ESPN columnist Rob Parker (ESPNNewYork.com)
ATLANTA (WXIA) - ESPN columnist Rob Parker took Atlanta to task in a column Friday, saying the city didn't deserve a win from the Falcons in Sunday's playoff game against the New York Giants, due to the lack of support for the city's pro teams.
"Atlanta is the worst sports town in America," Parker said.
He says the empty seats at Philips Arena and Turner Field for the Hawks and Braves bear that out. He also says the level of attendance for the Thrashers before their unseemly exit last summer also bears witness to the level of apathy among Atlanta's sports fans.
Not so fast, some sports fans insist. Atlanta's level of support for collegiate athletics is among the greatest in the entire nation. And NFL television ratings for the Falcons are continually among the best in the league year after year.
But Parker points to the mediocre performance of Atlanta's pro teams from the departure of the Thrashers to the epic Braves collapse at the end of last season - and an overall lackluster fan base from those teams as well as from Hawks and Falcons fans as reason enough that Atlanta "shouldn't be allowed to win" Sunday's game, which he says would "reward some of the worst fans in the country."
What do you think? Would you like to give him a "what for?" Parker's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Parker's article at ESPN has already received more than 5,000 comments, many of those from some of the angry Atlanta faithful.