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Rob Parker Rips City of Atlanta: Fan’s Response
On the evening of Jan. 5, ESPN published an article by Rob Parker that has made his name a trend on Twitter and drew the anger of more than 2,300 comments. Parker was writing a preview for the New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons NFC playoff game and may have succeeded in writing the worst article of all time. Not only did Parker rip the city of Atlanta, he ripped the people in the city and ridiculed them for "not supporting" their teams.
He went on to say that "'Hotlanta' is as cold as it gets when it comes to fan support," and that "Atlanta—the city, not the team—doesn't deserve a playoff victory."
As someone who has been a fan of the Braves, Falcons and Hawks my whole life, despite living in Connecticut, this was just a ludicrous statement. I'll admit that I have been angered over the years by the lack of love shown by the fans in Atlanta when the Braves were great. The 2003 playoff series between the Braves and Cubs was the basis for my anger. Atlanta won the NL East again, winning more than 100 games, yet when the series went to Turner Field; it was filled with more Cubs fans. At this point, it was obvious that Atlanta fans were spoiled.
I understand why Parker wrote what he did. He has never been one to shy away from controversy, and what better way to get page views to your work and viewers to your show on ESPN2 than going after an entire city. It's safe to say that the 2,300 comments weren't from the only people that viewed the article. It's been recommended on Facebook more than 700 times and retweeted on Twitter more than 100 times. More people know about Parker now than they did at this time yesterday, which works for him, but it doesn't make what he said alright.
It is one thing to blast a team, but it is another thing to blast a city. Does he know about the economic climate in Atlanta that may be preventing these fans from going to the stadiums? No, he doesn't and he doesn't care either. He was all about writing an article to make fans angry instead of doing research. A simple look through of the article will show no facts, aside from attendance totals, which don't tell the whole story. John Kincade, a sports talk show host on 680 The Fan in Atlanta did the research that Parker neglected and posted it on Twitter.
" Braves in 15 year old stadium drew 18 less fans a game than the Mets in a brand new stadium in much larger population area. Easy to find #s "
Another interesting fact that Kincade brought up shows just how Atlanta and New York compared this season.
"Funny, Falcons in smaller city played to 96.8% of capacity this year, compared to Giants 96.3%. Would think writer would research the facts!"
Let's just all agree at this point about two things. One, Parker succeeded in his goal of becoming known to the fans in Atlanta. Two, although he seems uneducated by ripping the city in such a manor, he is a smart person who just doesn't seem to get it.
As Falcons fans get ready to watch their team play on Sunday at 1 p.m. (yeah Rob, we know when the game is), Parker will be the last thing we're thinking of. We'll be thinking about Matt Ryan getting his first playoff win and the Falcons playing the role of spoiler.
For a look at season recaps for the Atlanta Falcons, go here for easier access.
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Hobson Lopes is a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, thanks to Deion Sanders and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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