Gonzalez Will Go Down With the Birds
All of the talk about trading Tony Gonzalez makes a lot of sense. After all, the New England Patriots could certainly use a second (or however you look at it a first) pass catching tight end. There is also the argument that Tony’s original team, the Kansas City Chiefs, is undefeated. Tony could certainly use some repayment in the form of success for all of the failure that he had to endure in Missouri.
The Falcons themselves may have just reached a nadir in what was supposed to be a Super Bowl contending season with a loss to the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. There is only one prohibitive factor in all of this discussion. That would be Tony Gonzalez himself.
Tony Gonzalez has not now nor has he ever done anything halfway. Gonzalez may be in the best shape of his life at the age of 37. This is not by accident at all. When they stop making Chuck Norris jokes, then they might start telling real stories about Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez spent his off-season learning how to speak Spanish better because he was ashamed of his command of the language. Tony Gonzalez cared enough for animals that he took ‘going all the way’ to new embarrassing levels:
When Tony Gonzalez came back for another season, he came back to win a Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons. If the Falcons do not make the Super Bowl this season in New York, Gonzalez will admit to his own culpability rather than blame the team.
The other side of the equation is that impossibly the Falcons season might not be completely lost yet. The Falcons are going into a bye week, as they are facing the loss of Julio Jones for the season. Roddy White has not really caught on to this season. However, Harry Douglas might really be ready for a break out, and we have not really seen what Drew Davis is capable of yet. Coming off of the bye, the Falcons have Arizona, Carolina, and Tampa Bay on the schedule. Lets be kind to the fan bases of those particular franchises and say that those games are ‘winnable.’
The bye week may also give Steven Jackson’s hamstring injury time to get healthy. If the Falcons win all three of those games, then they will be 4 and 4. If they go 5 and 3 over the rest of the season from there, then the playoffs are not completely impossible in a watered down NFC. Four of the teams that the Falcons face in the second half of the season are Tampa Bay, Carolina, Buffalo, and Washington. Again, those are ‘winnable’ games. If the Falcons can ‘steal’ one from Green Bay, San Francisco, New Orleans, or Seattle; then 9-7 is still a distinct possibility.
None of that matters to Tony Gonzalez though. Gonzalez did not sign up to merely make it to the playoffs this season. Gonzalez signed up to make it to a Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons. That is his goal and he will see it through. Gonzalez does not quit, it’s not in his DNA. Whether his final season ends up at 1-15 or turns out to be 12-4, Gonzalez will see it through to the end. A trade would be an easy way out. If we have learned nothing else during the last decade and a half, it’s that Tony will see it all the way through and not take any easy way out.