I may not have been a fan for as long as Joe, but I can’t wait for the Super Bowl

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Last Monday I called up Joe Crine’s room at Riverside Place. As soon as I told him who he was speaking to, he broke into his unmistakable, excited greeting.

“Hey, buddy! How you doin’?”

I told him I was great, and I asked him things like how he was and what he had for breakfast that morning. After bragging on the stellar food and assistance he gets from the workers at his assisted living home, he asked what I was calling for.

“How about those Falcons?” I asked, a smile sneaking across my face. The Dirty Birds had just beaten—no, obliterated—the Packers the Sunday before, and the feeling of the team heading to the Super Bowl was still fresh on everybody’s minds.

I knew exactly how Joe was going to respond. He was more excited than I was, and by a landslide.

Here’s a thing about talking Falcons football with Joe. He will always begin the conversation with, “As a long-time fan of the Falcons since they joined the league in 1964…” Then what follows is usually something about how they’ve never been able to quite get over the hump, or Matt Ryan has never played worse or he’s seen a lot of ups but even more downs over the past six decades.

I can’t tell you how many Mondays I’ve come into the office and Joe was giving me the famous Falcons Pout. All through 2014 and 2015 we couldn’t speak about Atlanta without getting grumpy.

This Monday was different.

So because he is a long-time Falcons fan since they entered the league in 1964, I asked Joe to write a special guest column to celebrate their second Super Bowl appearance ever. He dutifully accepted the request and came in last Wednesday to crank out 300 words on his memories and love for Atlanta. The column ran in the Saturday, Jan. 28 edition of The Post-Searchlight.

Talking with Joe and reading his thoughts made me even more excited for this upcoming Sunday. I probably won’t be able to sleep the night before the game, and I don’t know what my body will be doing the hours leading up to kickoff. Probably compulsively shaking.

I barely remember the last—and only other—trip the Falcons took to the Super Bowl in 1999. I was in third grade and more concerned with my Pokemon card collection than the NFL. Can you blame me? That was the height of Pokemon mania!

Things have changed since 1999 (though I still look back on those trading card mementos fondly to this day), and I can barely contain myself for Super Bowl 51.

Hopefully next Monday morning, I can call Joe and ask him a question with a smile. “How about those Falcons?”