Friday, September 25, 2015

The Curse of Joe Buck

Joe Buck And Troy Aikman after the Falcons NFC Championship Loss in 2012

The 2-0 Atlanta Falcons will head down to Arlington, Texas to face off against the 2-0 Dallas Cowboys this week, with  Joe Buck and Troy Aikman commenting. Buck revealed this during the Cowboys-Eagles game last week, and he has a history with this team.

As a Falcons fan, hearing that announcement made my heart sink, because I feel as if some of the worst losses of the Matt Ryan era have come under the play-by-play stylings of Joe Buck. 

With piqued curiosity, I conducted a search of every Atlanta Falcons game since 2008 and noted each one that Joe Buck commentated. Here are my findings:

Since 2008, the Atlanta Falcons are 0-5 when Joe Buck is on commentary.

--- Three of these losses have occurred in the playoffs 

                           2010 Divisional Round vs Green Bay Packers 

                              2011 NFC Wild Card @ New York Giants 

                               2012 NFC Championship vs San Francisco 49ers

§  FYI: Thom Brennaman called the Falcons-Seahawks playoff game

The two regular season losses occurred in 2009

                                        Week 3 @ New England Patriots 

                                           Week 14 VS New Orleans Saints

 The average score when Joe Buck calls a Falcons game:

                                                    Atlanta- 16 Opponent- 30

So it turns out that since 2008 the Falcons haven’t just taken some ugly L’s with Joe Buck performing play-by-play…they’ve never earned a W.

Now I understand this argument falls under the fallacy of mistaking correlation and causation. To put it simply, just because X is related to Y does NOT mean that X caused Y. But it’s a bit disheartening to hear that for the past eight years your favorite team hasn’t won when a certain guy is commenting, whether it's actually related or not.

Some good news though: Head coach Dan Quinn has broken some of the most discouraging patterns in recent Atlanta Falcons history. Before the Monday Night Football victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in week one, the Falcons had only earned one victory in seven MNF games since 2009. In week two, Atlanta won its first game on the road against the Giants since 2004. Since that year, the dirty birds were 0-3 at the Giants before last week’s 24-20 victory. 

Now Dan Quinn’s Falcons look to defeat a depleted Cowboys team that is missing some key players (QB Tony Romo, WR Dez Bryant, and DE Randy Gregory). A win on Sunday will mean a 3-0 start for Atlanta as well as the first victory of the Matt Ryan era with Joe Buck on commentary. 

Will it happen? 

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