1995, a number that means something to nearly every Georgian and Atlantan.
The year the Atlanta Braves won the World Series, and brought the South's capital state it's lone championship in professional sports, and one of the few brought home in any major sport at all.
|Could the Braves End Up Dog-Piling Again in 2013?|
The University of Georgia is the country's oldest state-chartered university; the Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the oldest and most highly recognized engineering schools in the world; and the three major pro sports teams have all been in Atlanta for well over 40 years now.
And with all that, there are a total of four modern-day college national football titles, one baseball national championship, and one World Series championship. No national basketball titles, no Super Bowl wins, and no NBA championships.
And let's not forget, two NHL teams that packed up and left town without so much as getting to touch the Stanley Cup, less yet raise it.
Ok, and yes...Atlanta also has the Silverbacks (soccer, in case you've never heard of them), the Beat (women's soccer in a a now defunct league), the Dream (WNBA) and the Gladiators (minor league hockey), but none of them have won championships either, not that clinging to those as a claim to fame would be a boost to the image of sports in Georgia.
With this in mind, I put this question out to fans;
Which team is in the best position to win the next championship: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Georgia Football, Georgia Basketball, Georgia Tech Football or Georgia Tech Basketball?
Obviously there are plenty of other college sports to choose from, but let's face it--football and basketball are really the only two that bring in major viewership and major dollars.
The results weren't really that surprising.
Basically none of the respondents gave Georgia Tech any chance at all in football or basketball, nor did anyone step up for the rebuilding Hawks. Georgia basketball also received little love. None of these were a shock, as all of those teams are either in the process of trying to build something new, or just flat out being torn apart.
There were a number of fans who feel like Georgia is on the cusp and ready to grab their first football championship in almost 35 years. But truthfully, Georgia football fans generally come in two categories--eternal optimists who fall blind to the issues preventing the team from winning, or those who just take pleasure in beating up whoever has the title "head coach" at that time.
This coming season will tell a lot about where Georgia stands in regards to winning a national title. This could be either the season that the window is beginning to close for a few years, or perhaps it's just closed behind them after last season.
@gasportscraze Either UGA fb or the Falcons. Both are title material, but have HUGE obstacles to get it done.There are apparently a lot of fans who feel like this could be the Braves year to get it done again. The revamped lineup and focus on power has fans excited, and has the Braves leading the NL East. It's a dicey formula though, and the Braves have shown that teams with quality pitching can give them a tough time. But, with a healthy lineup, it's certainly one of the most daunting group of hitters in MLB.
— Erskine Thompson (@ErskineThompson) May 18, 2013
I think the Braves are still a season--possibly two--away from winning it all again. They have to get some consistent hitting, and find that one ace stopper in their starting rotation.
"Banshee Sports ...I would say the Braves. Falcons could certainly get it done. The others ... no chance in foreseeable future."
But it's clear that the overwhelming majority of fans who responded feel like the Falcons are the team that will bring the next championship home to the state of Georgia. With a nucleus of strong players at the skill positions, and a lot of youth being infused in the offensive and defensive lines, this is a team that is clearly being built to win a championship more than just once.
Watching the Falcons being methodically pieced together has been something to behold, especially for long-time fans who have suffered through terrible owners, GMs and coaches who threw darts at a board and tried to figure which players would be the easiest to market to the fans, rather than win a Lombardi Trophy.
@gasportscraze Toss up between Braves and Falcons. I feel like this Falcons team they've put together can be special.
— Dalton Keene (@dalton_keene) May 18, 2013
@gasportscraze falcons, UGA FB then Braves.So according to fans (and we all know fans have the gift of clairvoyance), the Atlanta Falcons will break the state of Georgia's 18-year drought of championships.
— Patrick Schmidt (@PatrickASchmidt) May 18, 2013