I am an Atlanta native and, as of last night, a diehard Hawks fan. I was walking around the Atlanta airport last night (wildly hungover from a wedding weekend…just so y’all think I’m cool) and thought “Why are so many people wearing Hawks t-shirts and hats?” Then, I did a double take when I passed by a TV. Is that the Hawks? Does the screen really say, “Eastern Conference Semifinals?” No, it couldn’t be. For a second, I thought it was just my hangover making me see things (again, I am super cool). Turns out, it wasn’t a morning after mirage—the Atlanta Hawks were actually in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
When I got home, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Do I like…turn on the Hawks game? Where do I even go to watch a Hawks game? ESPN? Or a the local Atlanta channel that I watch for traffic updates? For those of you who were wondering, ESPN does play Atlanta Hawks games. What I saw blew my mind. We were putting up a fight. There were players blocking throws in ways that I’ve never seen before, and our mascot, Harry the Hawk, had a pep in his step that was only comparable to a coked out Will Ferrell in The Night at the Roxbury.
Also, have y’all hear of this Trae Young guy? From what I saw last night, he is extremely talented. I had rolled my perpetually rolling eyes when I heard that the Hawks traded Luka Doncic for Young. But, he was making 3 pointers, and I swear one of them happened while his eyes were closed. I even put in an order for an “Ice Trae” t-shirt during halftime. I don’t even care that I had to pay an extra $15 for the rush order or that I had to order an extra small because all other sizes were on back order. I am medium on a good day and large when I’m being realistic. Worst comes to worst, I’ll put it on my dog or the child I’ll have when I’m 45, should things go according to plan.
All this being said though, I would like to offer the opportunity for any 76ers fan who claims that the Hawks won by way of miscalled fouls to shut up. Fouls are a result of three things: pressure, anger, and good acting. Y’all definitely had the pressure and anger; I just suggest your team hire an acting coach. If you think I’m being unfair or hyperbolic, you most likely are also a soccer fan. Now that I am done with my warmup, I am ready to really piss off 76ers fans with some stats. As of last night, The 76ers are the second No. 1 seed ever to lose three home games in a conference semifinal round series since 1995. Your most effective player on the team was Joel Embiid who was playing with a torn knee and still managed to allow eight turnovers for the second straight game. This was the first 76ers home Game 7 loss in 53 years and the Hawks first road Game 7 win in franchise history. That last sentence just gave me a blast of serotonin.
As a native Atlantan though, I am cautiously optimistic. Atlanta sports franchises are amazing at foreplay. During both halves of Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons put up an amazing fight against the Patriots. Throughout the game, I was throwing middle fingers left and right at guys wearing Tom Brady jerseys, because men love a gal who shoots a bird at them. Then, the game when into overtime. The Patriots got the touchdown, and I had a wave of middle fingers coming my way. Three years later, the Atlanta Braves are playing against the LA Dodgers in the NLCS. It’s Game 3; Braves have won the first two games. I am riding the high off a momentum that I haven’t seen from the Braves since I was eating a hot dog and doing the chop inside my mother’s uterus. My mother claims she could hear “Oooooh oh ooh ooooh” coming from her stomach every time Tom Glavine sunk a ball into the catcher’s mitt. Now, I was outside the womb and watching the Braves with my own eyes and beers in both hands (another reminder that I am very cool). To my dismay, I witnessed the Braves give up eleven runs during the first inning. This was in October of 2020 while I was quarantining, so I had to give myself the middle finger. After losing the game 15-3, the Braves went on to lose their seat in the MLB World Series. Atlanta sports championship wins are only fairytales I’ve heard from my parents and their parents. Hopefully, the 2021 Hawks will give me an Atlanta victory story that I can tell my kids and their kids about.