Atlanta is a perfectly fine sports town.
That’s all I want you to get out of this. As someone born in the metro Atlanta area where I have lived my whole life, I’m not here to convince you that Atlanta fans are actually the best fans in the world and everything you’ve heard is wrong. They are not. I’m not here to convince you this is a top-10 sports town in the country (I guess it could be, but probably not). I’m just here to tell you that Atlanta is a place where people really enjoy sports and will turn out to support an entertaining team. You know, like most places.
The foundation of the Atlanta sports issue is that Atlanta has very rarely had winners. Since 1966 when the Falcons and Braves arrived in the city (with the Hawks joining shortly thereafter in 1968), Atlanta’s three main professional sports teams (RIP Flames and Thrashers) have made the playoffs 43 percent of the time and have reached the conference (or league) finals (or championship) only 10 percent of the time. More than half of those trips to league championships came in one 11-year run by the Braves from 1991 to 2001 when they went nine times.
Let’s talk about those Braves for a second. Anyone that, like me, was born in the Atlanta area from 1980 to 1995 spent at least a significant amount of their childhood or teenage years with a team that was not just going to the playoffs every year but making runs deep into the playoffs every year. This was the norm to the young Atlanta fan who didn’t know the playoffs weren’t simply a guarantee.