ATLANTA -- It's only natural. With the Patriots and Rams meeting in the Super Bowl again, as they did in Super Bowl XXXVI, the trips down memory lane have been frequent this week.
Some are more exhausting than others, but none more exhausting than Marshall Faulk's annual diatribes against the Patriots and what he incorrectly refers to as "facts" of their malfeasance leading up to their first Super Bowl matchup with the Rams.
On Wednesday morning, Faulk's teammate Kurt Warner was asked about Faulk's on-the-record feelings for the Patriots organization and what happened 17 years ago.
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"All I know," Warner said, "is that for those 60 minutes they outplayed us. We had opportunities that we made mistakes. I made mistakes. It think that's the most disappointing part of the game, when you get to this stage and you play that 60 minutes, you just wanna play your best football. You want the best football team to win. I think that's the disappointing part.
"Our talent, [we were] probably the better football team on paper top to bottom. We didn't play like it on Sunday afternoon. That to me is the most disappointing part. All that other stuff is what it is. I go back and look at it and what could I have done differently? There's plenty I could have done differently that could've changed the outcome."
Warner is now working as an analyst for NFL Network where he's faced with that memory over and over again, whether because producers run the highlights or because his colleague, Willie McGinest, was one of the reasons why that day played out the way it did.
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"We talked about it yesterday actually...They were coming off a Super Bowl," McGinest said. "They were the team. We kinda compared it to this year. We know who the Rams are, but they have no experience in the Super Bowl versus a team that's been there nine times. They came in a little cocky because they were the Greatest Show on Turf and they had won a Super Bowl.
"They were looking to go back-to-back against a team that nobody even talked about. Nobody cared about. No media outlet gave us a chance. I know everybody's playing the underdog card now, but we were truly, honestly underdogs of that game."
"You can't help it," Warner replied when asked how often he thinks about that game. "Every time I'm on TV they show highlights of that game. But the bottom line is you get more and more separated from it, you appreciate the moments you were involved in. That game was a great football game. It came down to the last play . . . Good memories, some you'd like to change a little bit.
"But we're gonna talk a lot about that rematch of that game 17 years ago, where the dynasty started really for the Patriots and Tom Brady. The Rams kinda fell apart after that. Haven't had a lot of success until this point.
"Now you flip it. The other team now is the team everyone's trying to knock off. You got a young upstart team, that maybe if they can win this game and find a way, they can kinda flip it and become that next team that everyone's trying to beat."
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