Being an Atlanta sports fan is certainly not the easiest, most enjoyable thing to be in sports fandom. Why? It's what we call The Atlanta Moment.
What is The Atlanta Moment? It's that moment when it all falls apart. It's Bart Starr Man of the Year award winner, Eugene Robinson soliciting a prostitute the night before Super Bowl XXXIII, it's Lonnie Smith stopping on the base path in the World Series, it's Dominique Wilkins in a magical scoring duel with Larry Bird...and losing the game. It's one World Series victory for the Atlanta Braves teams of the 90's. It's the Michael Vick debacle and it's the infield-fly rule.
What it is exactly is frustration. It's that thing that makes rooting for these teams so difficult. That is no excuse for the fans not showing up, mind you, but that mentality that our teams just will not ever get over the hump and, you know, accomplish anything of note.
Last night's Hawks game was yet another example of this. This is a really weird one though because on one hand the fact that the Hawks are even competitive in this series with their sub-.500 record is astonishing. Winning Game 1 in Indiana was an anti-Atlanta Moment. Going back up there and winning again to take a 3-2 lead back to Atlanta was another anti-Atlanta Moment. The problem is as an Atlanta fan you are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. So last night Philips Arena was rocking. #ThePacIsBack movement was in full swing with the unveiling of the new secondary logo that is an update of the most iconic Atlanta Hawks logo of all-time. It all aligned perfectly...until they lost the game.
The biggest problem is that deep down every Atlanta fan knew it was coming. We felt it the other night even when the Pacers whittled down a 30 point Hawks lead to single digits before the Hawks finally put it away. Like I said, it's frustration and it's a feeling of dread. That's what The Atlanta Moment is. Game 7 is a foregone conclusion in the minds of most Atlanta fans. It's sad and we all hope we are wrong but it is what it is.
All I know is that as a 35 year old Georgia native and Atlanta sports fan, I've seen enough Atlanta Moments in my life. Some day maybe the Braves will win another World Series, maybe the Hawks will win the NBA title or at least get to an East Conference Finals. I dare to dream the Falcons may eventually win their very first Super Bowl. Maybe that will happen in my lifetime. Maybe it will, but ultimately it seems like all we have to look forward to is another truckload of Atlanta Moments.