By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — For the state of Georgia, it was yet another major sports disappointment.
Less than a year after the Atlanta Falcons squandered a commanding 25-point edge in the Super Bowl, the Georgia Bulldogs blew a pair of 13-point leads Monday night in the national championship game — played at the Falcons’ stadium, no less.
Alabama threw a 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime to pull out a stunning 26-23 victory , a result that will surely be lumped with all the disappointments associated with the city of Atlanta.
After all, this was essentially a home game for the Bulldogs, who were only about 75 miles from campus and even bused home to practice at their regular facilities a couple of days before the game.
A look at some of the biggest flops in the A-T-L:
SUPER COLLAPSE: Last season, the Falcons were cruising toward their first championship, leading the mighty New England Patriots 28-3 late in the third quarter. But Tom Brady engineered a stunning comeback, guiding his team to a pair of touchdowns and a pair of 2-point conversions that forced the first overtime game in Super Bowl history. Naturally, the Patriots won the coin toss and drove the length of the field for a 34-28 victory.
NOT-SO-BRAVE WORLD: After winning the 1995 World Series, which remains the only major professional title in Atlanta’s history, the Braves won the first two games of the ’96 Series at Yankee Stadium and were up 6-0 in Game 4, seemingly assured of going up 3-1. But New York’s Jim Leyritz tied the game with a three-run homer, the Yankees won in extra innings and would go on to take the title, four games to two.
HAWKS PLUMMET: The Atlanta Hawks were riding high during the 2014-15 NBA season, winning 19 straight games at one point and becoming the first team to have all five starters be picked as co-players of the month. But their title hopes were snuffed out in the Eastern Conference finals by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who romped to a four-game sweep.
ICE AGE MELTS (TWICE): Atlanta remains the only city to lose not one, but two NHL teams. The Flames moved to Calgary in 1980, eight seasons after bringing hockey to the Deep South for the first time. The Thrashers lasted a bit longer, hanging around for 11 seasons before they moved to Winnipeg to become the Jets in 2011.
DREAM’S NIGHTMARE: The Atlanta Dream have been swept all three times they reached the WNBA finals. Another time, they blew a 20-point lead at home in a season-ending playoff loss.
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