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Virtual reality: Rookie Ryan sparks Atlanta's resurgence

Falcons rookie QB Matt Ryan is all business on the field. When he unwinds, though, he's like any other Madden, Popeyes and reality TV-loving kid -- who's earning $72M, Anna K. Clemmons writes.

Originally Published: November 20, 2008
By Anna K. Clemmons | ESPN The Magazine

Matt Ryan was an Atlanta Falcon -- before he was an Atlanta Falcon.

While at Boston College, Ryan and his roommates Ryan Poles and Ryan Thompson spent numerous afternoons playing Madden NFL video games. The man nicknamed "Matty Ice" always chose the Falcons for one reason.

"He wanted Michael Vick so he could scramble in the backfield," Poles said.

There was only one problem.

"He usually didn't win," Thompson said, ...

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