By now, everyone who follows sports knows what it means to choke. Blowing a lead in an important game is the pinnacle of choking, and not a single state has had more teams do it since 2017 than Georgia. The Peach State has sent a baseball team, a college football team, a professional football team, and a professional soccer team to the playoffs since 2017. Only Atlanta United, the soccer team, has won a championship in that time period. Both the Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia Bulldogs have been to a championship game and lost. The Atlanta Braves made the NLCS this year and lost to the Dodgers.
In 2017, The Atlanta Falcons faced The New England Patriots in The Super Bowl. Almost all of America was counting on the Falcons to dethrone the Patriots. At halftime, the Falcons were up 28-3, when they performed the epitome of a choke. They were shut out by the Patriots and allowed them to score 31 points. The Patriots scored 25 to force overtime and won the game with a touchdown in overtime. This gained infamy for the Falcons that they have not been able to live down since that day.
The next year, The Georgia Bulldogs faced The Alabama Crimson Tide in the college football national championship. This was Georgia’s first national championship appearance since 1980, and it looked like they were going to make the most of it. The Bulldogs were up 13-0 at halftime when Alabama put in true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Alabama would go on to score 26 points and hold Georgia to 10 resulting in a final score of 26-23 and yet another choke.
This year, The Atlanta Braves looked poised for a World Series run. They were the second seed in the National League, and they had a 2-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. That lead shifted to a 3-1 lead and then suddenly a 3-3 tie. In the series-deciding game seven, The Braves started out with a 2-0 lead. The Dodgers tied the game up, but The Braves retook the lead 3-2. The Braves went on to lose 4-3 and allow the Dodgers to come back from a 3-1 series deficit and completed yet another Georgia Choke.
It’s undoubtedly a tough assignment to be a sports fan in the state of Georgia. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in Georgia, it’s not to get our hopes up when it comes to success in sports.