Atlanta Falcons: Playlist for Redemption

As the Atlanta Falcons seek redemption for their Super Bowl collapse and with the 2017 ACM Awards on Sunday night, a playlist to guide the team’s journey

There are several dynamic duos in the NFL: football and Thanksgiving, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, Mohamed Sanu and Lady Gaga, etc. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you catch my drift. As great as these partners are, however, there’s one couple that rises above the rest gives us relationship goals: football and country music.

Think about it, what better duo is there besides America’s favorite pastime and All-American music? It might be a coincidence that the NFL chose country singers Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood to sing the NFL Sunday Night Football theme, but considering Monday Night Football once using the talents of Hank Williams Jr., that’s unlikely. For whatever reason, the genre and league exist as a pair.

The Atlanta Falcons aren’t dancing to country music, or any other kind currently, though. After their collapse in Super Bowl LI, they’re focused on getting in rhythm again on the path to redemption.

Therefore, in honor of Sunday’s 2017 ACM Awards, it’s only logical that we create a playlist of ACM nominated songs that should help them get over their Super Bowl heartbreak and prepare them for their redemption.

Track 1: “Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Keith Urban 

Blue may be Keith Urban’s color since he roots for the Tennessee Titans. However, it definitely isn’t the Atlanta Falcons’ color. Not only is it literally not one of their colors (red, black, white), but figuratively speaking, looking blue doesn’t suit them well.

As several things in life do, football demands physical strength as much as it does mental strength. In order for the Falcons to rebound after their Super Bowl LI collapse, during which they blew a 25-point lead over the New England Patriots and subsequently lost in overtime, they will need to have the right mindset.

It wouldn’t have come as a surprise if, after their loss, Falcons players became reclusive and atempted to drown in their sorrows in an adult beverage as they listen to Urban singing:

I can see you over there
Starring at your drink
Watchin’ that ice sink
All alone tonight

However, while it might be alright for the ice in a drink to sink, Atlanta Falcons quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan, needs to rise up and stay afloat in order to survive this savage season.

Track 2: “H.O.L.Y.” – Florida Georgia Line 

Have you ever related to a song so much that you thought you could’ve written it? Well, I’m pretty sure the heartbroken Atlanta Falcons are thinking they put the ‘Georgia’ in Florida Georgia Line, and that these lyrics are bringing all the feels:

When the sun had left and the winter came
And the sky fall could only bring the rain
I sat in darkness, all broken hearted
I couldn’t find a day I didn’t feel alone
I never meant to cry, started losing hope
But somehow baby, you broke through and saved me

The Falcons have most of the pieces to the puzzle of success with the veterans they retained shortly before and during free agency such as Matt Schaub, Courtney Upshaw, LaRoy Reynolds, Levine Toilolo, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, and Kemal Ishmael. They’ve also managed to find missing pieces such as Jack Crawford, Andre Roberts, Dontari Poe, and Derrick Coleman.

And they’ll continue to add pieces through the draft and undrafted free agency. There’s still work to be done and the Falcons are in a great position to build and improve with not a great deal of turnover affecting the roster. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck, however. So perhaps divine intervention is that final piece they haven’t found—yet.

Track 3: “Humble and Kind” – Tim McGraw 

Breakups can be tough and sometimes in the heat of things, one or both people let go of their inhibitions leading to more heartbreak. Being the bigger person is easier said than done, but it is necessary.

As Tim McGraw tells us, “bitterness keeps you from flying, always stay humble and kind.” The Atlanta Falcons and fans may be salty after the team’s collapse but they should heed McGraw’s advice and not take it with a grain of salt.

In the next verse, McGraw continues with:

I know you got moutains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind.

If Mohamed Sanu had listened to Taylor Gabriel’s warning of a Tom Brady comeback as the Falcons led 21-0, rather than boast that they were “bout to put up 40” on the New England Patriots, perhaps the outcome of the game would’ve been in the Atlanta Falcons’ favor and they wouldn’t be angry birds.

Pride is one thing; arrogance is another and it’s foolish. It’s as though Sanu took the ball for a touchdown, but dropped it before the goal line and began celebrating. Rookie mistake. Get the job done, finish the game, and then celebrate, Sanu. But it’s also a lesson for the Falcons as a whole. Don’t rest on a 25-point lead or at any other time. Be humble and know that it’s never locked up until you’re holding the trophy.

Track 4: “Die a Happy Man” – Thomas Rhett 

Thomas Rhett sings about a red dress that brings him to his knees and a black dress that makes it hard for him to breathe. Now, Falcons fans can certainly relate to these lines since they felt low after the loss after the Super Bowl—but in a much more negative way.

However, being an optimist, I choose to find the silver (or red, black, & white) lining in situations.  And while the Atlanta Falcons can agree with Rhett when he says, “It’s too good to be true, nothing better than you ,in my wildest dreams” they must realize that a Super Bowl championship is well within reach in reality.

If Matt Ryan, Mohamed Sanu, or any other member of the team heard, “The Atlanta Falcons are Super Bowl champions,” I imagine their response would be, “I could die a happy man.”

Getting over heartbreak is no easy task. However, sometimes the best cure is belting out lyrics to emotional songs, some musical therapy for the soul and spirit. This playlist speaks to the Atlanta Falcons and will get them through this hurdle without clipping their wings and lead them to a championship.  “The Atlanta Falcons are Super Bowl champions,” sure has a nice ring to it.

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