In the latest head-scratching move by Arthur Blank, the Atlanta Falcons are retaining Thomas Dimitroff, Scott Pioli, Moe, Larry, Curley, and the rest of the front office Football operations. With this move, it pains me to say this, but Arthur Blank like the Fonz before him has officially "Jumped The Shark"!
In the 23 years I've been in Atlanta, no new owner of a sports team captured the imagination of fans the way Arthur Blank did with the Falcons. Even through the missteps… pushing Mike Vick in a wheelchair, firing Dan Reeves, coming on Monday Night Football and saying Petrino was there for the long term, and promoting Rich McKay after relieving him of his GM duties… Arthur has maintained the support of the fan base… Until now.
Last season in an awkward press conference to relieve Mike Smith of his coaching position while keeping Dimitroff in place, fan support began to sway. With a new coach coming in there was at least a wait and see with the fans even though there was little to no support to keep our GM. Now after a season where the team finished 2-7 and became the 1st team in NFL history to start 5-0 and not finish with a winning record… A season with an underwhelming rookie class…Multiple severe missteps to the roster both from a draft and free agency standpoint… Arthur Blank without a press conference but rather through a press release decided to maintain the GM and front office.
All that's missing is the water skis and shark tank… Arthur is now asking Falcons fans to spend beau coups of dollars in PSLs for a new stadium with a flawed roster, too few upcoming draft picks, an unpopular OC, and now the same regime that put us in this place to start with… Oh, and did I mention no press conference to answer question fans like me want answered? Not exactly a winning formula to rally fan support!
There's no question that Arthur Blank has been a home run for the Atlanta Falcons and the city in general… But I firmly believe we will look back at this move and the way it was handled as the turning point of blind, loyal support for him and the franchise. It will take a lot to turn the PR ship around and that may take nothing less a Super Bowl… Lofty heights for a franchise who decided "status quo" is the way to go!
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