With the 2013 NFL season just around the corner, and it is time to “rise” for the Atlanta Falcons as they prepare for their last preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday night at the Georgia Dome. In front of their fans, at their house, the stage is set for the Falcons to not only improve in areas they need help in, but to set the tempo of how they want their season to go.
Winning or losing is irrelevant at this point and shouldn’t even be a top priority for coach Mike Smith and his Falcons. Instead, the Falcons’ main focus should consist of making sure they know who they are, what type of team they are going to be and understanding that in 2013, they control their destiny.
As everybody has mentioned the issues and areas where the Falcons still need help in, the Dirty Birds themselves know better than anyone else in what they need to do in order to take that next step. The rebuilding process is complete, their identity is established, respect has been won and now, its time for the Falcons to go big or go home.
The Falcons have experienced the “Dark Days” when their superhero quarterback Michael Vick became two-face. They experienced the pain and misery that came in terms of records and losses. They also witnessed first-hand embarrassment and humiliation when then-head coach Bobby Petrino left their team even before the season was over.
Owner Arthur Blank and the city of Atlanta suffered broken promises, shattered dreams and most importantly, a pierced pride.
In 2008, however, everything changed when a new era began that started when the Falcons drafted Matt Ryan with their first pick in the NFL Draft.
Since then, Falcons faithful have experienced their first ever back-to-back winning seasons. They have also tasted the champagne as the Falcons won the NFC South, and saw their team have one of the best records in the entire NFL as well.
The good times have been dwelling in the city of Atlanta the past few seasons, and for the first time in the Ryan-Smith Era, they got to celebrate their first playoff victory in 2012.
With the Super Bowl being the only thing that has eluded Falcons fans in the history of this franchise, the Dirty Birds are more than capable enough to bring that party to Atlanta in 2013.
Just like in the movie Dark Knight Rises where Bruce Wayne finds himself at the bottom of a deep water well with no rope to climb, it is up to the Falcons to rise to the challenge and climb out to where they are meant to be.
No more talking, it’s time for action. No more seeing what is right in front of them, but instead, envisioning what’s beyond. No more being on the sidelines, but being at the front of the battle. No more believing in others, but believing within. The city of Atlanta is ready for take-off, and so are the Falcons.
From the words of the famous hockey coach Herb Brooks,”This is your time. Now go out there and take it.”
Rising to greatness is not the hardest part, but choosing to rise in the first place is. It is their time to rise in 2013 to capture that one moment that will define this new era.