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ATLabama
Atlanta Falcons Fan
Member since Jan 2013
600 posts

Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
Had drinks with a couple of guys from our NY office last night, and after finishing the obligatory shop talk, one of the guys goes, "I'm thinking about coming down here for the Thanksgiving game - heard a lot about the environment for Falcons-Saints. On the bucket list for the atmosphere alone."

It kind of took me by surprise, that a lifelong Jet fan wanted to come down south (on Thanksgiving, no less) for a game he had no rooting interest in. Asked him why that game, and to summarize he gave 3 reasons:

(1) Competitiveness: He watches the NFC objectively (also a degenerate gambler) and says that the Falcons-Saints game is consistently the closest division game in the NFL since 2002. Didn't fact check that data spread, but I do know we've got some bizarre 1 point margin in our history, so, I guess it's not off-base.

(2) Pro-game, college atmosphere: He went to Columbia, so college football isn't a big deal to him. Just never really appreciated, I guess. But he said he always wanted to attend this game because of the cross-over fanbases who are die-hard football fans, that act accordingly rabid on Sundays. Always heard that this game takes it up a notch. Tended to agree.

(3) Bad Blood This guy hates the Patriots, but it pretty much ends with, "they're good, we suck. I'm jealous." He, like many others around the nation, saw what NOLA acted like after SB 51. He saw the floats, shirts, half-time dance... he's also seen the viral videos of our ATL airport workers egging the plane... I also reminded him that Vilma pissed on the field. He says he's literally never seen that as an NFL fan. Also gave him a backstory about how we view them as uneducated, inbred poors (48th in education, laughable economic fall-off to 3rd/4th tier status, crime), and how they view us as agnostic, corporate sprawl without a soul (not true, sorry people move here and we got cash, bro).

To hear a 3rd party say it, got me thinking - are we currently the best rivalry in football? On pure vitriol, I think we've arrived there.

Obviously an SEC fan (RTR, baby), but I've never seen anything quite like Falcons-Saints, especially since both franchises arrived as top-10 winning % franchises for the past decade. Alabama-LSU is now a one-sided affair, and for me the Iron Bowl is too intertwined with families and friends in such a small state, that it's not really that hateful. A lot of mixed marriages - it's big talk, but it's not vengeful... Rivalries like USC/UCLA, Notre Dame - Anyone, OSU-Michigan, are more historical in nature, and lack the "punch" and fervor...

You can't go on SaintsReport/Falcons Message Board (TATF) and not see a thread without the others name in it.

Fascinated by how it's escalated since the Joe Horn/Mike Vick days in 2002.

My hate for the Saints and their fans far trumps that of any college team/fanbase - and right now, it's not close.
This post was edited on 8/1 at 11:13 am


BobLeeDagger
Purdue Fan
In your head
Member since May 2016
3774 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
From an X's and O's standpoint, I could see it. But in public perception, Cowboys/Eagles and Packers/Bears holds slightly more weight in my opinion. The Falcons/Saints color combo is definitely the best.


ATLabama
Atlanta Falcons Fan
Member since Jan 2013
600 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

From an X's and O's standpoint, I could see it. But in public perception, Cowboys/Eagles and Packers/Bears holds slightly more weight in my opinion. The Falcons/Saints color combo is definitely the best.


I would say historically, absolutely Packers-Bears. But that game has an Army-Navy feel to it; Midwestern fans are passionate, but neither Packer or Bear games are raucous by any stretch of the imagination. TBQH, the Vikings likely have the best HFA in the NFC North.

Cowboys/Eagles is a really good one. However, I think it's not as much of a 1 on 1 rivalry. No one from Philly actually hates Dallas, and vice versa. Eagles fans hate everyone, and everyone hates the Cowboys.


BobLeeDagger
Purdue Fan
In your head
Member since May 2016
3774 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
One more that I would add that likely gets overlooked it Pittsburgh/Cleveland. Those fan bases are filled with some exuberant hate.


Pettifogger
Atlanta Braves Fan
Member since Feb 2012
54944 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
I think it's underrated

I don't really think it compares to top college rivalries. This board (TD) is probably one of the epicenters for the rivalry online, TBH

The atmosphere is fun but it's super trashy in my experience. Not like stabbing people trashy, but you have a lot of sketch Falcons and Saints fans and diehard NFL supporters are already more dirtbaggish than the sports norm.

