Falcons pile on already reeling “experts”

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is positively delighted with his team's performance Saturday in Charlotte, one that eventually led to a NFC South title. (AP photo/Bob Leverone)

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is positively delighted with his team’s performance Saturday in Charlotte, one that eventually led to a NFC South title. (AP photo/Bob Leverone)

It has been a very bad year for pundits and prognosticators. So bad, I’d like to think that 2017 would deliver a year in which we all concentrated more on what actually has occurred instead of what we foresee happening in our cracked and clouded crystal ball.

The pollsters got it all wrong in November, to such an extent that surely the next question any of them should be asking a voting citizen is: “Do you want paper or plastic?”

Far less importantly, there are the Falcons. They serve today as humbling reminders that anyone who claims knowledge of how a season will unfold before the first snap is full of horsefeathers (substitute the more accurate, horse-based product of your choice here).

There is but one vision required to demonstrate the utter hokum involved in the sports prediction: Chris Berman in a swami turban.

Colleagues are cornered into making picks, but it is a chore I avoid unless forced into it by a higher-ranking ink-stained wretch. Even then, a monkey with a Ouija board would be as dependable.

As I would warn anyone who would approach any sportswriter wanting to know his or her opinion on a game as yet unplayed, “Do you really believe any of us would be here typing ourselves blind, cranking out adjectives like Hershey’s does chocolate kisses if we had the slightest idea? Don’t you think if we really knew, we’d be living like a pasha in Las Vegas, sending our betting slips over to the Bellagio sports book in the diamond collar of our white tiger?”

And hooray for the hollow insignificance of the sports prophecy because, otherwise, what would be the point of watching? If you want a certainty of outcome, tune in to reruns of “The Andy Griffith Show,” because it’s all going to work out in the end in Mayberry.

What the Falcons did over the weekend – clinch the NFC South with the help of a Tampa Bay stink bomb – was to completely stupefy. It’s good to remember just how discounted they were back in August in order to appreciate where they stand at the end of December.

Before this season started, 20 contributors to NFL.com voted on division winners. All 20 chose the Carolina Panthers in the NFL South. One, Charley Casserly, a former GM, mused that Tampa Bay was just a year away.

The Panthers were seven-for-seven among the staff of CBSsports.com to win the South. Five had the Falcons buried last in the division.

No one among 12 voters at SportsIllustrated.com had the Falcons as division champions, although two had them making the playoffs as a wildcard. That qualifies as an extra-sensory experience.

The esteemed Peter King and six of his Monday Morning Quarterback cohorts all had Carolina atop the division, and none had the Falcons in the playoffs. Through some voodoo math, teamranking.com saw the Falcons as a roughly 7-9 team with a 24 percent chance of achieving the postseason.

You get the picture.

Sports is built on unpredictability. And we’re all a bunch of dopes, who require constant affirmation of just how much we don’t know.

Reader Comments 0

24 comments
ClevelandDon
ClevelandDon

Well, the "big loud mouth TV pundits" never did say Atlanta or Matt Ryan except that they are "nothing" to them. My prayer is for the Dirty Birds and Matty Ice to go all the way and then ask for an interview and show their "surprise" face when the birds show their stuff. RISE UP FALCONS!

sacks
sacks

all you have to do is flip a coin for your favorite team and you will Win, 50% of the time!!

Michaelee
Michaelee

And the drama continues.....

How far will the falcants go in the playoffs?

I believe the team will reach the NFC Championship game at least. That is a good football team when players focus on the game.

GT71
GT71

Still a bit of a sore loser, huh, Hummer.  Can't resist the urge to throw another political rock.  But this time at least it was on point and relevant within the confines of your storyline.  Still, it's a joy to see the pain of the libs after we've suffered 8 long years of the Anti-American president.  Another way to incorporate the election into a sports column of this sort would be to reverse it and comment on how the Falcons, like Trump, rose from  predictive ashes to be America's winners confounding  the pundits' and writers' predictions.  See?  That's how it could have been done.  And in a positive, truly American, way.

feseh
feseh

My Uncle Xavier got an awesome gold Mercedes C-Class C63 AMG by working part-time from 

a home computer... i was reading this...............>>>>>>>>>> http://tinyurl.com/heavycash1

Gman84
Gman84

90% of Sports predictions consist of picking the team that won last year. To go out on a limb with a super 'edgy' pick, the might, MIGHT, take the team that finished second. 


noname
noname

This Falcon fan did not expect much either.

JuliusD
JuliusD

@noname I have been a season ticket holder since the dome opened  in 1992, a true fanatic but when a friend told me we would win 10, I honestly doubted it. Serve my crow with hot sauce please.

jlrhoya
jlrhoya

Of course the NFL is a very unpredictable world except in New England where they have some kind of contract or deal that they win the AFC East almost every year.  Dallas has some kind of similar deal especially if they lead the NFC East with 2 rookies running their offense.


Does anybody sense the Superbowl this year will be Dallas vs. NE (already decided)?



Michaelee
Michaelee

New England would beat Dallas.

Falcants would have a better shot at beating New England cause they can put points on the board quickly.

neonchar
neonchar

The reason most don't jump on the bandwagon is the team's history we been burned many times, but we still hope.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

Another team sport?

You mean like baseball or basketball?

Why?

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJacket Good grief boy...if you're that unhappy with Atlanta sports take your a$$ to another city, we don't want or need you. Your precious dawgs are one player away from the same.....No Herschel, no 1980 NC....you still run that yap about the "disappointment Dawgs.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

Who the hell is "we"???

You don't represent a damn thing of value.

ONE championship in 170 seasons of pro sports competition and I'm supposed to be "happy" about it?!

You and your f-d up attitude--satisfaction with mediocrity--are the very reason ATL's known as "Losersville." 

neonchar
neonchar

The Falcons have proven to be a right good team this year; still don't know if they can have their best year ever, but they are due some good luck

Jokurone
Jokurone

Ye of little Faith,,no respect for the city of Atlanta, what will they be saying after we win the Super Bowl???

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Jokurone That would ruin IdiotNoles day....wouldn't have anything to biotch about like a woman.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

Still hating on women, perv?

Not something I'd be bragging about on a blog.

Trippster
Trippster

Good stuff, Steve. I love your columns!

OriginalATLien
OriginalATLien

Blah blah blah, you wasted ink to tell us what we already know?