I’d waited all day just to have my heart ripped out. The entire season had gone just how it needed to for my favorite team (Atlanta Falcons) to finally reach a Superbowl.
They’d reached Superbowl XXXIII, but I was way too young to care or know what was going on. My fandom hadn’t developed for the floundering flock of Falcons just yet.
It was 2005. The Falcons, led by quarterback Mike Vick and a dominant rushing attack, had run their way into the NFC Championship game and fallen upon an opportunity to prey upon a wounded Philadelphia Eagles team.
‘It’s our time!’ I thought as the Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings without their star wide receiver Terrell Owens.
I knew the Eagles would be without Owens for at least another week and that could be the opening my Falcons needed to snatch the NFC from it’s most dominant team.
That didn’t happen. Talk about disappointed. I remember being a really sad 13-year-old that night following the 27-10 rout.
My dad noticed. He had warned me all day leading up to the game to not be so anxious about the coming game.
“Don’t rush the day away,” he said. “Sometimes you what you’re wishing for isn’t always what you want.”
I didn’t want to hear that. So, when I was sad following the first of a few failures in my years rooting for the Falcons my dad laid some truth on me about sports that I’ve yet to let go of.
He shrugged and said ‘Well son, it’s just their time’ and he left it at that. I was mad. I thought how could this Bronco fan be so calm about the season being over? Besides his team had recently won two Superbowls. As a fan I was starving (I still am).
He was right. In the years since I’ve become a sports writer, I’ve witnessed the phenomena a couple of times. In the spring, everything just went Oconee County High School’s way on their way to the boys Class 4A soccer championship.
I even wrote of the team of destiny in the week following their exciting and quite frankly, random run to the title.
The Washington Nationals did it two weeks ago on their way to the World Series crown. They battled out of every corner you can to win the championship. There’s one I’ve been watching brew for awhile. OCHS’ football team defeated North Oconee High School on Friday to win the Region 8-4A championship.
I’m not calling them a team of destiny. Winning a region title is one thing and state championship is another. There’s a lot of football ahead. I have to admit, there’s something going on with this team. They’re talented, yes. They’ve been talented since I’ve been here. Injuries robbed them of a fair shake at things the last few seasons. This year, they’re healthy. There have been moments this year where I was sure they were beaten and something just went their way and they found a way to win. The Jefferson game comes to mind right away. When looking at the result of the Hog Mountain Bowl one must ask why the Warriors prevailed. Who knows? The talent is similar and both have been great all yearlong.
Like my father said, ‘It’s just their time’
Jeremy Johnson is the sports editor for The Oconee Enterprise. Opinions expressed are those of the writer.