The Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in Super LI. Perhaps you’ve heard about this. It was a big deal at the time, both on the internet and around tangible workplace water coolers.
There is no handbook laying out the step-by-step process of coping after letting a 25-point advantage evaporate in the biggest sporting event on the planet. Some Falcons fans are employing denial, some are bargaining, and some are pretending the whole thing never happened.
Quarterback Matt Ryan, however, is taking a different approach, apparently torturing himself by watching the film over and over and over again.
“No, I watched it,” Ryan said Monday at his celebrity-amateur golf tournament at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth. “I watched it a day after. I watched it two days after and I watched it three days after. For me, it was one of those things where you kind of want to be able to deal with it appropriately.
“Maybe, that’s different for everybody. Some people bury it away. Some people (do) whatever. … For me it was ‘all right, let’s watch. Does it feel the same way it felt as we were going through it?’”
Ryan said that he felt “numb” after the game.
I can’t decide if Ryan re-living the meltdown day after day is a mature thing to do or a deeply disturbing cry for help. It’s very easy to imagine the viewings take place in a dark room with clenched fists. But then again, Ryan is one of the more measured and even-keeled quarterbacks in the league. Maybe he cracked a few wry smiles in an “aw shucks” manner.
Ryan also said that he wouldn’t have changed the play-calling that eventually doomed the Falcons. Which is nice, but also probably not truthful.
“You have to believe in what you are doing,” Ryan said. “That’s kind of the way we were all year. That’s not going to change. I love that approach.
“I love that they have confidence in me and that they have confidence in the guys that we have, and we are going to let it rip. Obviously, it didn’t work out.”
No. No, it did not.