Elite Gary Neal Jersey The Patriots, and Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft? They’re always here, at the Super Bowl — seven times now since the three convened in Foxborough 16 years ago.
The Atlanta Falcons, though … they’re almost never here, living most of their 51 years of existence on the outside looking in, envying the likes of the Patriots, almost never even expecting to be in position to get there.
That’s over now, and the Falcons are on that final step, for just the second time ever, and the first time in 18 years. And with that, the aforementioned look at the two teams’ relative experience with Super Bowls can be tossed aside, because it pretty much doesn’t matter if you’re the better, more composed, more prepared team.
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“I know sometimes people will say it’s like they’ve been ‘punched in the stomach’ when something bad happens,” Vick wrote. “But I’d never really understood the expression, until that moment. Matt Ryan. I just kept repeating his name, in my head, again and again. Every time I thought about what it meant, it took the air right out of me — but I couldn’t help it.”
Wrote Vick: “People have to understand: I felt like it was my fault, like it was my responsibility, that the Falcons franchise had been set back. And if Matt had been a bust … then my guilt over the harm I’d caused the city would have only grown worse. But Matt being such a success — that’s been a joy for me. For me, that’s been relief. It’s been peace of mind.”