Is the Georgia Dome cursed?

By: Brian Jones

I have covered sports in the Atlanta area since 2006, and I have seen my share of events at the Georgia Dome. I have not missed a Falcons game since 2006, I have seen many college football, high school football and other sporting events during that time span.

NewGeorgiaDome

Recently, I got a chance to go see the U.S. men’s soccer team play Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinals, which was a great atmosphere.

However, the U.S. got stunned by Jamaica, and it was the first time they lost on their own soil in two years and it was the first time they lost a match in Atlanta.

Honestly, I’m not surprised by it because I have seen plenty of teams I support lose big games at the Georgia Dome. However, I have to ask this question – Is the Georgia Dome cursed?

The Dome has hosted it share of great events like the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the SEC Championship, the Final Four and even Wrestlemania. But when it comes to local teams playing in the big games at the Dome, they have struck out more than they hit home runs.

Take the Falcons for example. They have won their share of games from 2008-2012, but in two of the last three playoff games they had at the Dome, they lost including the NFC title game against San Francisco back in 2012. They had a 17-point lead to start the game, blew the lead, had a chance to comeback at the end and came up 13 yards short.

The same thing happened to the Georgia Bulldogs in 2012 when they faced Alabama in the SEC title game. Georgia had a commanding lead in the second half, Alabama took the lead from them, Georgia had one last run in them but came up five yards short from playing the National Championship.

Another example is close to my heart because I went to this high school and played football for them is when Walton High School went to the state championship in 2011 for the first time ever, but they got shutout by Grayson (which was led by current Ole Miss defensive standout Robert Nkemdiche).

So the U.S. probably got hit with the Georgia Dome curse. It may not seem real, but for fans who have cheered for the Falcons and Bulldogs (and for me Walton High School) you can’t argue the fact that something is going on 1 Georgia Dome Dr. in Atlanta.

I love the Georgia Dome, and despite the bad losses, I had some great memories there. But the new Atlanta Stadium can’t get here soon enough.

Georgia high school alums doing big things in the NFL

Justin Houston and Demaryius Thomas may play on different teams and play different positions, but they do have two things in common.

The first is they got huge contract extensions on the last day veterans are eligible to do that. Houston signed a six-year $101 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs while Thomas signed a five-year $70 million extension.Justin Houston

The other thing Houston and Thomas have in common is they are both from the great state of Georgia. Houston played for the Bulldogs while Thomas played at Georgia Tech.

But they also played high school ball in Georgia as Houston played at Statesboro High School and Thomas played at West Laurens.

It’s not rare to see NFL players from Georgia. In fact, at the start of the 2014 season, there were 117 players that played high school football at Georgia that were on NFL roster. And quite a few of them have made name for themselves in the league.

Houston and Thomas are two of the best NFL players that are from the state of Georgia. However, there is also Bruce Irvin of the Seattle Seahawks that played at Stephenson High School. Then you have Morgan Burnett of the Green Bay Packers who is a North Clayton High School alum.

We can’t forget about Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers who also recently signed a contract extension that put in the $100 million club. But the best of the bunch has to go to Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech that was doing big things at Sandy Creek High School back in the day.

The NFL is starting to take notice of the talent in Georgia as 30 players from the state were taken in the 2015 NFL draft. Four of the players were taken in the first round including Vic Beasley (Adairsville) and Bud Dupree (Wilkinson County). The majority of the players were taken in the later rounds, but they are talented such as C.J. Uzomah (North Gwinnett), Amarlo Herrera (North Clayton), DeAndre Smelter (Tattnall Square) and Neiron Ball (Jackson).

Georgia has been known for having some of the talented high school football players in the country. And by the looks of the NFL rosters and the way this past draft went, that trend will continue for years to come.