The Atlanta Falcons are playing good football right now, coming off of a win on the road against the Miami Dolphins, but they're the playing second fiddle to the Braves, who opened the World Series Monday night with a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan can feel the energy of the city as the Braves won a World Series game for the first time since 1996, but his admission highlights a problem MLB has reaching younger fans.
"You definitely feel it," said Ryan. "It's awesome. I've got young boys, and they're fired up, wearing their Braves jerseys last night. We're watching the pre-game. They're running around the house playing baseball."
"It's awesome to see."
"It's a fun team to watch. It's a fun team to root for. I definitely feel it. You feel it driving around town, pumping gas or whatever, you see things going on. It's cool to see."
"I'm fired up. Hopefully Friday, I'll get to watch a little bit more Sunday night. You never know, maybe clinch something," Ryan said with a big smile. "Get the job done. It'd be cool."
Ryan spoke of watching the pre-game show with his young children. Unfortunately with a first pitch after 8 p.m. EST, and a game that lasted over four hours, his kids ... most kids … didn't get to watch the game.
Even adults like Ryan, who have early-morning starts to their day, can struggle to see the final out at 12:20 a.m.
"I didn't watch the whole thing," said Ryan with a wry grin. "I watched the first three innings. Was pleased to wake up to that (result), though."
Baseball, we will suggest, might help itself by playing the games during a time when the younger generation can actually watch.
Each World Series game starts after 8 p.m. EST. The pressure of playoff baseball frequently pushes games beyond the four-hour mark. Rarely do games finish the same day they started.
Happily … Young Falcons fans will have no such problem.
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The local NFL team is in action again at 1 p.m. on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have lost four straight in dropping to 3-4 on the season, while Atlanta has evened its record at 3-3 after starting the season 0-2.