As any sports fan would probably imagine, the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Falcons are very popular in the city.
Fans of both, however, received huge blows in the last couple of days, dating back to last week.
First, Freddie Freeman, who was (and is, really) an icon in Atlanta for his play with the Braves since 2010, signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a six-year deal.
In reality, the Braves virtually signaled their intentions not to bring him back by trading for fellow lefty-hitting first baseman Matt Olson a few days earlier.
And then, on Monday afternoon, the Falcons traded their franchise quarterback, Matt Ryan, to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round pick.
“Freddie Freeman and Matt Ryan both gone in a week’s time. Can’t say I had that on my Atlanta Sports Bingo card,” Atlanta writer/analyst Grant McAuley posted on his Twitter account.
Freddie Freeman and Matt Ryan both gone in a week's time.
Can't say I had that on my Atlanta Sports Bingo card.
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) March 21, 2022
Two Atlanta Legends
Yes, Freeman is 32 and was a free agent, and “Matty Ice” is already 36, but that doesn’t mean their team’s decision to let them go is less surprising.
Fans are still in shock.
Both of them were among their respective league’s best when they were at their peaks, and Freeman could still have a few years of prime.
It’s fair to say, however, that Ryan’s best days are behind him.
Last season, he had a 20/12 TD/INT ratio and 3,968 passing yards, with 7.1 yards per attempt, a 67.0 completion percentage and a 90.4 rating.
Those are very serviceable numbers that could help the Colts get better production than any non-Luck signal-caller in the recent past has given them.
Freeman, meanwhile, hit .300 with 31 homers and scored 120 runs last year: still top production.
In any case, they will be missed by Atlanta fans and will always be remembered for their incredible contributions.