The Atlanta Flacons really were walking under a bunch of ladders in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots.
It was that Super Bowl, you’ll remember, that the Patriots went into halftime down 21-3 and looking lost. In perhaps the greatest comeback in NFL history, New England charged back in the second half to claim a 34-28 win, erasing a 28-3 deficit.
To this day, there are 28-3 jokes abound, and the Falcons will never live it down.
Turns out, they were pretty confident at halftime that they had it in the bag. Malcolm Butler, who was a cornerback on that Patriots team, now is teammates on the Arizona Cardinals with Robert Alford, who was on the 2016 Falcons.
Alford made an admission to Butler that’s pretty incredible: The Falcons were celebrating in the locker room at halftime.
“I talked to him about (that Super Bowl), I asked him if he wanted his ring back,” Butler joked in an interview with 12 News’ Ryan Cody. “He told me a story, he said he was in the locker room at halftime, he told me he was about to pop a bottle and things like that, it was so funny. And we came back and beat them.
“I’m just imagining him at halftime. Robert, he’s a funny guy, he’s got a lot of energy, tells a lot of jokes, and he told me at halftime they were in there dancing and hooraying, then we came back and beat them, so I think that was pretty funny.”
While they didn’t go as far as popping bottles, dancing and celebrating during halftime of the Super Bowl is something else.
Between that and owner Arthur Blank going down to field level before the game was over, the Falcons really were tempting fate periodically that fateful February 2017 evening.
And, in the end, they were burned for it.