Live from Falcons-Giants: We’re a lousy sports city, are we?

"If I give you two dimes and a nickel, will you give me a quarter back?" (AP photo)

"If I give you two dimes and a nickel, will you give me a quarter back?" (AP photo)

East Rutherford, N.J. – Here’s a fun little nugget that was posted on the New York Post’s web site yesterday: As of Friday night, the Giants-Falcons playoff game was not sold out.

If said game were being staged at the Georgia Dome, we Atlantans would be hearing yet again how lousy a sports town we are. But this is New York, where millions live and where sports are, we’re constantly reminded, a point of strutting metropolitan pride.

Let the record reflect that an attempt to find available tickets this morning via Ticketmaster was unavailing, so we can assume that the game finally has sold out. Still, the thought of a Giants’ home postseason game with available seats not 30 hours before kickoff would surely come as a revelation to those New Yorkers who love to poke fun at us dumb ol’ Southerners for our indifference/inattention.

But I digress. The Falcons arrive with a point to prove, and the belief here is that they’ll prove it. The belief here is that they’ll win because they are, top to bottom, the better team. The tabloids have been full of Matt Ryan stuff this week, the thrust being that he still hasn’t proven anything in the postseason. (He hasn’t, but I’d suggest two games in his first three NFL seasons isn’t quite a true sample.)

I remember another day in Ryan’s pro career, a Sunday here in November 2009 when he overrode a second-half deficit to force overtime. The Giants won the toss and scored in the bonus canto, but that remains, at least to this dumb Southern observer, one of the shining performances of a very good career.

If you can do it here once, you should be able to do it again. And if you can make it here, the song has it, you can make it anywhere. I think Matty Ice will author his playoff breakthrough today, but maybe you disagree.

Which is why we have these little live chats — for you to interact with a dumb Southern writer like yours truly. I invite your comments. And I thank you, as ever, in advance.

By Mark Bradley

4,613 comments Add your comment

Aaron

January 8th, 2012
10:52 am

LETS GO FALCONS!

todd grantham

January 8th, 2012
10:58 am

Mark,
i agree with your prediction today, but the Falcons will go no deeper into the playoffs after round 1.

todd grantham

January 8th, 2012
10:59 am

In other words, if Matty goes to Green Bay he will get iced. heh, heh

Kane337

January 8th, 2012
10:59 am

Playoff time. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert08

January 8th, 2012
11:00 am

Funny how facts can get in the way of a lazy, stupid column. I hate ESPN …

ijonathan

January 8th, 2012
11:01 am

Mark, in all seriousness, the level of coverage in the NY papers makes the AJC’s look embarrasing. I’m getting more insight on matchups, back stories, etc. from the Post or Daily News (haven’t even checked the Times) than from the AJC. Your paper has taken big strides in investigative journalism and local interest stories here in Atlanta, but the sports coverage leaves a lot to be desired. When you and Schultz chime in, it is interesting. There are just way too many holes in the coverage…especially the couple of days before an NFL playoff game. Just my 2 cents.

Atlantans

January 8th, 2012
11:01 am

We are a great sports town when our teams are exciting and winning 1991 Braves and 1998 Falcons were a blast and the town went wild. We aren’t a great sports city when the product is poor.

tanithfirst

January 8th, 2012
11:03 am

falcons can win this,,,giants overrated and played in a weak division,,,,flush the games with the saints and packers, the best in the nfc and they can play with anyone as I am sure they will,,,a whodat wishes the birds the best and I believe Ryan will have a great day,,,eli m. to choke!

Brian

January 8th, 2012
11:03 am

I want to see the Falcons team that played vs Tampa in the first half last week. If that one shows up to play today we get the W.

phil

January 8th, 2012
11:06 am

This is a real game today.

We’re done based on track record.

ijonathan

January 8th, 2012
11:07 am

Thanks Phil for that searing insight. Send your resume to the NFL Network, you may be able to replace Mike Mayock.

Trainwreck

January 8th, 2012
11:08 am

Ready for the Falcons to go get that first playoff win under Smith and Ryan!

