Atlanta — Having the Patriots here is opening some old wounds for Falcons fans.
It was only two short years ago that the Falcons led the Patriots, 28-3, in Super Bowl LI in Houston, only to lose, 34-28, in overtime. Now many of those same Patriots — Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman — are back to try to win another … and in the Falcons’ new stadium.
“We hate them,” said Carl Dukes, host of the “Dukes and Bell” radio show on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta.
Beau Morgan, executive producer of the show, said that there is only one way the city will ever get over that collapse, and that’s by winning a Super Bowl of their own.
But having New Englanders invade the south is actually not the worst-case scenario for Atlanta.
Dukes said leading up to the conference title games there was grave concern from listeners and callers that the Saints would be in Super Bowl LIII, which would have meant a division rival.
“The most horrible nightmare in Atlanta would be having the Saints in our city, in our building, playing for a championship,” Dukes said. “Having the Saints play the Patriots was our second-worst nightmare. Thank God it didn’t play out that way.”
‘Do-over’ lawsuit plays on
Six days before the Super Bowl, the court battle has begun in a longshot lawsuit seeking a possible do-over of the NFC game that ended with a Los Angeles Rams victory over the New Orleans Saints, a game affected by what the NFL concedes was a blown “no-call” by officials.
A Monday hearing in federal court in New Orleans did not result in an immediate ruling. It dealt largely with a jurisdictional question.
The two Saints season ticket holders who filed the lawsuit want it heard in state court in New Orleans. The NFL filed to have it heard in federal court, where U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan heard initial arguments at midday.
Phillips ages coolly
Wade Phillips never ceases to amaze his players. Sure, he’s old enough to be their father — or, for most of them, their grandfather.
But Phillips, the Rams defensive coordinator, still knows how to bridge the generation gap.
When cornerback Aqib Talib was poking at the 71-year-old Phillips, asking him how he was able to stay on top of his game after so long in the NFL, Phillips shot back, “I’ve been poppin’ since my demo.”
“That’s a Future lyric from a song that Future just dropped, like not even a month old,” safety John Johnson III marveled. “Why does a 70-year-old man know that? Why?”
The greatest of all time? Rams running back C.J. Anderson says there’s no question that honor belongs to New England quarterback Tom Brady.
“(But) I’m not going to say he’s the best quarterback for Super Bowl 53. We’ve got a young guy over there (Jared Goff) who can throw the ball around pretty good, now,” Anderson said.
... A winter storm is threatening the big game’s host city — just as thousands of fans begin pouring into town. A winter storm watch goes into effect at 4 a.m. today for Atlanta, a city known for grinding to a halt even in relatively light snowfalls.
... Sarah Jessica Parker and Jeff Bridges are bringing a couple of famed characters back to life for a charity in a new Super Bowl commercial. Parker will reprise her “Sex and the City” Carrie Bradshaw role and Bridges will appear as “The Dude” in a Stella Artois commercial to raise money to combat water shortage.
Super Bowl LIII
Patriots vs. Rams
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
Line: Patriots by 21/2