Honestly I'm probably with you regarding Saints hatred, but again a lot of that is from this board. Saints fans in Atlanta are obnoxious and plentiful but I don't think it permeates the city like the Iron Bowl does (when less one sided) in Alabama.

In short, I think it's a good and overlooked NFL rivalry with lots of animosity but I don't think it's a good substitute for a college rivalry experience.


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DirtyDawg
Georgia Fan
Straight outta Cobbton
Member since Aug 2013
9268 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
The entire AFC North is nothing but hatred


I want the Browns to actually perform well this year. Then we can all sit back and watch the Steelers/Browns/Ravens kick the ever-living shite out of each other.


ATLabama
Atlanta Falcons Fan
Member since Jan 2013
600 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

The atmosphere is fun but it's super trashy in my experience. Not like stabbing people trashy, but you have a lot of sketch Falcons and Saints fans and diehard NFL supporters are already more dirtbaggish than the sports norm.


I'm sorry, but middle-of-nowhere SEC towns (so, most if not all) will always reign supreme for trashy. It's not even close. The townies alone in Tuscaloosa, Athens, Auburn, Starkville, are bad enough on gamedays. Then you get your sidewalk alums involved, and it's not even a close competition. Also - let's be real, by "sketchy" you mean black people. Just let it out.

I think the cost of the game alone has priced out a lot of the riff-raff you saw in the 90s at NFL games - but with PSLs and ticket prices now in these new stadiums, it's warded off most of that. Heck, the cheapest ticket (fees included) for the thanksgiving game is $150. The average price of ticket sold will be ~250-400 bucks. That's more than I paid for the SEC title game, the orange bowl semis, or even the natty last year. The barrier to entry is just so much lower in college, that there's no way that it's "sketchier."

Back on topic, I would agree that the college atmosphere on a season-long level has more hype, but, this game in particular I think is absolutely of that ilk.
This post was edited on 8/1 at 1:55 pm


ATLabama
Atlanta Falcons Fan
Member since Jan 2013
600 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

I want the Browns to actually perform well this year. Then we can all sit back and watch the Steelers/Browns/Ravens kick the ever-living shite out of each other.


Would be fun to watch.

Personally, I think a rivalry right up there with ours is Baltimore-Pittsburgh. The hitting in that game is the reason why players fight for lifetime healthcare, lol.


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BobLeeDagger
Purdue Fan
In your head
Member since May 2016
3774 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

I would say historically, absolutely Packers-Bears. But that game has an Army-Navy feel to it; Midwestern fans are passionate, but neither Packer or Bear games are raucous by any stretch of the imagination. TBQH, the Vikings likely have the best HFA in the NFC North.


I will mention that the hate between the Falcons and Saints is likely a bi-product to the lack of success both franchises have experienced over the course of their existence. I mean that with all due respect. It's the same reason why I think the Egg Bowl is more hostile than the Iron Bowl. Because you're playing out of pure hatred, not a chase to a higher goal, such as a national championship.


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Rhino5
Atlanta Braves Fan
Atlanta
Member since Nov 2014
18891 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

The entire AFC North is nothing but hatred

This. They love NFL football up North.


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ATLabama
Atlanta Falcons Fan
Member since Jan 2013
600 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

It's the same reason why I think the Egg Bowl is more hostile than the Iron Bowl. Because you're playing out of pure hatred, not a chase to a higher goal, such as a national championship.


That's a really good point. Fortunately, we're in an era where that's not the case anymore. The Saints and Falcons are the 7th and 8th winningest franchises the past decade. Both have competed in a Super Bowl, and both have been to 2 NFC championships. I think the ongoing suffering and beating up on each other was the ember that lit the fire- you're absolutely right.


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Pettifogger
Atlanta Braves Fan
Member since Feb 2012
54944 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

I'm sorry, but middle-of-nowhere SEC towns (so, most if not all) will always reign supreme for trashy. It's not even close. The townies alone in Tuscaloosa, Athens, Auburn, Starkville, are bad enough on gamedays. Then you get your sidewalk alums involved, and it's not even a close competition. Also - let's be real, by "sketchy" you mean black people. Just let it out.

