WASHINGTON, February 7, 2017 – As the confetti fell in Houston’s NRG stadium, one of the most profound acts of greatness was displayed by an NFL MVP. It was at this time that one quarterback, not missing the moment, pushed his way through the crowd and frenzied media to shake hands with his Super Bowl LI (51) opponent.
The quarterback who displayed greatness? Well, it was Matt Ryan.
“What’s that,” you may ask? Yes, it was Matt Ryan.
The trending stories around Super Bowl LI are Tom Brady’s greatness, Belichick’s legacy, the Patriots’ dynasty, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
While these trending topics are noteworthy, I implore you to ponder the following quote:
“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.” – Paul “Bear” Bryant
Amidst a devastating loss, one that many are calling the greatest collapse in sports history, Matt Ryan showed what he was made of. Many would have understood it had he departed the football field and immediately gone to the locker room.
Instead, he made his way across the field, and with a determined gesture of sportsmanship, congratulated Tom Brady on the Patriots’ win in that hard-fought game.
Here are three snapshots of Ryan making his way through the crowd:
Amidst what some may have described as an embarrassing and shameful loss, Matt Ryan rose above his feelings of personal disappointment. He displayed a degree of sportsmanship and character that is unusual, not only in sports but in a myriad of professions filled with egocentric individuals.
Bill Randall is a contributing writer for Communities Digital News (COMMDIGINEWS), and a retired Command Master Chief (U.S. Navy). He and his wife reside in Dallas, TX.