Live from the Dome: OK, I’ve decided – I’m picking the …

All is in readiness in the city where snow and ice never descend. (M. Bradley photo)

All is in readiness in the city where snow and ice never descend. (Photo by M. Bradley)

True confession: I’ve actually spent a lot of time thinking about who’s going to win this game. (Ordinarily I just go with my gut, which can prove problematic. Perhaps you knew that already.) And I, at the risk of blowing it for everyone, am picking the Falcons. My rationale:

The Falcons have been the better team. The Falcons are playing at home. The Falcons have already proved they can beat Green Bay.

Ergo, the better team/home team/proven team should win. By the count of 20-17, let’s say. And now, having said that …

Green Bay is the only team remaining in the NFC bracket capable of coming here and stealing one. The Bears? No. The Seahawks? Get real. The Packers are a good team capable of winning if the Falcons perform the way they did against New Orleans on Dec. 27. But I’m thinking the Falcons won’t. I’m thinking they’ll learn from that night that a game of such magnitude is no place for timidity. I’m thinking, in sum, that the Falcons will get past this impediment and play in Super Bowl XLV.

But that’s just me. And I’ve been known to be wrong. But I’ve just spoken to a high-level Falcons official — have fun guessing who — and that individual is frankly peeved at the plethora of pundits picking the Packers tonight. (Try saying that three times fast with a mouthful of peanut butter.) And I’m thinking the home side will render a performance to remember — for good reasons.

And with that, this floor is again open for questions, comments and threats for having jinxed the Falcons. I’ll be here all night, and I’d appreciate the ride-along. (Speaking of riding along, I rode to the game from the Atlanta Bread Co. on South Cobb Drive with esteemed colleague Darryl Orlando Ledbetter. D-Led has a sporty Mustang. Bet you didn’t know that about him.)

But I digress. Time to get ready for some football. Time to rise up. Time to watch the Falcons send the Pack packing. Join me, please. You’ll be sorry you did.


By Mark Bradley

1,956 comments Add your comment

Buckhead Bulldog

January 15th, 2011
5:47 pm

Do it Falcons!

sugarpikegang

January 15th, 2011
5:49 pm

hope you’re right!

Billy O

January 15th, 2011
5:51 pm

Mark, I hope you haven’t jinxed us…..I don’t so……..I agree with your rationale…..GO FALCONS!!

Van Brocklin

January 15th, 2011
5:51 pm

Run the ball.

Billy O

January 15th, 2011
5:52 pm

THINK is the missing word….

74 Dawg

January 15th, 2011
5:53 pm

No, Mark nooo. We’re doomed. just kidding, I hope. Your track record speaks for itself. Of course, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then… go Falcons!

SCAMRUN NEWTON

January 15th, 2011
5:55 pm

THANKS FOR JINX-ING THE FALCONS, GUARANTEED LOSS NOW. YOI EVEN DID A COLUMN ON HOW BAD YOU PICK GAMES, THANKS DOOFUS!

falcons fan

January 15th, 2011
5:55 pm

FIRST!!! i call it!!!!

Bud Wiser

January 15th, 2011
5:56 pm

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s time to blow the roof off this thing. Ane 7th or 8th maybe.

Bud Wiser

January 15th, 2011
5:57 pm

11th I mean.

Mark Bradley

January 15th, 2011
5:57 pm

No claimers for first. Except falcons fan, who was eighth

74 Dawg

January 15th, 2011
5:58 pm

SCAM, this is a new year for Mark, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, at least until about 11:45 tonight.

D.Ellis

January 15th, 2011
5:58 pm

D.Ellis

January 15th, 2011
6:00 pm

I don’t see the Pack letting us run it like 1rst game.

Me thinks Mr. Ryan needs to have a great game.

Oh and I would love for our D to get 2 turnovers

ln29576

January 15th, 2011
6:02 pm

Wooo Go Packers

dfd

January 15th, 2011
6:02 pm

Brian

January 15th, 2011
6:02 pm

I’m amazed that a 13-3 team with the best home record in the NFL, playing at home, playing a team with a worse record, and that they have already beaten, is basically given no shot to win by the national media.

Make ‘em RECOGNIZE Falcons. Rise Up !!!!

Cobb Dawg

January 15th, 2011
6:05 pm

Chris Owens will get picked on by No. 12 early and often. Lofton will need to backstop the run defense. If they get solid ball control from the offense, and limit big plays on defense, I like our chances. But I think you’re right about the NO game, and I remember thinking at the time that they would learn from that game how to deal with the big stage jitters. So maybe this is the night where they really grow up as a team.

Falcons2010

January 15th, 2011
6:06 pm

BYE hasn’t done Pittsburgh any favors thus far

Dan

January 15th, 2011
6:06 pm

RISE UP!!!! This is our year. I read Mr. Blank bought 70,000 towels to help make the place more rowdy! The dome is going to be CRAZY!!!!!

I can’t wait for the Falcons to make all of those pundits look like DB’s! GO Birds!

Mark Bradley

January 15th, 2011
6:07 pm

Game’s 60 minutes. Don’t dismiss the Steelers yet.

todd grantham

January 15th, 2011
6:07 pm

Mark, if you jinx the Falcons D Orlando might not give you a ride home tonight.

go pack!!!

