Disclaimer: I’m not including Atlanta United in this column because the team was founded in 2014, therefore they are immune to the Olympic curse of 1996. Besides, they have already won three trophies in their three year existence.
Okay Georgia sports fans, what was worse? Blowing a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl or facing a 10-run deficit after just half an inning in a deciding Game 5 of the NLDS?
For me, the Super Bowl loss will always be the most disappointing moment in my sports fandom, but hey, now I have a new runner-up moment.
As the first inning unraveled for the Braves, the words ‘disappointment’, ‘ashamed’ and ‘choking’ floated through my head. But then, I told myself, “This is Georgia sports, we’re not allowed to have any good sports memories.”
Being a sports fan in the state of Georgia is hard, mostly because if you ask me right now, I can easily bring up bad memories of Georgia based sports teams losing in championship games or the playoffs than I can of them winning it.
Many fans around the state have named this sequence of events as the curse of hosting the 1996 Olympics. Mainly because the last sports title for the city came in 1995 when the Braves won the World Series. It’s only World Series.
And whether you believe in the curse or not, that’s up to you. But at the end of the day, there has to be some explanation for sports teams in this state to enjoy much success in the regular season, but once the postseason starts, the teams just underperform and therefore crush everyone’s dreams. But you know, sadly, there isn’t an explanation.
And the worst part about the Olympics being in Atlanta is that I didn’t even get to enjoy them, because I was a year old. The only memorabilia that I have is a hat that my dad bought.
I remember watching Super Bowl 51 at a sports bar and as the Patriots erased the large deficit minute by minute, it literally felt like a slow death and everyone around me just felt powerless because there wasn’t anything we could do to stop it.
Ever since, I try not to celebrate a win until the clock hits triple zeroes and the stadium is empty because I know anything can happen. Bad things can happen.
For the rest of 2019, most fans will now turn their hopes to UGA football, a team that has also been affected by the curse. (You can look up the 2018 National Championship or 2018 SEC Championship on your own because I don’t feel like typing over two thousand words on it tonight).
But hey, like everyone says, “Next year will be our year,” – a phrase I have heard for as long as I can remember.