Posted: Monday October 30, 2006 12:25PM; Updated: Monday October 30, 2006 1:36PM
3. If an opponent says stop, goes limp, even if he's just faking it, the fight is over: The Falcons may have won their last two games, but they were by a combined total of five points, and both times the opponent was in it right down to the end. This seems to be a recurring theme with the Falcons: Generally, whenever Vick turns in a stellar performance, the Falcons somehow manage to bumble around enough to keep it close and make it interesting. This rule is in place to remind me that the game isn't over until it's over, until Vick has had one last shot to do something spectacular. Because you never quite know when something like this will occur.
4. Only two teams to a fight.
5. One fight at a time: These two are related, because they represent the folly of looking ahead during an NFL season, particularly a Falcons season. I used to print out Atlanta's schedule and hang it near my desk, so I could see what games were forthcoming. Now I don't look at the schedule, instead focusing on one game at a time, working through in my head how Vick will fare against this week's opponent.
6. No jerseys, no cleats: I've officially packed away all of my Vick gear. The last time I wore a Vick jersey was two weeks while hosting a party for the Giants-Falcons game. Atlanta jumped ahead and then choked away a 27-14 lead. (For whatever it's worth, wearing a Falcons hat doesn't seem to have any effect on their performance, positive or negative. And yes, I absolutely think all of these things I'm doing actually have an effect on the Falcons, the same way I refused to let me wife use my computer Saturday evening while the Georgia Bulldogs were coming back against Florida. There's probably no connection, but I hate taking that chance.)
7. The Vick goes on as long as it has to: Toward the end of last season, I found myself wondering if perhaps the whole Vick-in-Atlanta thing was a lost cause. Vick had three touchdown passes in his last five games, the Falcons lost their final three games and missed the playoffs. And no matter how big a fan of No. 7 you were, it was pretty obvious that Vick running the West Coast offense wasn't a great idea. This year, the Falcons co-opted the veer offense from Remember The Titans, which worked like a charm for two weeks, and lately they seem to have tried throwing caution to the wind and letting Vick pass more than 20 times a game. And it's working. Either way, I understand that Vick will be a Falcon for a really long time, and I have to live with that.
8. If this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight: If you've never seen Vick play, I'm convinced that you need to see him just once and you'll be enamored with his style of play. Sure, you could be a traditionalist who prefers the breathtaking skill of a Damon Huard or Tony Romo, but the majority of the world seems to understand that Vick is something special. Falcons fans get it, too. Vick just needs a little more attention than the average QB.