Atlanta's Most Frustrated Falcon
Although Tony Gonzalez claims he has zero qualms about his return to the Atlanta Falcons after narrowly missing out on the opportunity to play in last year's Super Bowl, you'd have to pull a Cris Carter soundbite out of your pocket and emphatically respond with a disbelieving, "C'mon, Man!"
One of the most decorated and skilled tight ends the NFL has ever seen, Gonzalez had been seriously contemplating retirement since the 2012 season. After 17 years of enduring physical punishment on a weekly basis, he insisted that it was time to hang up his cleats but ultimately decided to withdraw his retirement application and return to the Atlanta Falcons for one final run.
Tony Gonzalez wants to play in the Super Bowl and unfortunately, it's becoming more and more apparent he'll never get that chance.
With such high expectactions, the former two-sport Cal Bear made a calculated decision to return for the 2013 NFL season. The Falcons, who were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders, revamped their offense and added a freak of a running back -- Steven Jackson -- to complement their lethal passing attack led by Matt Ryan. After losing to the 49ers in last year's NFC Championship game, Atlanta felt as if it could have done more and probably felt overly confident heading in to this year's NFL season. However, overconfidence and/or arrogance, compounded by a few key injuries put paid to the 2013 campaign.
Atlanta is now a bottom dweller. Nothing went its way. The Falcons have been outplayed, outmanned, and outclassed for the majority of the season. Although they showed flashes of last year's success, for the most part, it's been ugly.
When I say ugly, I mean, the old Dirty Bird dance ugly.
Atlanta is 3-9, and if I was Tony Gonzalez, I'd be fuming with frustration. He came back for this?
Although Gonzalez might not verbalize his frustration with this team, I feel as though he has to be thoroughly disappointed with how the year has turned out. It's been a complete waste of his time, and at age 37, time is precious.
He's again declared that this will be his last year in the pros.
Gonzalez has earned enough kudos to make the Hall of Fame someday, but when that happens, he'll be making his speech without a Super Bowl ring to his name.