Heartbreak city: Astros aim to extend Atlanta's sports suffering

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As the Braves return to Minute Maid Park to finish the World Series, they arrive in Houston carrying more than just a 3-to-2 series lead.

"We somehow, every single time, manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory," explained Atlanta-native Elle Duncan.

Duncan is an anchor for SportsCenter on ESPN who was born and raised in Atlanta, a sports town known for being Heartbreak City. Via Zoom, she helps paint the picture of why Braves fans are far from comfortable being 27 outs away from a World Series title.

"We find historic and embarrassing ways to blow it," Duncan noted. "And it's really, really tough for someone like me, who is in sports and loves sports, when your city is synonymous for blowing it."

The biggest stages in sports have been a nightmare for Atlanta in recent years - a Waffle House of horrors, if you will. After all, the city is home to the headquarters of the famous restaurant chain.

Last year, the Braves, who haven't won a title since 1995, blew a 3 to 1 series lead in the National League Championship. Two years earlier, the University of Georgia, in a championship drought since 1980, gagged a double-digit lead to Alabama in College Football's National Championship.

"I always joke that Atlanta sports fans must be like sadists," Duncan said jokingly. "Because, why do we keep signing up for this kind of misery?"

And the peak moment of that misery happened here in Houston, eight miles from Minute Maid Park. In 2017, in a game played at NRG Stadium, the Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-to-3 lead against the Patriots to lose Super Bowl 51.

"28-to-3 will always endure until we can prove that we can be in a commanding lead and we can finish it," Duncan stated. "Until one of these Atlanta teams can finish it."

The World Series is guaranteed to finish here in Houston this week, but Astros fans hope it does not mark an end to Atlanta's sports suffering.

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