ATLANTA - They are quotes which have enraged Atlanta’s sport community.
Atlanta is a town with “absolutely zero enthusiasm for professional sports.”
“The Falcons, Braves, and Hawks don’t win championships, so they don’t get much love.”
“Atlanta is a place where people ‘play’ sports rather than watch them.”
Those are all lines from a Boston Globe column that takes aim at the Falcons and their fans. As you can imagine, it’s not sitting well here in Atlanta, especially if one goes by the numbers.
The box scores from Sunday’s game show Gillette Stadium was 97 percent full, that’s about 67,000 people, but just hours earlier, the Georgia Dome was at capacity with more than 71,000 enthusiastic fans witnessing history being made.
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As the sun broke the horizon Tuesday morning, Falcons Fever had already spread far beyond the city of Atlanta. The excitement has been as blinding as the midday Georgia sun. But not everyone sees it.
Monday, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy had his thoughts published on the upcoming Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. Shaughnessy wrote, “It’s hard to get pumped about a Super Bowl against... Atlanta.”
Shaughnessy’s opinion didn’t sit well with many people who have stuck by the Falcons win or lose.
680 The Fan radio host Chris Dimino couldn’t let those words pass unchallenged.
Dimino invited Shaughnessy on the “Rude Awakening” Tuesday morning.
“From a national standpoint, from a New England standpoint it doesn’t have the appeal of the Packers, the Giants, etc.,” Shaughnessy said during the radio program.
Shaughnessy defended his column on air where he appeared to insult sports fans in Atlanta by claiming they have zero enthusiasm for professional sports. As far as the matchup, he wrote “meh.” In fact, he wrote that he may have a little pity instead.
“I don’t want his pity! I don’t think anyone here wants his pity! I think that’s ridiculous!” Dimino retorted, not letting Shaughnessy off the hook.
“By the way, I’m going to throw this in: This is a better team than the 9-7 Giants that beat you. This is a better team than the 10-6 Giants that beat you,” Dimino offered, defending Atlanta’s honor.
“This town is enthusiastic when you win. I’ve been in been in the building the last two weeks and obviously, Dan Shaughnessy wasn’t. There’s something to say about what’s going on in this city,” said Dimino.
"I'm sorry it bothers you. I wish you would lighten up on this a little bit here. I don't really think anyone cares about this material,” Shaughnessy told Dimino.
"You’re so wrong because people in this town do care because we do take raps nationally at times and it's time someone sticks up for this city a little bit,” Dimino snapped back.
“Okay, well, God Bless you,” Shaughnessy said conceding the Falcons are a great team.
The Falcons are the underdogs going into Super Bowl LI. The Patriots are a 3 point favorite.
The big game is on Sunday, February 5 on FOX 5 Atlanta.
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