Q&A with quarterback Matt Ryan
Quarterback Matt Ryan has a pretty impressive resume. He got his start playing football for William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia and went on to play for Boston College before being drafted by Atlanta in 2008. Ryan was named MVP in 2016, the same year he led Atlanta to the big championship game.
As part of our 85 Acts of Kindness for our 85th anniversary, Georgia’s Own gave 85 lucky members the opportunity to meet Matt Ryan, and Ne[x]t Magazine took the opportunity to ask him a few questions. Check it out below!
What’s your favorite thing about Atlanta?
My favorite thing about Atlanta is the local community. The people in this city have been so incredibly warm and welcoming—they truly are the epitome of southern charm and hospitality.
What do you do in your free time off the field?
I’m a proud, full-time dad of twin baby boys, Johnny and Marshall, so any chance I get, I love spending time with them and my wife, Sarah.
What’s the biggest lesson being a professional athlete has taught you?
The biggest lesson is learning from every experience. Being a professional athlete, you have your incredible highs and lows. No matter what you are going through, it is about just taking it day by day, learning from every moment, and preparing for the next.
What keeps you motivated day to day?
My biggest motivation is my family, especially my wife, Sarah, and twin boys, Johnny and Marshall.
What players influenced you as an athlete?
Brett Favre was definitely an influence—I was a huge fan of his growing up.
What’s your favorite memory from your time at Boston College?
My favorite memory at Boston College was in 2007 when we faced Virginia Tech. Through the first three quarters, we were falling behind, but in the last few moments of the game, everything clicked, and we ended up making a comeback from behind to win in the last few minutes of the game.
Who first started calling you Matty Ice?
It started in college by a couple buddies outside of football.
What kind of music are you listening to pre-game?
I love the early 2000s Atlanta rap era with T.I.
Do you have any pre-game/in-game rituals?
I always ride to the game with our other quarterback Matthew Schaub; it’s sort of our bonding time to talk about the game ahead.
What do you like to do after a good performance or win?
It’s great to celebrate a win, but you have to shift focus pretty quickly to prepare for the next game ahead.
Other than a home game, where do you like playing the most?
Green Bay is pretty special. I grew up watching Brett Favre at Lambeau and love being able to get out there myself.
What advice do you have for young athletes?
No matter what, prepare for the situation ahead. I live by the mantra, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” and I always try to teach younger athletes to really incorporate preparation into their game plan.
Did you have any jobs growing up? If so, what was the first or most interesting?
Like every kid growing up, I had a lemonade stand. But certainly, the most interesting job I’ve ever had is the one I have now.
What is the best (or worst) purchase you’ve ever made?
Did you see the three-piece sweater-vest suit I wore to the draft? That is certainly the worst.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Make sure the team around you off the field is as solid as the play you want to have on the field. Your team’s guidance is invaluable.
Just for fun—what’s something many people might not know about you?
I don’t think many people would know that I’m a pretty good golfer!