Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Podcast: Tony Gonzalez on career, acting and a Super Bowl for Falcons


With only four remaining teams in the playoffs going into Sunday's NFC and AFC championship games, there are eight possible Super Bowl match-ups. (Easy math. Trust me.) Online oddsmaker Bovada has ranked the eight possible match-ups and results from most to least likely. They go like this:

  • New England over Falcons: 13-5
  • Falcons over New England: 17-4
  • New England over Green Bay: 19-4
  • Pittsburgh over the Falcons: 6-1
  • Green Bay over New England: 7-1
  • Falcons over Pittsburgh: 15-2
  • Green Bay over Pittsburgh: 10-1
  • Pittsburgh over Green Bay: 10-1

Tony Gonzalez agrees with the favored match-up. He disagrees with the result.

The Falcons' former tight end and future Hall of Famer said Tuesday he expects the Falcons to defeat Green Bay for the NFC title Sunday at the Georgia Dome and then go on the beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl in Houston. Gonzalez, who was in Atlanta to promote an upcoming Vin Diesel movie in which which he has a role ("XXX: The Return of Zander Cage") spoke to the AJC and the "We Never Played The Game" podcast.

Click here to read the complete column on Gonzalez , which includes some comments not in the podcast.

A few nuggets from the interview:

• Gonzalez believes Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan should win the MVP.

• He believes the Falcons will win their next two games because neither Green Bay, even with Aaron Rodgers, nor New England will be able to keep pace with them offensively, noting the Falcons' 34 points-per-game average. He also said Green Bay will be a more difficult game for the Falcons than New England.

• When I showed Gonzalez the above photo of him and Ryan hugging in the Georgia Dome tunnel before what would be the final game of his career in 2013, Gonzalez said:  "My best friend on the team. Obviously, it was an emotional time, knowing it was all coming to an end. Five years spent with him and the 17 years spent in the league. Knowing this is the last time you’re going to get introduced and walk out of that tunnel. Win or lose, I enjoyed every moment of that game."

• Gonzalez goes into detail how he approached the Falcons about the possibility if being traded late in the 2013 season. He said he never demanded a trade but preferred one because the Falcons' season was lost (they finished 4-12), he wanted one more shot to win a Super Bowl with a contender and he believed the Falcons could get a draft pick for him in trade. But general manager Thomas Dimitroff decided against the move, fearing a public backlash.  “I wasn’t going to cry about it — I totally understood,” Gonzalez said.

• The former player also expressed regret about his decision to not attend most of training camp before his final season, which had been discussed with the team as part of the deal to postpone retirement. That was hardly the primary reason the Falcons followed an NFC title appearance with a 4-12 season, but Gonzalez said, "I didn’t help the situation. That was a mistake for me not to go to camp. I should’ve gone for my teammates."

There's much more in the podcast and the column. Hope you enjoy it. You can subscribe to the "We Never Played The Game" podcast and catch up on all of the past interviews for free on the iTunes showpage.

Subscribe to the, “We Never Played The Game” podcast with Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein on iTunes. All episodes also can be downloaded and heard on iTunes or via WSBRadio.com. Two new episodes every week.

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.