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72 reasons to be excited about the Atlanta Hawks: #43 Spirit the Hawk

When Ryan Cameron would go into the intro "And now turn your eyes high above the Phillips Arena..." yada, yada, yada who cares, some dumb bird was about to fly down. Somehow it was suppose to pump up the crowd. It didn't. It was like trying to get worked into a frenzy over watching a squirrel in your front yard. "Alright, birds really do fly! Zoology is awesome! Let's get loud!"

It was dumb. It was really, really dumb.

That is until the first round of the playoffs and Spirit the Hawk made it very clear he didn't have to do this every game. If we were not going to cheer, he was going to attempt to gouge Al Horford's eyes out. And he did. And Al Horford was scared. And somewhere in the middle of all of it Spirit the Hawk became awesome. He became a cause with "Free Spirit" being shouted across the internet. He got his own twitter account. Our bird turned into this rebel who could not be unleashed. He is the James Dean of mascots. I can only assume he smokes cigarettes behind the dumpster at halftime.

So when you see Spirit, get excited, start cheering, or he will give you a swirly.