ATLANTA – Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay was 14 years old the last time the Super Bowl was played here – the Tennessee Titans vs. the St. Louis Rams.
McVay was at the game, thanks to his grandad.
John McVay was the San Francisco 49ers general manager in January 2000, and he took his grandson to the game as a birthday present.
The game – and the Titans -- made a lasting impression on McVay, who is back in town to coach his team against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
"I remember watching (the Titans) fall behind, and then what a gutsy comeback it was," McVay recalled Monday night at Super Bowl LIII Opening Night.
The Titans fell behind 16-0 in Super Bowl XXXIV, but tied the game up at 16-all in the fourth quarter.
The Tennessee Titans take on the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. (AP Photos)
"When you saw the way Steve McNair competed, when you saw the way Eddie George started running, some of the second effort plays," said McVay, who grew up in Brookhaven, Georgia, approximately 30 minutes from the stadium.
"I can remember that two-minute drive, just watching the plays that Steve made, where he was able to keep things off schedule, breaking tackles and making plays, whether he was running it or throwing it."
That Super Bowl was decided on the final play, as Rams linebacker Mike Jones tackled Titans receiver Kevin Dyson at the goal line as time expired to preserve the Rams' 23-16 victory.
"And then for it to come down to the last play, where Kevin Dyson and Mike Jones are right on that one-yard line," McVay said.
"It was an awesome game. Just as a fan, stepping back and watching the game, I loved it. And what an atmosphere it was."