It's hard to create a lot of hate for the Atlanta Falcons as we prepare for Sunday's playoff game at the Georgia Dome. They aren't a rival. They're not a team with a national fan base that is obnoxious, like, let's say, the Steelers.
Seattle and Atlanta are a lot more alike than you might realize or care to acknowledge.
Their sports fans have suffered just as much as ours have. Some would say even more. They have only one major sports championship, just like Seattle, but they've been close a lot more times than we have, losing four out of five trips to the World Series.
Atlanta is a huge tourism town, just like Seattle. Ashley O'Dell with the Atlanta Convention and Visitor's Bureau says despite being in the south, Atlanta actually gets more rain than Seattle.
"We get about ten more inches of precipitation a year than Seattle," she said. "But I think you guys get it more incrementally. We tend to get ours more at one time."
Was that a shot? I think it was.
We have Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and Heart.
What does Atlanta have? Gladys Knight and Cee Lo. Advantage Seattle.
We have Starbucks.
They have Coke. That's a push.
We have Microsoft. They have Home Depot. Seattle again.
They have Delta Airlines, but where would Delta be without the planes Boeing makes? Advantage Seattle.
We have the Space Needle. What does Atlanta have?
"A lot of people would say our Fox Theater," O'Dell said. "It's very recognizable. People come to Atlanta to visit it. We also have the Georgia Aquarium. We have the Martin Luther King Historic site. We're really the home of the Civil Rights Movement."
OK. It's hard to compete with Martin Luther King Jr. We'll give them that one, but it's clear that Seattle is vastly superior. O'Dell said not so fast.
"As of last count, I believe we're the only city that can claim two Nobel Peace Prize winners."
True, but Seattle has three Nobel winners in the field of medicine.
I was still having trouble finding ways of hating Atlanta, until O'Dell said this.
"We're the home of southern hospitality," she said. "We're going to treat you well when you come here. We're going to welcome you to our home, and hopefully at the end of the game we're going to point you to a nice restaurant where you can drown your sorrows."
What? "Drown our sorrows?"
Now it's on Atlanta.