Atlanta Falcons‘ tight end Tony Gonzalez has previously played in 16 first games, yet going into his No. 17 NFL season, Gonzalez couldn’t be more excited about Sunday. While the Falcons are preparing for their season opener against their division rival New Orleans Saints, Gonzalez will also be preparing to play the first game of his final year, as he plans to retire at the end of the season.
With this being his last season and his final attempt in reaching the Super Bowl for the first time of his career, Gonzalez will play his heart out and leave everything out on the field while he still has the opportunity to enjoy the game he loves.
“I’m soaking it up,” he said. “I’m going to try to enjoy every last second that I’m out on that field and the opportunity to play football because I know it’s going to end here pretty soon.”
When the Falcons step on the field at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Gonzalez will make sure he makes his last season his most memorable one. Playing against the Saints in the season opener will be a dramatic way to kick off their season, and Gonzalez admits that he is anxious to battle in a rivalry game.
“It’s the rivalry,” Gonzalez said. “It’s going to be a great environment, their crowd is going to be absolutely nuts, their team is going to be hyped, so we know what we’re getting ourselves into.”
While most headlines are focused on how the Saints will do in a year where suspended coach Sean Payton makes his grand debut, Gonzalez will be locked and loaded, focusing solely on making sure his Falcons execute their game plan.
The career of Gonzalez has been one extraordinary journey that doesn’t have many blemishes. Gonzo is looking forward in ending his last season with a bang.
“Game week. You can’t get better than this,” Gonzalez said. “This is what’s it’s all about. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together for us. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”