On Wednesday night in Atlanta, “Thank God for Mississippi” became “Thank God for Boston.” It was only the slightly more egregious collapse by the Red Sox, with their loftier expectations this season and higher national profile, that pushed the Braves’ own cliff dive a little lower in the sports headlines.
As my AJC sports colleagues chronicled in painful detail, September 2011 might have been the most excruciating month for Braves fans since before the 1991 turnaround. The Braves let an 8.5-game lead evaporate in the space of 23 calendar days, which is almost impossible to do. Almost. They completed the unpleasant trick in Wednesday’s season finale.
But if you’re a longtime Braves fan, this was hardly your first pow-wow with disappointment.
I’ll skip the pre-1991 years, which in most cases never offered much promise to begin with. And I won’t even get into the mostly lackluster histories of Atlanta’s other pro sports teams. (Although I will give a special citation to the 1993-94 Hawks team, which tied a franchise record with 57 wins but accomplished the mean double feats of trading the best and most popular Hawk of all time [Dominique Wilkins -- with a first-round pick! -- for Danny freakin' Manning] and failing once again to reach the conference finals. That season effectively killed my interest in the Hawks.)
Was this the most disappointing end to a Braves season?
Total Voters: 274
No, in the past two decades, there are a few other tomahawk flops to rival this season’s September to un-remember:
Yep, we Braves fans have experience at being disappointed.
So, a not-so-chipper Poll Position for this week: Was this the worst finish to a once-promising Braves season? The choices in the nearby poll are limited, so explain your answer in the comments thread.
– By Kyle Wingfield