analysis.
So, should the Falcons win, here’s a wish that whichever player trots out the “No one believed in us!” line will say “No one believed in us, except most of the Southeast and New Hampshire! Also, Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated!”
Rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?