Thanks to the invention of the DVR, I rarely watch commercials. I just zip through them until the program starts again.
But when I was watching a show the other night, I could see several athletes were featured, so I stopped to watch it.
It’s been out for a couple of weeks so you’ve probably seen it, but it opens with Michael Jordan saying, “ You want to know the secret of victory? Fail to make the varsity team.’’
Then it goes to J.J. Watt saying, “Start your career as a walk-on.’’
A couple more athletes appear and then Jordan returns and says, “Really want to know the secret of victory?’’ Then it shows Matt Ryan walking on the field after blowing the biggest Super Bowl lead in history and he says, “Defeat.’’
It then shows him throwing at the Atlanta practice facility, drinking Gatorade with the words on the screen: “Make Defeat Your Fuel.’’
Ryan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently, “Anytime that we kind of dwell on that, it’s wasted time.’’
“We have to focus trying to become the best football team this group can be,’’ he said.
He ignored the fact that the ad dwelled on it.
Ryan also tweeted, “You can let defeat destroy you or let it fuel you.’’
It appeared to be popular with Atlanta fans. In an AJC poll, 90 percent said they liked it. They may not like it as much this fall.
Maybe I’m too old school, but I can’t believe Ryan agreed to do that ad. It just reminds fans they blew the Super Bowl.
And about that line about defeat fueling you, it doesn’t work for Super Bowl losers.
The last team to win the Super Bowl after losing it the previous year was the perfect Miami Dolphins in 1972.
And I have no confidence that Dan Quinn knows how to manage a game after he failed to run the ball and milk the clock with the big lead. He should have gotten into Kyle Shanahan‘s ear and told him to shut things down. Especially when they were in field goal range late in the fourth quarter and all they needed to do was run three plays and kick it for an 11-point lead.
You know what happened when they passed on second down. Offensive coordinators like to keep their foot on the pedal but it’s up to the head coach to rein them in with a big lead.
And how that defeat fueling you thing work out for Seattle two years ago? The Seahawks still don’t appear to have put that loss behind them. They haven’t gone back to the Super Bowl the last two years.
The ad did get a lot of attention. Going online, I see that the “Today’’ show featured it. And in one version, the Mannings appear in the ad, although not in the one I saw with Peyton Manning saying “Go 3-13 your rookie year” and Eli saying “Lead the league in interceptions,” which he’s done three times.
But failing to make the team in high school or leading the league in interceptions doesn’t begin to compare with blowing the Super Bowl.
All Ryan has to do is come back and win the Super Bowl this year and he can say it fueled him.
But when he doesn’t – and I’m saying when and not if, because the Falcons aren’t winning the Super Bowl this year — he’ll be reminded the defeat didn’t fuel him or the Falcons.
It was a great ad for Gatorade and for the other athletes who appeared in it. But I’ll never figure out why Ryan agreed to do it. Appearing in that ad didn’t put the loss behind him.