Bravesfan79

January 8th, 2012
11:08 am

If you wanna see a crappy sports town (and crappy overall city).. look at Detroit!

phil

January 8th, 2012
11:08 am

Lol…

I don’t want to lose.

Steve

January 8th, 2012
11:09 am

Mark are you or Jeff going to write an article in response to that moron writer in NY? Talk about being way out of line. Has he not seen Miami as far as their fans go?

NCBravesFan

January 8th, 2012
11:09 am

I’m hoping for a little “dirtbag magic” in the City that never sleeps! If the O-line can perform well today, we got this.

Go Falcons!

Chamblee Dawg

January 8th, 2012
11:10 am

first to say “first!” ?

Bravesfan79

January 8th, 2012
11:10 am

LETS GO FALCONS!

phil

January 8th, 2012
11:11 am

Can we pass protect in big games? No.

Can we put pressure on the QB in big games? No.

Can we run Turner for more than 50-60 yds in big games? No.

Why should i expect us to win?

NCBravesFan

January 8th, 2012
11:11 am

Steve @ 11:09 – perhaps Bradley should go on NY TV and reprise his famous Cleveland rant. :D

phil

January 8th, 2012
11:13 am

Just saw that Manning has 15 fourth quarter TD passes this yr, an NFL record….

Terrific.

HovaBKLYN

January 8th, 2012
11:15 am

Was thinking about going to the game, but dropping $900+ for a pair of mediocre tix, plus $20 in tolls from Brooklyn, $50 for parking, plus 90 minutes of my life spent getting out of that horrible parking lot made the decision to watch at home very easy. The new Mets stadium is great, new Yankee stadium pretty nice, JetLife is HORRIBLE.

Steve

January 8th, 2012
11:15 am

Phil = Negative Loser.

ijonathan

January 8th, 2012
11:18 am

That’s better Phil, way to bring it. :-)

I’m not super confident about this game, just hopeful. I think it will come down on Ryan and the O-line (gulp) to win it, with some support from our D-line (double gulp). We’ll see.

ijonathan

January 8th, 2012
11:18 am

I expect Turner to be a non-factor again…anything more than 4 YPC and 60 yards I will consider a “bonus”.

DogLoverUGAmuttHater

January 8th, 2012
11:22 am

ROAD team wins today.

JTH

January 8th, 2012
11:22 am

It’s a new era. Forget Vick, forget Jeff George, forget Rankin Smith. It’s time for a new attitude. This is Winnerstown, losers with bad attitudes not welcome.

GO YOU DIRTBAGS!

todd grantham

January 8th, 2012
11:23 am

Fan attitude is simply a reflection of the hometown team’s winning (or losing) record.

DUKEofBLUELAND

January 8th, 2012
11:25 am

The writer for ESPN is an idiot. Ignore him. Rise Up!

phil

January 8th, 2012
11:25 am

Steve = unable to express an original thought bonehead.

Nobis

January 8th, 2012
11:25 am

NYC ain’t ready for this game

MyPatootie

January 8th, 2012
11:26 am

Bravesfan79, NO, if you want to see a “crappy sports town”, check out Nashville TN. Only have an NFL team, but neither a MLB team, nor NBA team. (Hockey doesn’t count in the South). The football fans in Nashville are lead around by the nose by the team owner, Bud Adams, and his “little boy assistant”, Mayor Dean. They expect mediocrity each and every year, and this is what BA gives them. Just enough to fill the seats. He goes out and gives “the biggest RB bust in the NFL” millions of dollars and he sits back and does nothing this year. Albert Haynesworth is his mentor. Then he raises the ticket prices to cover improvements on HIS STADIUM, AND THE NITWIT FANS GO ALONG WITH IT. That to me is the epitome of a bad sports town. BTW, the answer to MB’s question is “YES”, from an objective reader who doesn’t have a dog in the fight.

phil

January 8th, 2012
11:26 am

I’m always hopeful going into these games.

But i’m also painfully aware of our track record and the match up realities today.

