ATLANTA (CBS46) – After the Atlanta Braves gave one of the most pathetic performances in a deciding game of a series Wednesday in their 13-1 spanking at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals; Atlanta sports fans (outside of Atlanta United) must be asking themselves, will this ever get better?
Most Atlanta fans will say the city is cursed, and outside of the city’s Major League Soccer team, they might be right. Consider this fact: The Braves’ loss on Wednesday came exactly 2 years, 8 months, and 3 days to the day the Atlanta Falcons lost the Super Bowl after blowing a…28-3 lead.
The best writers in Hollywood couldn’t come up with something like that.
Atlanta came into Wednesday’s Game 5 against the Cardinals looking like a team ready to take the series and possibly head to the World Series. Then, just like the Falcons, the Braves started to fall apart. And this time, just like the Falcons’ Super Bowl loss, it was a historic collapse.
Consider, the Braves allowed the most runs in a single inning in postseason history. Think about that for just a second. That’s a stat that will live in MLB infamy, right beside the Falcons’ historic collapse in the Super Bowl, and Georgia collapsing against a Tua-led Alabama Crimson Tide team in the College Football National Championship Game.
Since 1991, the Braves have been to the playoffs 19 times. In those 19 trips to the postseason, the Braves have won the World Series just one time. The Braves lost the World Series four times during that time period.
And this isn’t just a recent anomaly for the franchise. Looking at the team’s history dating back to 1912 when they were known as the Boston Braves; the team has won as many championships in Boston and Milwaukee as they have in Atlanta, 1.
But it’s not just the Braves, Atlanta also holds the infamy of losing not one, but two professional hockey teams (the Atlanta Flames and the Atlanta Thrasher). Neither of those teams were able to deliver a championship to the city.
The Atlanta Falcons have been in the city since 1966 and have been to the Super Bowl twice. The first time, the team finished 14-2 in the regular season and won twice more in the postseason to get to the Super Bowl only to get blasted by the Broncos, finally breaking their long losing curse, 34-19. The other trip to the Super Bowl ended with one of the largest collapses in NFL postseason history.
The Atlanta Hawks have been in the city since 1968 and have reached the conference finals just three times (1968, 1969, and 2014). In the last appearance the Hawks made in the conference finals, they were swept 4-0. In the team’s other two conference finals, the Hawks lost 4-1 and 4-0. In other words, in the team’s three shots at getting to the NBA Finals, their record is 1-12.
Georgia Tech last claimed a national championship in 1990 in football. The Yellow Jackets made it to the national championship game in 2004, but were easily handled by UConn, 82-73. The University of Georgia also has not been able to claim a championship despite some of the best recruiting classes in the country.
The football season looks lost for the Falcons after five weeks and Georgia Tech already lost to The Citadel on the college gridiron. The only hope for a championship after the Braves’ collapse looks to be the Bulldogs, but their route isn’t going to be easy.
Georgia must play an up-and-coming Florida team, a pesky Missouri team, and then worry about a possible SEC Championship game against their perennial roadblock, Alabama, or possibly a loaded LSU team. And all of that is just to get out of the SEC, the College Football Playoff would bring an entirely new set of obstacles for the Dawgs to run through.
Are Atlanta sports teams cursed? We’ll leave that up to you to decide. But remember, during the Braves’ runs in the 1990s, they had to deal with a powerful Yankees franchise. During the Hawks’ better years in the 1980’s and 1990’s, they had to deal with Michael Jordan and the Bulls. And with the Falcons, well, they had to deal with the championship New England Patriots.