January 15th, 2011
6:07 pm

The Packers are gonna run all over the falcons!!!!
GO PACK GO!!!!

Ted Striker

January 15th, 2011
6:08 pm

I’m out of peanut butter however if I wasn’t I’d say it 13x just for fun.

j

January 15th, 2011
6:08 pm

Crap you picked the Falcons… Are you and Jeff both going to be live during the game?

todd grantham

January 15th, 2011
6:09 pm

Baltimore wins. Guaranteed. Shades of Joe Willie.

Mark Bradley

January 15th, 2011
6:10 pm

I’m pretty sure D-Led will cart me back to our side of town. Our daughters are Upward basketball teammates.

Mark Bradley

January 15th, 2011
6:11 pm

In other news, Justin Houston is leaving and the basketball Georgia Bulldogs are leading Ole Miss by 16 after 20 minutes.

todd grantham

January 15th, 2011
6:11 pm

How can anybody think that one of Green Bay’s stockholders, that goes around with a piece of plastic cheese on his head could beat an owner like A M who shares a tailor with the President?

Van Brocklin

January 15th, 2011
6:11 pm

The national media is an unfortunate segment of the populace.

Beverly Howe;;

January 15th, 2011
6:12 pm

RISE UP ATLANTA!!!!! SAVANNAH, GEORGIA DIRTY BIRD FANS GOT YOUR BACK!!!!! SEND THE PACKERS BACK HOME WITH THEIR CHEESE IN THEIR HAND OR HEAD!!!! IT DON’T MATTER!!!! WE GOT THIS ONE!!!!

todd grantham

January 15th, 2011
6:12 pm

D-Led gotta be the DD, huh?

FrozenTundra

January 15th, 2011
6:12 pm

The signs are here, Atlanta just got frozen out by the weather as a preamble to the windchill the falcons will get when the Green Bay Packers storm in and take your ‘Rise Up’ and ….Slam it down. Boooooyaaaaaaahhhhhh!

SouthGADawg

January 15th, 2011
6:12 pm

GO DIRTY BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Bradley

January 15th, 2011
6:13 pm

D-Led had the parking permit.

Innocent Bystander

January 15th, 2011
6:13 pm

I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about tonight’s game. Time to rise up Atlanta! 27-17 Falcons.

todd grantham

January 15th, 2011
6:13 pm

If the Falcons win, I’ll bet A M gives you a big hug and high 5.

todd grantham

January 15th, 2011
6:14 pm

I doubt if he would trust you in the driver’s seat of his Mustang anyway.

j

January 15th, 2011
6:15 pm

LOL @ everyone assuming Starks is going to be as good as his last game. One game doesn’t define a player, especially when it’s in the first round.

FalconDawg

January 15th, 2011
6:15 pm

If The Burner hits the hole with determination tonight, we’ll win. If he tiptoes, we’ll lose

todd grantham

January 15th, 2011
6:15 pm

ok, that will be my last cheap shot towards you tonight Mark. Dont want to mar what will hopefully be a magical night in Atlanta.

FalconIce

January 15th, 2011
6:15 pm

LOL, “go pack go” the Packers literally have one out of 17 games in which they ran the ball remotely good, at least over 100 yards, and all of a sudden the Packers are going to start “running over” teams in the playoffs? Funny. The Eagles simply didn’t plan for Starks, but trust me, the Falcons coaching staff is wayyyyyy to smart to overlook it. They’ll have a package for Mr. Starks.

What’s up with ESPN and the NFL network Mark with Starks? Green Bay has had one game where their offense resembled a running game and now that’s what’s going to get them to the superbowl? I don’t buy it. Starks has been around all year and not had a game like that. One trick pony I say.

So which is it Mark? Does ESPN and NFL network really think GB has a running game, or is it more of risking their credibility to start building up a Bears-Packers NFC championship game?

JB

January 15th, 2011
6:15 pm

Lot’s of ghost around this team……..Tonight might be different………..Remember the front office guy Peppler ( I think that’s his name) he was the Gm and was put on the field to coach after the team had quit during the season………….Marion Campbell………hired twice LOL………June Jones…LOL

Mark Bradley

January 15th, 2011
6:16 pm

I had a Mustang in college. A nice little car but useless in the snow, of which we had much my junior and senior years.

Birds in Dallas

January 15th, 2011
6:16 pm

I love how the commentators are treating Rodgers like he is the greatest in the league. They are the 6 seed for a reason. Mark don’t worry about the ride home. Falcons are going to take it tonight!

Mark Bradley

January 15th, 2011
6:16 pm

I’d concur, FalconIce, that one game does not make a Hall of Fame back.

todd grantham

January 15th, 2011
6:16 pm

the thing that scares me about the Packers is how their running game came alive last week.

JB

January 15th, 2011
6:17 pm

Am I banned…………..Simple blog not posted.

todd grantham

January 15th, 2011
6:17 pm

I had a Monte Carlo. It was useless in good weather.

Mark Bradley

January 15th, 2011
6:18 pm

Pat Peppler was the name in question, JB. Or was it Pat Paulsen?