This is the most anticipated Falcons season in recent memory and certainly since the new regime took over in Atlanta.
Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot struggled to put together competitive rosters as they were handicapped by financial restrictions inherited from the former regime.
Arthur Blank forked over more than $250 million this offseason in contract extensions and free agent deals; the owner is undoubtedly expecting improvement, which would probably entail a playoff berth. The fans are right there with him, but it might take more for them to buy back in than one offseason.
Since the inception of Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Falcons haven’t had a home field advantage, but it takes two to tango. The fans and team are at fault. If the Falcons were winning, the Benz would be packed out. It’s fair too. There are few fan bases that have been consistently disappointed more than the one in Atlanta.
This could be the turning point, though. After back-to-back 7-10 finishes, the Falcons have the playoffs in the crosshairs, and the excitement is palpable among the fans. Arthur Smith is doing his damn best to make sure the feeling that once encapsulated the Georgia Dome returns to the Benz.
The Falcons head coach told Mike Bell and Carl Dukes of 92.9 The Game that he’s looking into potentially covering the first adult beverage for those that arrive early on Sunday.
– he wants to inquire to see if it would be permissible to buy fans their first beer for a game
– Why create a Joker position for CP? Bc “CP’s not third string in anything.”https://t.co/p69WI3yqDi
— Joe Patrick (@japatrick200) September 7, 2023
Arthur Smith wants Falcons fans drunk, and I will be there leading the charge bright and early on Sunday pic.twitter.com/rdoca97Z66
— SportsTalkATL Alex (@GeauxSportsTalk) September 7, 2023
Smith explained that a shared energy is important. He’s right. Fans feed off the team, and the team feeds off the fans; it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
This is a side of Smith we haven’t seen. He has been more outgoing, fun loving and overall more enjoyable to follow this offseason, and it’s not hard to see why. The Falcons actually have a competitive roster, unlike the prior two seasons.
We saw glimpses of the kind of guy Arthur Smith was last year. After the club’s improbable win over the 49ers, Smith shared a beer with his offensive line in the locker room, explaining they had a deal if the team won and rushed for over 100 yards, they’d get beers.
Well, it looks like that offensive line mentality isn’t slowing down. That’s my coach. I love this kind of energy. It’s refreshing, and I will certainly be enjoying a few adult beverages this Sunday in the Home Depot lot and more inside the Benz. A victory on Sunday could mark the official beginning of a new era under Arthur Smith.