Something’s been going wrong in Atlanta the last two years, but the easy answer (coach), isn’t always the right one. I’ll be the first to admit that my Birds suffer from some acute schizophrenia as to what kind of offensive team they want to be, but I’ll also be the first to admit it wasn’t Jim Mora Junior’s fault. It was mine. It was yours. In our fervor for the home team, we forgot who really ran things, and what he was like. Mr. Blank is, first and foremost, a businessman. One, who is, for better or worse, controlled by the reactions and attitudes of his stockholders, in this case, fans. Therein lays the problem. Your average stockholder is someone who has taken the time to investigate a company, determined that the company is worth investing in, and has made the leap into financially backing a company. Now, the Georgia Dome holds 71,149, and while each person attending has paid a certain amount to attend the game, this does not make them stockholders. This makes them consumers of the entertainment product, partaking each week in what is churned out on the practice field in the front office. The average consumer of the football product, regardless of what he thinks, is in actuality is under informed about the game itself, let alone the particularities of this team.
The strength of our team, as far as the deepest talent, is at running back, and more specifically in the running game. Justin Griffith, Jerious Norwood, Warrick Dunn, any one of these could be the feature back, and in time they may be. Our offensive line was put together by the same man who devised the one-cut zone system in Denver, Mr. Alex Gibbs. Now, that said, Atlanta fans want to believe that super-mobile Joey Harrington ought to stand behind an undersized line, with extra ‘protection’ provided by smallish running backs and deliver the ball to stone handed receivers whose biggest ability is that to block downfield, allowing a back who breaks into the third level keep going. This pass happy fantasy is just not the team that Mr. McKay was brought here to build. But, because Mr. Blank listens to us, and Mr. Mora listened to Mr. Blank, Mr. Mora is now out of a job. Because he missed the playoffs, thanks to us. Now, he wasn’t the laughing stock of a league (Dennis “he was what we thought he was” Green), he wasn’t suffering Super Bowl hangover (Bill “my quarterback was hit by on old lady. I need a drink” Cowher), he wasn’t a dirty turncoat (Nick “just leave us SEC fans alone” Saban), and he wasn’t frozen in carbonite (Art “…” Shell). No, Mr. Mora just listened to his boss, who listened to us, and an injury riddled team missed the playoffs. Let’s just hope Mr. Petrino has a bit more sense than Mr. Mora.