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Falcons Should Be Careful What They Wish For When “Trolling” the Saints — Because They Just Might Get It

Well, you can at least give the Atlanta Falcons organization credit for two more things besides the fact that they once blew a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl a couple of years ago; which is that they know how to 'troll' someone rather well, and they certainly seem to have a pretty big pair of "cojones" considering the way they did it.

That was the basic takeaway that most Who Dat fans got the other day when the Falcons team Twitter account put out a video highlighting a few of their various opponents that they'll be facing later on this year, immediately following the official 2019 Regular Season schedule that was released by the League this past Wednesday Night.

But a word to the wise for those running that very same account of the Saints' hated arch-rivals: while it may have been done all in the name of "fun", be careful what you wish for when "trolling" this still-bitterly angry Saints team — because they just might end up getting it with not one but two severe butt-kickings out on the football field later this year.

Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it somehow, the culturally hip folks that run the Falcons Social Media department created a “Game of Thrones”-themed video to announce their 2019 schedule, and in it, they took a blatantly intentional shot (two of them actually) at the Saints and their Who Dat Nation fan-base.

To be more specific: as the video shows each Falcons opponent over the course of 16 games, they come to the Week #10 match-up at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that will be played later this year on Sunday, November 10th. They show a picture of the front entrance to the Superdome, but drop the capital "S" from the word Saints on the digital sign outside right next to the Superdome, to spell out the word: AINTS.

But then if that wasn't enough, it also showed the rematch that will take place three weeks later (November 28th) between the two bitter rivals on Thanksgiving Night in Atlanta, but this time they really took a cheap shot — by making fun of the Saints' heart-breaking loss to the Los Angeles Rams a few months ago in the NFC Championship Game that cost New Orleans a chance at playing in the Super Bowl.

As the video shows fans walking into the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, a live ram (the actual animal itself) runs across the screen and gallops into a saxophone player (intended to represent a Saints fan), knocking him to the ground (and thus preventing the Saints fan from entering the stadium).

Then, a referee runs into the picture, stops and then makes the "incomplete pass" signal with his arms, but doesn’t throw a penalty flag. Here’s the full video. The Saints part is 40 seconds in:

Now keep in mind, Saints fans (and even a few of the Saints players themselves) have been unmercifully "trolling" Falcons fans for the past three years now, following Atlanta's infamous collapse in Super Bowl LI (51); when they blew a 28-3 lead late in the 3rd Quarter before eventually losing 31-28 in overtime to the New England Patriots.

So it stands to reason that this is just some more of the pay-back being directed at the Saints and the 'Who Dat Nation', as a form of retaliation.

Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

However, it just might have been wise in this particular instance, for the Falcons organization to have avoided "poking the bear", in that sense.

Why is that, you ask?

It's a simple reason. which is that virtually the entire Saints organization — from the very top all the way to the bottom on down — have a big-time "chip" on their shoulders at the current moment; especially given the manner in which they were beaten in the Playoffs by the Rams via that infamous no-call; the very same no-call that obviously robbed them of the opportunity to face the Patriots (who eventually beat the Rams) in Super Bowl LIII (53).

Make no mistake about this much: the Saints organization remains angry and extremely pissed off over the way in which they were eventually eliminated from the previous post-season, and you had better believe beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they will be more focused than ever before about going out later this year once the new season arrives, to "finish what they started".

As it's been well documented, the Saints have been eliminated in back-to-back post-seasons in heart-breaking fashion not only just a few months ago, but over a year and a half ago in the infamous "Minneapolis Miracle" in the Black and Gold's stunning last-second defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2017 NFC Divisional Playoff round.

Photo courtesy of The New Orleans Times-Picayune

Falcons fans at that time tried trolling the Saints in retaliation for the way that Who Dats notoriously trolled Atlanta's "choke job" in that historic loss to the Patriots, by making fun of the manner in which the Saints were beaten in that game as well.

But it didn't really seem to have that much effect or impact upon the team or its fan-base, and it very likely just added more fuel for the way in which the Saints organization approached last season with laser-sharp focus on getting to the Super Bowl — which by all accounts, is exactly what should have happened a few months ago.

As we all know of course: it did not, and being the good "arch-rivals" that they are and have always been for the better part of the past 50-plus years now, the Falcons couldn't wait to land on a golden opportunity (for the lack of a better term) to troll the Saints and their fans over the controversial ending to their season a few months ago.

Now to be totally honest, the Falcons certainly deserve some credit for pulling the ultimate troll job, and one that any good sports fan can truly appreciate between two teams that historically are bitter rivals like New Orleans and Atlanta are, and have been for the better part of the past five decades and counting.

For that much, it's okay to give the Falcons Social Media department some well-deserved kudos on a job well done.

But this Saints team will be Hell-bent on approaching the upcoming 2019 Season with some bad intentions; and an organization that in all likelihood, will be looking to finish what they've started by adding the talent they acquired via the 2016 and 2017 NFL Drafts in back-to-back years; which has since allowed them to return to being one of the NFL's "elite" teams following three straight losing (7-9) seasons.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

And one would have to think that if you were a member of the Falcons organization. then trolling the Saints after getting swept by them last year and especially having lost to them in the last 3 straight games between them, might not be the smartest or well-thought out move that could or should have been made. 

But then again, this is a very BITTER and contentious rivalry at times between two teams that plain just HATE EACH OTHER, and the video released the other day by the Falcons will now only serve to pour even more even gasoline on a rivalry that at times can rage out-of-control like an already burning wildfire.

But considering everything that's happened since that fateful day at the Superdome just a few short months ago, one would imagine that the Falcons should be very careful about what they wish for — because come November when they have to face the Saints twice in a span of three weeks, they just might end up getting it....


Saints News Network featured columnist and Big Easy Magazine contributing writer Barry Hirstius is a 52-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and writer previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 45 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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