Peyton’s jokes reflect a bigger truth: The Falcons have a problem

Hardy har har. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Peyton Manning, famous funnyman, made jokes and did a rather long skit at Wednesday’s ESPYs. The butts of Peyton’s bon mots  were the Atlanta Falcons, last seen being outscored 31-0 at the end of Super Bowl LI. And, not to say I told you so — not about the game’s outcome; I thought the Falcons would win — but I kind of did.

As much as they insist the blown championship won’t carry into the new season, every mention of “Atlanta Falcons” in 2017 (and surely long after) will bear the subtext of that Super collapse. I say again: No team has ever lost a game so big quite so badly. The Leyritz Game? Awful, yes. It was also Game 4 of a series the Braves led 2-1; it was not an elimination game. The blown lead that night was 6-0, which isn’t 28-3.

The Falcons are saying the right things, but what do you expect? For Matt Ryan to throw up his hands and proclaim, “You’re right. I am scarred for life”? I thought it was psychologically shrewd that Dan Quinn coined the phrase: “Embrace the suck.” But just the need to acknowledge the, er, lead-slippage is a reflection of greater reality. A loss like that before a TV audience that big had never, ever happened. It happened, naturally, to an Atlanta team.

The Falcons should still be very good. (Although the loss of Kyle Shanahan will hurt, although they wouldn’t have lost the Super Bowl had he just run the ball, although they wouldn’t have been in the Super Bowl without him.) They might be good enough to overcome The Worst Loss Ever. But the year-after history of Super Bowl losers is wretched — no runner-up has made it back since the Buffalo Bills in January 1994, and all they did was lose for the fourth year running — and what happened in Houston went beyond wretched.

Put it this way: When Peyton Manning, who himself had to get past the tag of a being a big-game loser, is making fun of you, you’re a national punch line. And not just national: As noted, when Barcelona surged from 4-nil down to salvage a two-game UEFA Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain, the Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who’s Croatian, said: “We saw in the Super Bowl what is possible in sport.”

Yeah. We saw, too. Pretty sure Peyton Manning was likewise watching. Jerkface that he is.

Reader Comments 0

32 comments
DamonH
DamonH

you can tell when MB has no ideas and a deadline coming up

MoCutter
MoCutter

The Falcons coaching staff beat the Falcons.

MoCutter
MoCutter

So because Peyton Manning told a few jokes the Falcons are in trouble? You are a silly dude. Projections of team success based on other teams success is also just as silly.

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pospecilti

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Katzenjammer
Katzenjammer

The Falcons are a wretched football franchise that has embarrassed the city for 51 years. Criticism well deserved.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Let's be clear here, nobody thought the Falcons would be in the Super Bowl early on in the season. If you'd had a modicum of Intelligence you knew that the defense wasn't good. But it improve the last six games of the season. The offense carried this team primarily with leads only to have the defense let teams back in the game. It's not about them getting back to the big dance, it's about making the playoffs first. Then it's about your defense improving and stopping the other team when it matters. So if the Falcons are going to have some success this year it starts with the defense- they have to be much improved from last year, after all that's why they brought Dan Quinn here for.

PK61
PK61

I think it's totally reasonable for our Falcons to be the butt of jokes. Whining about it doesn't play well. Whining about Mark Bradley bringing it up isn't the problem, either. And frankly--what they write (or what we write) has absolutely no bearing on their success (or lack).

But I think the defense will be top 10 or 12 this year, top 5 by next year. Young And fast. And if they stay healthy (and Sarkisian doesn't try to re-invent the wheel), I can see them in 2 or 3 more Super Bowls the next 5 to 7 years.

AlanCoates
AlanCoates

Mark Bradley, you're part of the problem - you and the rest of the people who continually bring this up will not let it go. So what if it was the worst loss in sports history? What is continually harping about it going to change? Yes, it is constructive to revisit the game and how the Falcons played it and what they did right and what they did wrong - but it's only constructive for the team to do that, not the fans and not the media. Another thing to remember is that ESPN are in the tank for the Patriots because of their proximity to the team. They are homers and obnoxious ones at that. But the rest of the sports media is complicit as well because in this case it gives them a lot to talk about and makes their jobs easier. So please just stuff a sock in it - you are not helping the team or the fans by saying these things. And if I were the team's management I would ban every sports media member who insists on talking about this from the clubhouse and from getting any interviews anywhere and anytime they are requested.