I think the cost of the game alone has priced out a lot of the riff-raff you saw in the 90s at NFL games - but with PSLs and ticket prices now in these new stadiums, it's warded off most of that. Heck, the cheapest ticket (fees included) for the thanksgiving game is $150. The average price of ticket sold will be ~250-400 bucks. That's more than I paid for the SEC title game, the orange bowl semis, or even the natty last year. The barrier to entry is just so much lower in college, that there's no way that it's "sketchier."


Dude NFL is absolutely sketchier and that's not an uncommon opinion. We talk about it regularly on MSB. NFL crowds are rough. It's the most widely loved sport which means it reaches everyone (good and bad).

Listen, we both like Alabama schools so there isn't any use in pretending our fans are all of a refined quality. But NFL, especially Atlanta and New Orleans, doesn't draw a sophisticated crowd, and it's absolutely trashier than going to an Auburn-UGA game or Alabama-Ole Miss or whatever. So much of college football is family oriented and that just isn't the case for NFL now. And yes, particularly in Atlanta and New Orleans you have a trashy black component in addition to the rough white NFL fans.

You're 100% right on cost, so I have no idea why it is like it is. But particularly in the games, the crowd at an NFL game vs an SEC game will absolutely be a lot trashier. If you factor in the town components I think it's the same, but at least you'll have the townies you mention who are just around for the party.

Back to the college comparison, I think we inflate it because neither franchise has played particularly meaningful games over the long term. I think it's a really good NFL game and the best example either side can offer, but I don't think there are the things that make a great college rivalry (pageantry, history of significant matchups, etc.)

I do think there is a lot of animosity, and if both franchises continue to be competitive it will only rise up the ranks of respected rivalries. I'll be completely honest, my interest in the Falcons is in no small part driven by my hatred of the Saints.


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VADawg
Atlanta Braves Fan
Jacksonville
Member since Nov 2011
17553 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
Easily the most underrated. NFL is starting to take notice putting it on Thanksgiving for two years in a row.

It doesn't have the historical significance of Browns/Steelers, Packers/Bears, or Giants/Eagles, but the hatred between the two teams (more specifically fanbases) is as intense as any in the league.


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VADawg
Atlanta Braves Fan
Jacksonville
Member since Nov 2011
17553 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

One more that I would add that likely gets overlooked it Pittsburgh/Cleveland. Those fan bases are filled with some exuberant hate.


It's slightly more one sided (Browns fans hate Pittsburgh more) but yeah those fans absolutely fricking hate each other. Browns fans especially hate the Steelers fans from eastern Ohio.


ATLabama
Atlanta Falcons Fan
Member since Jan 2013
600 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
The rumors at the league office is that they’ve thrown around making the Falcons-Saints game a permanent thanksgiving affair for the foreseeable future.

I think it’d be a hit, personally. One of the matchups has been on national tv every year I think since 2009.


DirtyDawg
Georgia Fan
Straight outta Cobbton
Member since Aug 2013
9268 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
The Falcons v. Saints just has a Thanksgiving night game feel.


VADawg
Atlanta Braves Fan
Jacksonville
Member since Nov 2011
17553 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

The rumors at the league office is that they’ve thrown around making the Falcons-Saints game a permanent thanksgiving affair for the foreseeable future.


Sweet Jesus that would be awesome


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ATLabama
Atlanta Falcons Fan
Member since Jan 2013
600 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

The Falcons v. Saints just has a Thanksgiving night game feel.


Agreed. I mean, with the way this game is played annually, I think it’d be a ratings hit.

And because the Lions always play on thanksgiving, we know for sure it’d be no worse than the second best game of the day.
This post was edited on 8/3 at 11:01 am


VADawg
Atlanta Braves Fan
Jacksonville
Member since Nov 2011
17553 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
quote:

Then we can all sit back and watch the Steelers/Browns/Ravens kick the ever-living shite out of each other


Those Ravens/Steelers games in the late 2000s and early 2010s were absolutely violent. Those teams should not play at 1:00 on a Sunday. They should play on Wednesday in the parking lot.


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DirtyDawg
Georgia Fan
Straight outta Cobbton
Member since Aug 2013
9268 posts

re: Falcons-Aints: The most intense rivalry in football?
Lions at Noon ,Cowboys in the mid-afternoon, and wrap it up with Falcons-Taints. That’s a hell of Thursday.


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