Steve

January 8th, 2012
11:27 am

There are reasons as well that Atlanta attendance is sometimes down:

Traffic is terrible.
MARTA is pathetic (no station at Turner Field)
Stadiums are in bad areas
75% of the people who go to games, live in the North Atlanta Burbs. Pain to get to a game.
TV. Much easier to watch at home and eat and drink for free.
Constant failure, minus the 1995 Braves.

JJ

January 8th, 2012
11:28 am

Its telling that tiny Athens Ga. puts more fans into it’s football stadium than NYC. And so does tiny Auburn, Columbia, Knoxville and Tuscaloosa. They think football is king in the NE but the south is the real king.

1eyedJack

January 8th, 2012
11:28 am

Playoff football is interfering with my wife’s todo list. Go Falcons!

P B Orr

January 8th, 2012
11:28 am

There is nothing anywhere like the AJC blogs – as much as I can’t stomach Choke, JSS, and other mom’s basement dwellers who frequent it, what other city generates 70 pages of (frustrated, whiny, UGA style) blog posts for one college game?

If the Braves played anywhere near where the ticket buyers lived, they’d sell out plenty of games and 35,000 would be a regularity. Turner Field could not be in a worse location. The Dome, not much better.

ijonathan

January 8th, 2012
11:29 am

Phil, when Ryan throws passes today, before you really know the outcome of the pass…are you cringing thinking it will be picked, overthrown/out of bounds, or dropped…or are you eagerly anticipating our #11 beast snatching it out of the air and turning track star into the endzone?

Birdhair

January 8th, 2012
11:31 am

Unfortunately, the fans of atlanta require super stars on the rosters before they will support. Atl must get a dwight howard, or lebron james type but must also have ownership who will provide a supporting cast in order to attract those kind of players. atl spirit group is a joke, arthur blank headed in the right direction. Frank wren ruining the braves. there you have it.

Tech Fan Since 1950

January 8th, 2012
11:31 am

Mark, you ought to ignore those Yankees (Giants of intellect) and get back home to Atlanta as soon as possible to cover really important stuff like (college recruiting?). Big Apple is a nice place to visit, but lord thank you I do not have to live there—-yet.

Joe Tess Fish House

January 8th, 2012
11:33 am

One N Done Flacons.

I was thinging this last nite. Flacons need 2 trade 4 Tim Teebow. Hes a winer and a good christain. Someting the Falcons need.

1eyedJack

January 8th, 2012
11:33 am

By the way Mark, you hail from Kentucky and claim to be a “Southerner”?
Kentucky was like Missouri, border states who couldn’t go all-in.

Well, Missouri crashed the party, so I guess we could let you in.

Paul in NH

January 8th, 2012
11:35 am

JJ
If college football is so big, why were the New Year’s Day bowl games played on Jan 2nd this year?

tripledart

January 8th, 2012
11:36 am

New York is a different sports town market.A lot more people an even more ethnic. long history of sports teams and venues.Hockey nor soccer will never be a big sports draw in Atlanta if the events are down town.If out in the burbs much better chance.Football and baseball are the keys but the prices are out of most family’s budget.With the closer towns that support the New York sports market is why they don’t have trouble selling tickets.Go Falcons lets win one and come home eat our barbecue sandwich and drink our sweet tea and piss on new york.
tripledart/Kenny Powers

Steve

January 8th, 2012
11:36 am

“Joe Tess Fish House” is obviously an educated person. Great spelling!

Harry

January 8th, 2012
11:37 am

Steve

January 8th, 2012
11:38 am

Paul, because New Years Day was on a Sunday which is NFL day smart guy.

Joe Tess Fish House

January 8th, 2012
11:38 am

@ Steve

Thanx!

Andy

January 8th, 2012
11:38 am

It’s real fair to compare several large NY newspapers with staffs of dozens covering football to one medium sized ATL newspaper with one Falcons beat writer and two columnists and say they are lacking in coverage. Seems fair to me.

Joe Tess Fish House

January 8th, 2012
11:41 am

HAHAHAHAHA Marshell Fauls just said Mat Ryan is not top tier!

They need 2 trade 4 Tim Teebow.