Matt Ryan has hit more milestones this year than we can count offhand, but this might be the most remarkable. Via our friends at SB Nation:
Ryan wears that number because Tim Couch, one of those 29 quarterbacks, is his hero. Couch’s best times came in college, just like Flutie’s. After breaking and setting all sorts of records and becoming a legend at Kentucky, Couch was drafted first overall in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He signed a $48 million contract. Five seasons later, he was done in Cleveland. After a few tryouts, shoulder injuries, and training camps between the years 2004-2007, including one preseason game for the Jaguars, he was out of the game completely.
Ryan will be the first quarterback in the NFL to wear the No. 2 in the Super Bowl. But beyond that, he’s easily the most successful of them all. Quarterbacks are allowed to wear that number, but it usually doesn’t turn out well for them. A superstitious man might even say that the number is cursed. Or that these people who violate the sacred law of numbers are justly punished for their transgressions.
As the article notes, 114 players have worn #2 in the NFL, and only 29 of those have been quarterbacks. Very few of those quarterbacks have been successful, which makes Ryan legitimately the greatest at his position to ever rock #2, and arguably the greatest player ever to do so. He’s also the first to do so in a Super Bowl, and if he wins, the first to set that mark too.
Considering Ryan just capped off one of the least-expected MVP-caliber campaigns in history, setting NFL and franchise records left and right, it is both fitting and weird that Ryan finds himself setting a little history that he accomplished simply by choosing a number all those years ago. Just one milestone left to go,