Atlanta Falcon’s Matt Ryan: A portrait in class

It was missed by many, by Falcons QB, after suffering a historical loss, made sure to shake Patriots QB Tom Brady's hand.

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Matt Ryan, Courtesy of Atlanta Falcons media images - http://www.atlantafalcons.com/media-lounge/photo-gallery/Super-Bowl-LI---Falcons-vs-Patriots/2bf0f0a4-bcbc-46a5-84bc-4f1246f96608#0a75e9a4-5ef3-48e7-9798-d3e497d2ed21

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.

Refreshing, indeed!

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.

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Bill Randall
Bill was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the neighborhood known as the Lower Ninth Ward. His U.S. Navy career spanned from August 1974 through December 2001, during which he had a decorated and distinguished span of honorable service. His profession and specialty was Earth Science (Meteorology, Oceanography and Geodesy). After retiring from active duty on January 1, 2002, he entered the private sector as an Independent Insurance Agent (AFLAC) and garnered recognition as a top performer as a new member. Shortly thereafter he earned his B.S. degree in Business Management, and later earned his MBA degree. He has also earned Information Technology (IT) Certification from Wake Technical Community College (May 2013). Bill worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Milwaukee VA Pension Center (2002 –2005), processing hundreds of benefits claims for veterans and their family members. Bill subsequently relocated and served on the staff of a local church in Pensacola, FL (May – Dec 2005), and then accepted a business opportunity as a Generalist with a major Management Consulting Firm (2006 – 2008). Bill now owns a private Management Consulting company based in Wake Forest, NC. He and his family relocated to North Carolina after his wife, Wendy, accepted a job offer in there. He once ran for Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party (June 2009). He has also twice run for U.S Congress (NC-13th Congressional district), winning the GOP nomination in the 2010 Primary, and losing in the GOP Primary in 2012. He is an author and a Community Chaplain. Bill and his wife have resided in Wake Forest, NC since October 2008. Bill has a son and four daughters.