Tuesday, November 4, 2008 Updated: November 12, 3:05 PM ET
Matt Ryan for NEXT: Fun Facts
Popeye's: When ya gotta have it, ya gotta have it. Matty Ice knows.
Matt Ryan says that when he landed his first huge NFL contract, he purchased himself "a big bed." Nice. In our never-ending quest to give you pithy facts on athletes, here now is a set of "Fun Facts" on Mr. Ryan. If you've never heard of this "Fun Facts" concept before, we suggest going here. OK, now you're ready. You can always visit Matt Ryan's entire NEXT candidate page here.
1. Ryan went to William Penn Charter School in Philly. Know who else went there? Current Phillies president David Montgomery, as well as GM Ruben Amaro Jr. Talk about local talent, eh? Sidebar: Browning Nagle (ha!) also went there.
2. The two quarterbacks who got injured at Boston College allowing Ryan to move up the depth chart were Quinton Porter (currently with the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the CFL) and Paul Peterson, who is working on the staff at Southern Utah University.
3. The dude holds the record for completions in a BC game, connecting with his receivers 40 times in the 2006 battle with Wake Forest.
4. Ryan's initial pro contract made him the fourth-highest paid player in the NFL despite never having taken a pro snap. Cue the peanut gallery!
5. The last QB before Ryan to throw a TD on their very first career pass attempt was Michael Bishop, the former Kansas State standout, who did it for the Patriots in 2000. Wonder where Bishop is now? He appears to be playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
6. When asked by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution what he "splurges" on, Ryan responded: "Popeye's."
7. His current favorite "it" TV show is FOX's Fringe.
8. Story from his youth: "One time for Christmas I got Raiders pants and a Bo Jackson jersey and some shoulder pads and stuff like that. And my brother got Mark Rypien stuff from the Washington Redskins. We put on our things and went out back and it was really one of the only good tackles I ever had in my life. But I hit my brother. My parents had an irrigation thing in the backyard right before a bed of plants. He hit his shoulder into it—the hit didn't really do it, the fall popped his shoulder out. And so he separated his shoulder in the backyard. That was really the only time I ever caused an injury with a hit."
9. On the origin of his "Matty Ice" nickname, via his HS baseball coach: "Matt started his first varsity baseball game as a freshman, at third base against Malvern Prep. We were playing against his older brother, Motts. Matt had two hits, no errors, and we won. That's how he got the nickname Matty Ice."
10. His HS football coach on his skills: "Matt's senior year, we were undefeated and playing Malvern Prep for the league title. It was third and seven on Malvern's 45 at the end of the game. I called a pass play, but Matt checked to a fullback dive, which went for 15 yards. We used up more clock, stopped Malvern and won. When he came off the field, I said, 'Matt, I can't believe you made that call.' He said, 'Coach, it was there. I took advantage.' That's why I'm the coach and he was the QB."