Super Bowl media night is a bizarre event where star players are put up on pedestals. Literally: The big names have to sit at these booths that look like dunk tanks at a state fair. I was half expecting one of the people dressed up in a goofy costume to come by Matt Ryan’s press conference, throw a dodge ball at a secret button, and send the Falcons quarterback splashing into a giant tank concealed below.
That didn’t happen, but it would’ve probably been more interesting if it had. It’s hard to get nuanced answers out of a very famous football player when they’re fielding 30 other questions at once. But I did have something I wanted to know (besides whether NFL players think The Bachelor is sports or not), and that was what music the Falcons were listening to the week of the Super Bowl.
Because when it comes to music, Atlanta is, in my humble opinion, maybe the best city in the world. Gucci Mane, T.I., Outkast, Young Thug, Future, Rae Sremmurd, 2 Chainz, Young Jeezy, Lil Jon, I mean ... if this Super Bowl were a contest between music, I’m sorry Patriots, but New Kids On The Block can’t exactly compete. And I’m from Boston.
I was thrilled to discover that most of the Falcons players I asked about their music choices were listening to Migos’ new album, Culture. Have you heard it? If not, you should — it’s so good (and great for driving along Houston highways, I have discovered this week). Migos hail from Atlanta, too, so maybe it’s a good luck charm.
Of the 15 or so Falcons players I surveyed — including Julio Jones, Ricardo Allen (even though he did tell me he likes J. Cole better), Mohamed Sanu, Jimmy Staten, Keanu Neal, Sharrod Neasman, and Deji Olatoye — all of them said they’re listening to Culture. De’Vondre Campbell even heard the album two weeks before it came out, he told me, because he’s cooler than any of us.
But as media availability neared its end, I realized that there was one more player’s
dunk tank press conference that I had yet to visit. So I fought my way through throngs of reporters and ended up front and center before quarterback Matt Ryan.
“Hey Matt, got a question,” I half-yelled in his elevated direction. “What are you listening to this week?”
“Um, a little bit of everything,” Ryan said. “Mumford and Sons has Johannesburg out, an EP, good stuff. I listen to a lot of different stuff. We’ve got a pretty eclectic mix, so just a little bit of everything.”
“Have you heard Migos’ new album?” I asked.
“I haven’t! I gotta check it out,” he said.
“Your teammates are listening to it,” I said.
“OK, I gotta check it out,” he said.
“It’s called Culture,” I said.
There you have it, folks: Most of the Falcons are listening to Migos, and Matty Ice is listening to Mumford and Sons.