Howdy y'all. I'm John Monahan, your new writer here at BRB with a penchant for favoring the Falcons (something you might've noticed if you ran across Matt's rundown of the staff's predictions last Friday).
I'm 23 years old, and despite being a Falcons fan, I'm from nowhere near Atlanta, or even Georgia. I actually live in New England (more on how a kid who grew up in New England at the very peak of the Patriots dynasty ends up a Falcons fan in a bit), and have my whole life. I'm currently working full-time while going to school part-time (hopefully full-time again in the Spring). I am/was an engineering major, and as a result I'm very numbers-oriented and analytical. That is something you'll see reflected in my writing, as I tend to gravitate toward analyzing players/teams statistically rather than with tape, making me the Bizarro Brett Kollman. I do recognize that stats can lie and that they need to be kept in context, especially in a game as complex as football, but in my experience they're usually a good starting point for getting an idea of how good a player or team is.
As for how I ended up a Falcons fan while growing up in New England at the peak of the Patriots dynasty, I, in my 13 year old wisdom, thought it was lame to root for a team that always won (10 years later and following the most disappointing season of any team I've ever rooted for, I think my sanity disagrees), and I thought it'd be cool to root for a team that didn't have a following in my area. This just so happened to be when Michael Vick was taking the league by storm, and as a teenager obsessed with speed in all its various forms I couldn't help but be seduced. I did have a slight identity crisis in the wake of the dog-fighting drama, but ultimately stuck by the team. I have since become a much more devoted and rabid fan, with the 2012 playoff win over the Seahawks ranking as one of my favorite sports memories of all-time, second only to the Red Sox '04 playoff run. Despite my Falcons fandom, I am a Boston fan in all the other sports I watch, which is mostly baseball and occasionally basketball.
At this point, I'm sure you're wondering how I feel about the Texans, and I'll put it to you this way. No team will ever give me Stockholm Syndrome like the Falcons, but I think Andre Johnson should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, J.J. Watt is the best player in the league, QBs included, and the Texans are a quarterback away from being legitimate Super Bowl contenders. I also can't help but feel a bit of sympathy or slight connection with the team and all its fans after how disappointing the 2013 season went for both the Texans and Falcons. All that being said, I do believe having an outside and objective view on the Texans will be a good thing to have in contrast to the more optimistic views you usually get from your hometown writers.
I'm gonna cut myself off there, and end this introductory article by saying I look forward to learning and writing about the Texans. I hope you enjoy reading what I have to say!