PTCer
PTCer

Let's make some history in 2017 -- getting back to the Super Bowl and shoving the WIN down everybody's throats!

Podunkpete
Podunkpete

Circle the wagons! Embrace the suck! The Falcons have replaced their penance with a huge chip! More experience and depth on defense and continued potency on offense spells trouble for NE sports establishment. Peyton need not remind Coach Quin about the loss, but let him- more fuel for the fire! What came of SB LI will be a talented, motivated and sustainable team for years to come. Wu's up ?Wise up! Then....Rise up!

PK61
PK61

And kicking their a** again (this time for the whole game) in Foxboro this season.

TONYT2033
TONYT2033

The Colts & the Broncos didn't win their Super Bowls because of Megahead Manning. They won in spite of Megahead subpar performances.

tas3
tas3

The Patriots were totally outplayed for 3 quarters on both sides of the ball!  The Falcons defense played more in the entire game than did their offense, which scored at will.  Their defense was done before the 4th quarter was half played--even Brady could pick apart that tired defensive unit and he did.  BFD, had they played a best of 7--no contest, Falcons rule!

OH:IO
OH:IO

I still come back to Matt Ryan coulda woulda shoulda audibled three sneaks. To hell with what that idiot Schanny called and Danny Boy just sat their w/ his thump up his headset. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

Sounds just like the last decade of dog football.

E983
E983

I didn't watch the game. Why? Because they displayed what happened during LI throughout the 2016 season. I really don't expect the 2017 season to be any different than last season no matter who or what they embrace.

Hell Horsey
Hell Horsey

Crapping the bed in the Superbowl: the gift that just keeps on giving!  Thanks, Falcons!

CARMS
CARMS

You said it correctly.  The Falcons were outscored 31-0.  It wasn't the Falcons blowing it.  The Falcons were outscored.

Archangel
Archangel

@CARMS Blowing it means they had the game in hand and then blew it by being outscored 31-0 in the second half. 

KSU OWLS
KSU OWLS

@CARMS

Seriously? If blowing a 25 point lead in the last 20 minutes of the Super Bowl isn't "blowing it" please provide an example of "blowing it" so we'll all understand.

BetterDog
BetterDog

Unlike Dr. Sheldon Cooper I know the difference.  I have always thought Peyton showed class.  He is one totally greedy sucker but.  When someone gets up and trashes another team like that then Peyton was low class.  It would be one thing to trash talk a team you have to play next week.  But this served no purpose.  End of the day Peyton Manning acted very low class.  I am sure momma and daddy are a little upset at their boy. 

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

I hope the last sentence was sarcasm. Manning is the epitome of class, not a "jerk face".

BetterDog
BetterDog

Maybe Peyton does not have a lot of class.  I don't know why he would want to even  say such a thing.  What could he gain from it?

ATLAquarius
ATLAquarius

You want them to crawl up into a ball and start crying? Slow writing season....write after a preseason game perhaps.

ATL89
ATL89

Here's a joke or question for Peyton, was the interception that he threw against the Saints, his hometown and father's old team, in the Superbowl was intentional or not? 

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

RELAX Bradley, they were not supposed to be there anyway! Leave it alone and focus on this year. That game is over.  RELAX.  It is not a problem. Only a problem because the media continues to talk about it. RELAX 

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

Uh, really like Peyton. Great QB. Tremendous media skills.

But if the topic is closing the deal, he's speaking from a glass house.

colt07
colt07

@Pub Heaven Peyton has two rings. The Falcons have two of the worst losses (if not THE two worst losses) in Super Bowl history. I think Peyton has the right to say what he wants about this abysmal franchise! We deserve what we get!