After falling short last season, the Atlanta Braves have finally returned to the World Series after a 22 year absence. ‘America’s Team’ eliminated the current World Series champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in a thrilling 4-2 series this past Saturday. Eliminating the Dodgers felt extra special for Atlanta as they blew a 3-1 lead in the NCLS Championship to Los Angeles last season.
Now Atlanta will have to beat the Houston Astros to win the World Series. Most importantly, the Braves will have to break a curse haunting every sports’ team in Atlanta. The Atlanta Braves will have to break the “Atlanta Sports’ Curse”.
The “Atlanta Sports’ Curse” is a voodoo that has constantly been haunting sports teams in the state of Georgia. Just when it looks like a team from Atlanta will be reigned champions in their respective sports, something abnormal gets in the way of that triumph. Year after year, Atlanta natives get their hopes up just to see their team fall short of the finish line.
Here are some examples of this sport voodoo on the city of Atlanta:
Atlanta Hawks Fall Short Of The NBA Finals (2015)
The Hawks aren’t your typical title contending team, but when you least expect it, they will shock you more than once. In the 2014-15 season, the Hawks achieved an all-time best league record, finishing the season 60-22. Additionally Atlanta managed to finish as the first seed in the Eastern Conference, above LeBron James’ Cavaliers.
Hawks fans began believing in Mike Budenholzer’s (head coach at the time) team as they beat the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards in the first round and semi-finals respectively. The Hawks were now only 4 wins away from their first NBA Finals since 1961.
Unfortunately, reality hit this Hawks team during the wrong time. An LeBron-inspired Cavs team managed to eliminate the Atlanta Hawks to reach the NBA Finals. The worst part of this conference finals series is that Cleveland utterly tore Atlanta apart, sweeping them 4-0.
Atlanta United Blow Two-Peat Opportunity (2019)
Atlanta United had previously won the MLS Cup under Argentinian coach, Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino in the 2018 season. El ‘Tata’ eventually accepted to be the Mexican National Team’s head coach, leaving United with Dutch legend Frank De Boer. De Boer didn’t have the best C.V. to manage the current MLS Cup winners. But this didn’t matter as the Dutch legend managed Atlanta United to a 2nd place finish in the Eastern Conference, equalling the record of el ‘Tata’.
In a blink of an eye, Atlanta were in their second consecutive Easter Conference final. Once again, they had the ability to close the season with home-field advantage, meaning that if they went through, United would be able to defend their title at their stadium. Things couldn’t have been painted better for the newly formed soccer club when Julian Gressel put the current champions ahead in the 4′ minute.
Fans were going crazy for back-to-back championships after Atlanta was awarded a penalty in the 10′ minute. Everyone thought that Venezuelan striker Josef Martinez would put Atlanta head 2-0, but the Toronto keeper blocked the penalty. Everything began going downhill as Toronto F.C. tied things up later in the first half. Everything seemed to be under Atlanta’s control until Toronto’s Nick DeLeon scored an absolute screamer from outside the box in the 77′ minute. This goal left 70,000 fans heartbroken.
Super Bowl Madness Gives Brady 5th Ring
And now the biggest choke from an Atlanta sports’ team, the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons had finished a phenomenal regular season, ending with a record of 11-5. This eventually gave them the second seed in the National Football Conference, thus giving them a bye week. With the Packers knocking out the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta would be secured home-field advantage for the Conference Finals. Matt Ryan and his men used this to their advantage as they obliterated Green Bay 21-44.
Next up, the Falcons had to face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, a very hard task. Surprisingly, it was the Falcons who took the lead first in the Super Bowl, not Tom Brady’s men. The Falcons utterly dominated the Patriots in the first half, leading Atlanta to be up 28-3 with 8 minutes to go in the 3rd Quarter. Everything looked like a disaster for New England until Belichick’s men decided to wake up in the 4th Quarter.
The turning point in this game was seen when WR Julian Edelman caught Brady’s pass in between 3 Falcons players. The score was 20-28 with 2:16 to go. Through this catch, the Patriots were able to tie the game up 28-28 to force overtime, and the rest is history.
Nevertheless, there is a lot of pressure on the Atlanta Braves during this World Series. All of Atlanta, and the rest of the country, will be tuned in to see if the Braves can rewrite history. They have a meeting with history, and they will do it by facing the Houston Astros. As Houston looks to give everyone a reason to hate them more, Atlanta looks to end the voodoo surrounding its teams.
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