You couldn't have missed it. It was even more shocking than Sports Illustrated's "swimsuit" edition -- which probably should be re-titled "Swimsuit-less," anyway.
Peter King, who is SI's expert on the National Football League, made his preseason forecast. Usually, you pay little attention to such shots in the dark, but if you live in Georgia, this was one that hit you in the gizzard. Peter has no pretentious Southern ties, far as I know. No cousins or grandparents, or even former lovers.
No reason for such, but Peter predicted that the Falcons would be the NFL champions. Get to the Super Bowl!
Was he out of his mind? Had he fallen in love with some babe in Atlanta? Did this have anything to do with football? Or was this something to do with an upset stomach?
Honestly, how could anybody mentally sound pick Atlanta to make it to the Super Bowl? I don't remember if he took the fatal step and predicted that the Falcons would go the last mile and win the Big One.
Makes no difference. Just making it to the Super Bowl was enough to order Peter in for a mental exam. The Falcons had made it once, in the era of Dan Reeves, but that was sort of a freak. Remember? Morten Anderson kicked that unconscious field goal in Minneapolis, and then Eugene Robinson misplaced his sexual compass -- not that it would have disturbed the Broncos anyway.
But was there any reason even to suggest that the Falcons might make it to the Big One? Well, you have to say this -- they're still in it. They still have a shot. I'm not sure this was the route that Peter expected them to take to the Big One. But silly as it looked when Peter King fired his shot in the sky, the Falcons are still carrying the torch -- for him and them.
Who knows? It ain't over till it's over, in the words of that ancient philosopher, Yogi Berra. And if it should happen that Peter was playing a cool longshot, then let's all give him a crown that befits his name.
Furman Bisher is one of the deans of American sports writing. The longtime Atlanta sports journalist is a member of the Georgia and Atlanta Sports Halls of Fame and in addition to his newspaper writing has authored multiple books on major figures like Hank Aaron and Arnold Palmer. He writes periodic columns for the Daily Post.