Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez makes it almost impossible not to root for him. The guy is infinitely likable.*
* In this post-Manti Te'o fake girlfriend world, look for disclaimers to become the new normal. I do not know Gonzalez personally. All I know is what he presents, which is an insanely talented tight end and genuinely good guy who has had staying power in a league where that is increasingly difficult.
There is also the fact he has never won a championship in his 16 NFL seasons. His first (and only) playoff win came in Year 16, last week when Atlanta shocked Seattle with a last-second, come-from-behind victory to advance to Sunday's NFC Championship Game against San Francisco. There is nothing we the sports media love more than when good guys hang around for a long time without winning a championship. Call this the Ray Bourque phenomenon, Bourque being the Hall of Fame defenseman who after 21 years as a Boston Bruin without a Stanley Cup went to Colorado and etched his name. And here comes the crucial part: In doing so, he changed his legacy. Or so goes the narrative.