According to legend, my second favorite source after things overheard in presidential debates, the dark art of revenge dates back to "Nemesis," who in Greek mythology was believed to be the goddess of divine retribution. Nemesis was considered a remorseless goddess but she developed a mischievous sense of humor later in life and invented the Cleveland Browns, the New York Mets and pushed an Arkansas football coach and his motorcycle off the side of the road.
This week, the Falcons, who centuries ago must have really ticked off Nemesis, probably when a real falcon pooped on her Chevy, open the season against Tampa Bay.
Nobody is quite sure what to think of the Falcons. They were a slightly more stable version of Sybil last season and have seen their Super Bowl odds balloon from 33-1 to 66-1 since February, as if Nemesis was overheard chortling an evil chortle while standing in the Caesars Palace sportsbook.
The Bucs are viewed as a team on the way up. They have a talented quarterback (Jameis Winston) who proved in college he could run play-action in the seafood aisle at a Tallahassee Publix, a head coach (Dirk Koetter) who knows offense and a former head coach (Mike Smith) whose specialty is defense.
Smith and Koetter used to coach with the Falcons. They were fired. They were not happy.
Smith was all psyched up for Thursday's news conference in Tampa Bay.
"They’re very good," he said of the Falcons.
Trust me: Underneath that vanilla exterior, there's . . . strawberry.
The Falcons are favored by a field goal. Sounds about right. Assuming they've learned how to tackle Winston because that didn't go too well last season. Birds cover 3.
We're only one week into the contest, and yes you can still join for a chance to win great prizes, including two tickets to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Go to MyAJC.com/go/sackschultz2016 to register. Danny Long (15-0, Topeka, Kansas) and Jack Branscomb (14-1, Lilburn) were last week's winners. I went 11-4. Not trying to show off yet. For more info click here.
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