Brian Billick: I’m not sure the city had ever rebounded from it.

Randall Cunningham: It just wasn’t our destiny to be in the Super Bowl. That’s my conclusion. Because if it was, we would have gone. But, you know, after that season things really started to shift and change.

Robert Griffith: My agent booked me for all these appearances at the Super Bowl, so I had to go down to Miami, and I didn’t want to be there. I had probably 15 appearances, I was there for four days eating crow.

Marie said it took years for her husband to get over the Falcons loss and said it remained one of his biggest regrets until his death on July 21, 2016, from complications related to cardiac arrest. But in the early morning hours on the day after the defeat, Green received an unexpected phone call, and with it recognition from the highest level that, despite the cruel ending, he had truly built something special.

Percy Harvin is a failure. He’s an entitled, high-strung hothead whose coaches struggled to harness his game-breaking skills as a wide receiver and return man. He complained, fist-fought and prima donna’d his way out of the NFL by age 28.

Percy Harvin is a success. A child prodigy raised by a single mom, he flew past his peers in high school and at Florida, enjoyed a lucrative pro career and won championships at every level. He retired in 2017, citing various medical issues and his desire to be the dad he never had.

Both of these versions of Percy Harvin are cruising Gainesville, Fla., in a silver Bentley on a Tuesday in March. Sporting a woolly beard and thick braids woven close to his scalp, dressed in a royal-blue Gators sweat suit, his seat tilted back at an unsettlingly obtuse angle, the NFL’s 2009 Offensive Rookie of the Year addresses his passenger as Bossman as he unfurls his life story.

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