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Atlanta Falcons on Steve Gleason statue controversy

The statue honoring Steve Gleason's blocked punt against the Atlanta Falcons signifying the New Orleans Saints' "Rebirth" as a franchise is one of the coolest, most beautiful ideas ever realized at an NFL stadium.

That's why the Atlanta Falcons' decision not to allow their logo on the statue seemed so petty and small. We wondered if Atlanta's refusal was payback for the way the Saints celebrated Drew Brees' passing record against them late last regular season.

Falcons president Rich McKay tried to explain Atlanta's reasoning to ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas.

"When they brought it to us, we discussed it with them and we came to the conclusion that, obviously the fact they're honoring the moment is fantastic," McKay said. "We were all there. It was an incredible moment for the city. It was not something that we wanted to memorialize the game. So we kind of looked at it as though we didn't want necessarily a statue in front of the building that had our marks.

"Albeit, we all understand how important the moment was for the city and what they had gone through. We all lived in that moment and it was a pretty special thing. Even losing, it was still a pretty special thing. But it was just something that when we talked to the league about it, we said we didn't think it was appropriate to put the marks on it. Everybody knew what the game was. Everybody knew what the moment was."

Translation: It was a great moment, but we aren't going to help out our rivals in any way.

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