Matt Ryan Hits a Tragically Unfortunate Instagram Milestone

Matt Ryan Instagram

Poor Matt Ryan. Those 28-3 reminders are haunting him at every turn. Patriots fans. Barstool. Saints fans. Billboards outside the Falcons new stadium/taxpayer-funded boondoggle. The Pats putting 283 diamonds on the Super Bowl rings. There’s simply no escaping them.

Anyone who knows me knows that nothing has fascinated me more over the last six months than the way the Falcons are coping with the post-traumatic stress of 28-3. For instance it just came out that the team held what was basically a group therapy session in April:

Falcons coach Dan Quinn gathered the team together for the first time since that game. A team meeting was held and anyone could stand up and share emotions, good, bad or otherwise, in front of the entire team.

“I’m not going to lie to you, there was some frustration,” said left tackle Jake Matthews about the anger in the room. “Everyone was (upset).” …

“I felt like there wasn’t anything I needed to say,” [WR Taylor] Gabriel said. “We all came back. We were upset about the outcome. … As long as we stay focused. … We went to a Super Bowl last year, so there was nothing we did wrong. …

The Falcons say they are finished dealing with the Super Bowl debacle. It likely won’t go away easily, but in their minds, to try to get back to the Super Bowl, they must move on.

“Yeah, this is the next season, and we’re excited to be out here and getting ready for this year,” Matthews said. “Hey, but like we heard in that meeting, that was it. We’re done with it.

Amazing. If I could have been teleported into any room in the world at any time since last February, I’d have picked that one. It transcends sports. It’s psychology. Sociology. The human condition. A window into how the mind functions. The unexamined life is not worth living and all that. To have your life’s dream ripped from your grasp in the span of 18 minutes on the game clock. You can’t claim to be interested in humanity without being enthralled by how this is playing out.

And now to find out they held a meeting to vent their feelings, I can’t even process it. Maybe because I’ve never sat around with a bunch of men and talked about our feelings, ever. Or because I actually don’t have normal human feelings. Or that football-wise I was raised by Bill Belichick, whose emotional range runs the gamut from sarcasm to rage. And who in 2001, with his team coming off a bad game vs. Miami and sitting at 1-3, took them out back behind the practice field and literally buried the game ball. Along with whatever feelings he might have had. And they went 11-2 the rest of the way and won a championship. If he’d poured a fifth of bourbon down it that hole, it would be exactly how I deal with things that bother me. And it works like a charm.

However the Falcons choose to do it, it’s going to be really hard to put The Comeback behind them when the world keeps throwing combinations of 2, 8 and 3 at them. It’s like me ten years ago, having visions of 18-1 in my head everywhere I turned. It was a nightmare. And if you care about Matty Ryan, I’m going to suggest you and everyone you know follow him on Instagram to move that number before it torments him any further. Also, buying a flag is never a bad idea.