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Riding the Atlanta sports fan pain train

Never ask an Atlanta Falcon to give you change for a dollar. They'll only give you three quarters.

Jokes celebrating Atlanta's misery were flying on social media like ravenous birds of prey as soon as the Patriots won the big game.

That's OK. I've been a fan of Georgia teams my whole life. I've ridden the emotional roller coaster so often I no longer bother strapping myself in.

I've been a Falcons fans since I was a kid, back when a Georgia State Patrol officer pulled me over on my dirt bike and asked me if I knew stuff about "laws"and "the name and location of your mother?"

The officer openly admired the "21" I 'd hand-painted on my red helmet in honor of Falcons running back Lynn Cain and let me go with a warning. He said to stay off the road and keep it in the ditches.

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As an Atlanta sports fan, I've been riding in the ditches ever since.

It's possible the 2017 Super Bowl may be my final journey as a sports fan.

The last time an Atlanta team played for a national championship was in 1998, the first time the Falcons went to the Super Bowl. After a night of partying in New Orleans, they Dirtier-Than-We-Knew Birds didn't give the Denver Broncos much of a game.

If I have to wait another 19 years for a championship tilt I will be of the age a fourth quarter collapse might end in more than the loss of a game, but loss of life due to cardiac arrest.

So, for health reasons (and because the Braves left for Cobb County and my Thrashers jersey was seized by Canadian authorities), I've decided to quit watching sports.

Think of all the extra time and money I will have to spend.

Attending 20-plus Braves games a year easily set me back a couple thousand bucks. I'm not an economist, but I've often wondered why the law of supply and demand fails to hold sway inside Turner Field. With a nigh unlimited supply of suds and declining attendance the beer should be almost free.

Sure, I could've saved money by not drinking, but have you seen the Braves play baseball lately? If you can watch that many spankings sober you probably should call DFCS and have them come get your kids.

And I spent at least 100 hours of 2016 at a sports stadium. I probably spent a few hundred more hours watching or listening to games on TV and radio.

This might free up enough spare time to fire my yard guy. Or maybe not.

Beer and tiny liquor bottles thrown from moving cars makes mowing in unincorporated DeKalb a dangerous occupation.

But I will have time to read some of the magazines I've been subscribing to for years. Mostly I get them to make me look up on current events when I have visitors.

Maybe I can clean and organize the garage?

Or attend more neighborhood empowerment meetings?

Exercise? I can get a bike and wear those tight pants or join ALTA again and hope the damaged rotator cuff holds up.

How about spending some quality time with the wife and discussing her recent edits to my will?

Hmmm ... now that I think about it these Cobb Braves have a lot of interesting young players. Maybe I ought to give them a chance.

And surely the Falcons will have another exciting season. Maybe they can add a few more players on defense and finally win this thing?

Hope, like a tired mattress, springs eternal.

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