The 3rd Quarter Nap

As much as I hate to admit it, blown leads and broken trust after halftime are staples of the Atlanta sports experience. But why? It seems that during the third quarter of their games, Atlanta-based teams across a variety of sports have been inexplicably unable to score. It’s an incredible phenomenon – it’s like the Monstars suck away all of their sporting ability just to play a quarter versus Jordan and the Tune Squad.

At first, I thought it was just something we said as fans, not something that actually happened. The teams I was watching were probably scoring during the third quarter, but maybe I just wasn’t paying a lot of attention, or the opposing defense had just firmed up to start the half.

But no, the 3rd Quarter Nap is unfortunately real. Below are third-quarter scoring statistics for selected Atlanta teams (stats from

Team PPG Rank Avg 3rd Qtr PPG Rank
Falcons (NFL) 22.7 14th (of 32) 3.1 29th (of 32)
Hawks (NBA) 103.4 19th (of 30) 25.4 21st (of 30)
Yellow Jackets (CFB) 27.2 69th (of 130) 7.1 45th (of 130)
Yellow Jackets (CBB) 65.6 308th (of 351) 17.8 1 263rd (of 351)

1 half of average 2nd half points per game

This is abysmal across the board. Almost all of these teams are in and around the bottom third of their respective leagues at scoring in the third quarter, and the one that isn’t is 29th of 65 Power 5 teams (which is ok, but not great).

This begs the question:

But seriously, what is going on during the third quarter? Is there something in the Gatorade that makes our teams come out of halftime with a whimper? Are the locker rooms too comfy? Something has to be causing such deplorable play right out of the gate during the second half. I’m sure the engineers at Tech will figure out what’s bugging these teams eventually, but for now, I guess the 3rd Quarter Nap will remain a part of Atlanta sports culture, for better or for worse.