Atlanta Falcons fans were hoping against hope that tight end Tony Gonzalez wasn’t really done when he announced his retirement intentions, and their wishes (along with Gonzalez’s own Super Bowl pursuit wishes) were granted. After all, he (and they) didn’t get the Super Bowl…though this past season’s effort was the closest yet. His career wouldn’t have been all for naught, but that last and lost chance to go to the Super Bowl couldn’t have left him content with his decision.
Gonzalez has been excused from certain times of training camp. This isn’t unusual for any number of veterans and shouldn’t be a concern. There are more than a few veterans who are contemptuous of mandatory training camp, and that derision isn’t unfounded when considering the injuries that have been sustained by major players during camp.
Last season, Gonzalez said the end of the season would see the end of his career. He’s already said the same about this season, and the questions have already started. What if they don’t go all the way this year? What if they go all the way and fall short of the championship? Will he stay another season? How many seasons will he stay to get there? And what if they never make it that far?
First things first, the Falcons will be going to a Super Bowl. Gonzalez will be a vital factor in getting them there; overall, this year’s team is more than capable. If somehow this isn’t the year that they go all the way, that would be a hard pill for him to swallow, and a heartbreaking end to a solid career.
Tony Gonzalez, this is your season. Rise up, bring it home and go out in a blaze of Super Bowl glory.