The 20 Year Hangover


“Atlanta – The World is Watching”

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Atlanta 1996


Some of you were too young to remember Atlanta in 1990s, but others, including myself, were just old enough to recall the greatest decade in Atlanta Sports History.

The 90s in Atlanta were about overcoming the odds. The 1990 Braves were dead last, Falcons were close enough to last at 5-11 (noted that New England was last at 1-15) and the Hawks were 43-39 and lost in the 1st round of the playoffs. That same year the Olympic Committee shocked the world by naming Atlanta as host for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. That was the literal spark that lit up Atlanta. By 1999 we turned Atlanta into the “Hotlanta” that we have all come to know.

Now, I represent the minorities of this city – the fans that were born, reared, and still live in the Metro Atlanta area. Everyone knows when someone says, “Yeah, I live in Atlanta” and they add the “TA” at the end, they are most likely born outside of Georgia. Now if someone says, “Yeah, I’m from Atlanna” the follow up question is always, “Oh me too – Where at in Atlanna?” It will hardly ever be ITP (If you don’t know ITP or OTP stop reading here).

This is where I have to separate the locals from the transplants. The real locals like to tailgate into the 7th inning stretch or halftime because we all WORK for a living and cannot afford the $9 beers, lower level seats, and VIP passes. The transplants show up on time and complain about the people coming in late, cheer for the away team, and think Atlanta fans do not have team spirit. We do – we just don’t cheer without a buzz, but that takes me down a long and winding path – back to the point.

So why do I cling to the memories of 90s? Well because the last 16 years have been forgettable. There are several moments I still try to drink off my mind. For example, 10/10/10 the day Brooks Conrad made a deal with the mob and blew the 2010 NLDS game against the Giants (still unproven but it helps me cope). Or the 2012 NFC title game against the 49ers where we came out shooting but in the end stalled inside the 20 to blow the game (Still convinced the Dome was built on top of Chief Knoc-a-homa’s ashes and his teepee is still buried under Turner Field). Or the Braves 2012 wildcard game – where Simba hit the ball 40 yards deep into the gap in left field and the Cardinals just watched it fall – which somehow was called an infield fly. The Hawks didn’t even break .500 from 2000 to 2008. One year winning 13 games which is still tied with 9th all-time worst teams in NBA history. Or this all could be blamed on my high school and college drinking career, or the acceptance of being “in the hunt” year after year. The list could go on for hours, but recalling all these bad memories has already caused my hands to get hot – and the only cure for that is to hold a cold adult beverage and do the tomahawk chop. The only thing I know is my 20 year hangover is finally starting to lift. I’m starting to drink more of that ‘Hooch water, and I can feel that water rehydrating my Atlanta sports veins.

A new Falcons stadium that will host a Super Bowl game, a new Braves stadium, a Hawks team led by Bud Boozin’ Budenholzer whom is responsible for giving us a shot at King James every year, although we might have to wait out LeBron’s knees before we get over that hump. A new soccer team (FINALLY), Tech running the ball down your throat and playing the role of the “season spoiler” villain, the Dawgs with a new direction with Coach Kir-Bo, and we can’t forget West Georgia, Valdosta, KSU, Georgia Southern, and Georgia State all coming up the chain.

These upcoming events are better than water and Waffle House after a night out. The real fun will be in our lifetime, it’s our time to take the reins of this town and ride through this place with reckless abandon. Heck, we should climb that Olympic torch tower and light that red McDonald’s fry container up to signal the start of a new era.

We will have a brand new start. Next year this city is going into rehab and we will march down a new sober path in 2017, but the 1st step is admitting you have a problem…..

 

My name is Roscoe and I am an Atlann-o-holic.

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