You and I might not be able to agree on much these days. Here’s one thing we likely can agree on: It would be good if the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Atlanta Falcons. Respected polling outfit Public Policy Polling finds that the issue is one capable of finally uniting portions of America:
We find that among football fans nationwide, 53% are rooting for the Falcons to win on Sunday, compared to only 27% who are pulling for the Patriots. Republicans (58/23), Democrats (54/27), and independents (47/31) all give their support to the Falcons in pretty similar numbers. The Falcons have a very positive overall image as a team- 55% of fans see them favorably to 19% with an unfavorable view. Meanwhile attitudes toward the Patriots are considerably more divided, with 43% seeing them positively and 42% negatively.
The argument for the Falcons as the more likable team in this game is simple to make, and has been handled well in various ways by Harry Lyles Jr., Lang Whitaker, Rembert Browne, Jay Busbee, and many other ATLiens of distinguishment. Our Charlotte Wilder, who’s from Massachusetts, agrees this Super Bowl is Good Guys vs. Bad Guys.
The common perception that New England cheats and the Patriots’ constant Super Bowl appearances are pretty clear reasons for America to hate this team. “The Patriots are the most hated team in the NFL, an 'honor' they've taken away from the Cowboys ever since Deflategate,” writes PPP. The Patriots’ close association with a certain polarizing political figure might also make it hard for many unaffiliated sports fans in the region to support the locals, considering New England’s voting patterns.
No one really knows who motivational speaker Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is, but America’s certain it likes him more than it likes Bill Belichick anyway:
Matt Ryan's overall favorability/unfavorability is 51/10, while Tom Brady's is 46/39. Dan Quinn has a pretty low profile but his +22 net favorability rating (30% positive, 8% negative) is a good deal better than Bill Belichick's, who comes in at +6 (40% positive, 34% negative.)
The Falcons are an intensely fun team to watch, with a fan base that’s never gotten to enjoy a championship and rarely gets to celebrate any wins of significance in any other sports, either. Since our only major pro sports title, the Braves’ 1995 World Series win, Boston’s won eleventy-four thousand championships. Everyone is tired of that happening and would like it to stop, and if the lil guy gets to finally smile for a change, then that’s pretty good, too.
Also, the basic facts of the matter, as Busbee carefully explains them:
Chick-fil-A and Waffle House are better than Dunkin Donuts. OutKast is better than Aerosmith. Pork barbecue is better than clam chowder. Sweetwater is better than Sam Adams. “Atlanta,” the TV show, is better than every Wahlberg’s career output combined.