Arthur Blank on Super Bowl closure: “There’s nothing open”

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The game of the day arrives tonight, when the Falcons and Patriots meet for a rematch the game of the year. In Super Bowl LI, Atlanta coughed up a 25-point lead and capped the collapse by blowing a chance to ice the game while still up by eight and in field goal range. But the obvious story line — that this gives the Falcons a chance for some sort of closure — is the very story line the Falcons have been desperate to downplay all year.

No, no closure,” Blank told Ian Rapoport of NFL Media while leaving the league meetings held in New York this week. “There’s nothing open. I mean, if there’s nothing open, there’s nothing to close.”

Saying it doesn’t make it so, however. For months, the Falcons have been saying there’s no Super Bowl hangover, but surely there is — especially when the problem of blown leads still exits, most recently via a 17-0 collapse against the Dolphins last week.

“Last year is finished,” Blank said, surely hopeful that the words can will the team toward an impossible destination. “I’d say the franchise had a wonderful year, I mean that truly. Both on and off the field. We finished our stadium, the team had a wonderful year, competed at the highest level. It didn’t end the way we wanted to, we certainly didn’t conclude the way we wanted to. But we’ve learned from it, grown from it, I think we’re better for it.”

“Better” can be defined in a variety of ways. At 3-2, the Falcons definitely aren’t “better” than they were in 2016 through five games. And with a loss tonight, they’ll have to go 9-1 over the final 10 game to be “better” than they were for the full season.

Regardless, Blank insists that an eight-month reunion with the Patriots means nothing other than it’s the next game the 2017 Falcons have to play.

“I don’t think it’s an issue, I really don’t,” Blank said, convincing few along the way that it’s not an issue. “Not for the staff, the coach, for the players. They are onto this year. You have this 24-hour rule. You don’t have a grace period from one year to the next because you lost the Super Bowl. It doesn’t work that way. You don’t get six days off when you lose a game to end your season. We’re beyond that. Right now, we’ve lost the last two games at home — which is not good. We’re on the road for three games. We got enough to focus on.”

He’s right about that, but they also are thinking about the Super Bowl rematch, no matter how hard Blank or coach Dan Quinn or anyone else is trying to say that they’re not. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just acknowledge the obvious instead of trying to act like it’s not there?

And even if the team’s players who were on the team in February somehow magically forget what they experienced in February in Houston as the game begins, there’s no way they’ll forget about it if they happen to build a double-digit lead in the second half. Or if they’re driving toward the New England end zone with a chance to make it a two-score game at a time when the Patriots wouldn’t have enough time to score twice.

26 responses to “Arthur Blank on Super Bowl closure: “There’s nothing open”

  1. If you fart, it doesn’t always smell. Or does it? You just never know, or do you know and not tell anyone and let them figure it out for themselves?

  2. Of course it will rankle – even if for no other reason than until a team loses a bigger lead the 2017 Falcons will always be mentioned every time a team is more than 2 scores up in the SB.

    But Super Bowl hangovers – every team needs not just talent but luck to lift the trophy, and in the “Age of Parity” of salary caps and free agency, both SB teams suffer the most talent drain of the league as players and staffers attract bigger paydays elsewhere making it much, much harder to repeat or even get back to the big game. That is what makes Belichick and Brady so remarkable – almost 2/3rds of the SB51 team were new since SB49 and over half the SB51 Pats team had never been to any SB. “Super Bowl Hangovers?” no, “luck and parity”.

  3. The owner can say anything, but trust me there is revenge talk in the Falcons locker room. This game is about their psyche moving forward.

  4. .
    Patriots CBs Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe are already declared out. Therefore, it would appear that the outcome of the game depends on lifetime special teamer and part time CB, Johnson Bademosi. Bademosi, who was acquired from the Lions late in camp for a sixth round pick. probably never envisioned a situation where he’d be the focal point of a nationally televised Super Bowl rematch.

  5. Yeah keep telling yourself that ,,,,,,Iam a NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS fan and I could not get a good nights sleep for about a week after that game !

  6. This game can’t offer any closure. Falcons have to win the Super Bowl to have chance. Even if they did, they would still lament not winning two in a row. The patriots and their fans still can’t accept what happened in 2007 despite all the success since. It’s just the way it is.

  7. This dude’s a joke. He endorsed the players spitting in our faces earlier in the year. People don’t forget Art. You should have stayed quiet and gauged how the anthem protest was going to play out. Instead you sided immediately with the racial extortionists. Look it up.

  8. I cant imagine watching that super bowl being a Falcons fan. i’d probably would have quit watching football after that choke job.

  9. This dude’s a joke. He endorsed the players spitting in our faces earlier in the year

    They all did. Even Belichick, who I never thought would go along with the herd.

  10. The Falcons are a dome team and have always lacked toughness. They want to just throw the ball all over the field but have no answer for physical teams. Even if they do beat New England, with no defense, it doesn’t mean a thing. It shouldn’t make them feel better about losing a superbowl in the most embarrassing way possible.

  11. There will always be the sight of Blank and his wife dancing happily on the sidelines with the game well in hand and the gradual deterioration of the looks on their faces as the Falcons fell to pieces. Never go down to the sidelines until the game is actually won if you’re an owner.

  12. Sure, Arthur, win today’s Week Seven game. I’m sure that will make up for the Super Bowl choke-job.

    Ha! Dance, Arthur, dance!

  13. This game is a Super Bowl Rematch only in the sense that the game contains the same franchises from the last Super Bowl. In terms of players and coaches there is a tremendous amount of turnover from Super Bowl teams from one year to the next.
    For the most part, the Falcons stayed the same. The obvious changes on the Falcons are that they lost Kyle Shanahan and have Desmond Trufant (their best cornerback) healthy again. They also signed Dontari Poe to a one year deal.
    The 2017 Patriots are drastically different from a year ago. They lost several starters and rotation players such as Logan Ryan, Martellus Bryant, Lagarrett Blount, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, and Chris Long. They also have Rob Gronkowski healthy for now but they are without Julian Edelman.
    So when you look at these rosters tonight they are going to be drastically different from the players that were in Super Bowl 51.

  14. Seems to me with the stench of the Pats defense, you can also claim they have a super bowl hangover and are resting on their laurels. But the storyline is that Bill will coach them up and they will get better as the season progresses. The press does not advocate the same storyline for the Falcons even though that is exactly what they did last year to get to the super bowl.

    This is a tired and overused storyline.

  15. This game is not a Super Bowl rematch. It is a week 7 game, not the last game of the season being played in Minnesota. It is two teams that played in the SB last year. Just as the Pats @ Steelers later this season won’t be a rematch of the AFCCG. I would hope the level of play is much better than both these two teams have shown so far and in fact most of the league has.

  16. I think every player on the team will feel worse 20 years from now than they even did a month ago about that Super Bowl loss.

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