Rise Up! Why Atlanta is Better than: Washington
Ladies and Gentlemen, we return to our latest installment of "Rise Up: Why Atlanta is Better than". Last week we discussed why the Falcons were better than Minnesota (again: who can respect a coach who looks like a librarian?)
Many have called this a homerific column, I prefer to call it realistic. It's not just about the performance on the field, but everything else, from the organization, the stadium, and even the fans to show why Atlanta is, from top to bottom, the best in the league in 2010.
This week we're taking a look at a team that is known for having drama in their locker room, a team near and dear to me, but that's only because I live in the DC area. Without further ado, let's take a look at how Atlanta measures up to...the Washington Redskins!
1) Daniel Snyder
Know what Snyder's thinking in this picture: "Did I just blow another 50 million on this guy? At least Zorn was cheap!" Let's face it, everyone had a Daniel Snyder in school. You know, the guy that everyone picked on because he couldn't play a sport but later ended up owning a business and felt the only way to make friends (not to mention get a trophy wife) is to buy his way through everything.
That may work in some businesses, but not in the NFL. Since Snyder came along he has made some bonehead personnel decisions (Vinny Cerato, Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders to name a few) and felt that the only way to win a title was to go the same route as the New York Yankees. That is, buy every major free agent in the offseason, getting fans to buy into his gimmick. Unfortunately, they've only won one playoff game with that theory.
Well, he's at it again. He brought in former Bronco coach Mike Shanahan as well as Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. Snyder continues to win the offseason Super Bowl, but come next fall they will be at 8-8 again, not realizing that championships are built not bought.
Yes I know Snyder does great charity work and is a marketing genius, but do you think Arthur Blank would ever sue an elderly lady for not paying up on season tickets? Puh-leeze! Go back to your toys Snyder!
2) No problem players
Speaking of Snyder's mistakes, here's a familiar sight for Redskins fans: 100 million dollar DT Albert Haynesworth headed for the sidelines after only two plays. Haynesworth has recently stated that he doesn't want to play for Washington anymore since they are switching to a 3-4 defense and it hurts his itty-bitty stats (4 sacks and a lot of cheeseburgers consumed in 2009).
Since this has already been debated ad nauseum here on Bleacher Report, I will simply say this: Atlanta would never have to worry about an Albert Haynesworth situation happening, because GM Thomas Dimitroff would never sign a guy like him in the first place! The Falcons have shown over the past two years that if you so much as sneeze in the wrong way, discipline's a-comin'.
3) The Fans
It's often asked who is the fool: the one who speaks or the ones who listen to the fool? Seriously, any grown man who goes out in public wearing a pig nose and dress should be put away in a home immediately. Passion is one thing, being a moron is something else.
Redskins fans are some of the most myopic and blind people I've ever met. Every year on Redskins Radio here in DC (a Snyder owned station, BTW) they think that they are going to win a Super Bowl yet aren't smart enough to realize that they are being railroaded for their passion.
They spend globs of money and look ridiculous when the Redskins go 6-10, 4-12, or at best 7-9. Once again, another offseason has taken place in which they think they are going to the playoffs, but they will realize that once they are looking at 8-8, they will be outside the playoff picture with their pig noses stuck on their face.
Atlanta fans have matured since the days of Vick and aren't the type to blindly follow an owner who cares more about his pockets than winning titles the way DC fans are.
4) Another year, another QB change
Snyder once again tries to go out and win the PR battle by getting yet another QB and having to reinvent the wheel on offense year after year. Poor Jason Campbell had to put up with this circus for years, and now it's Donovan McNabb's turn to get on the DC Ferris Wheel.
Look, I like and respect Donovan McNabb. He is a certain Hall of Famer who deserves credit for lifting a moribund Eagles franchise 11 years ago.
Unfortunately he is stuck in this system for the next year, throwing to guys who aren't ready for the big time. Hopefully he will not sign an extension and go to a place where he can truly compete for a title.
He has the talent, but he can't carry Washington alone to a title when they can't figure out what to do on the offensive side of the ball. Atlanta, on the other hand, is going into their third season with Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Roddy White as the trio of a very consistent and dynamic offense. That goes a long way towards determining success in the NFL.
5) No one player controls the team
A typical Clinton Portis picture: being more concerned with his celebrity status (after all, he's from the U) than leading a team to a championship. He recently stated he wanted to be the league's first $20million a year player. Forget the fact that he is consistently hurt, and when he is healthy he is in the ear of Dan Snyder, which is always a bad thing.
Remember Falcons fans when guys like Michael Vick and CB D'Angelo Hall were currying favor with upper management and hanging out with former coach Jim Mora Jr.? That turned out great didn't it? Think Matt Ryan or Tony Gonzalez would cause a stir in the media if they didn't get the ball?
Until DC cuts ties with Portis they will continue to be nothing more than a flash in the pan.
6) FedEx Field
Although the NFL is becoming more corporate, nothing embodies this statement more than the monstrosity known as FedEx field. It is the largest stadium in the NFL, sporting more than 82,000 people, but is a horrible place to watch a football game. Ask anyone who's ever been to a 1pm game how long it takes to get out of that place.
Besides, the passion is nowhere as strong as it was at RFK Stadium, a house of horrors for opponents. The Georgia Dome is more of a family friendly stadium and where the Falcons have become a more dominant team the past two seasons.