NFLN survey/Super Bowl player: Falcons

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez finished close to the top when ESPN polled players about which player they most would like to see in the Super Bowl.

Gonzalez played 17 NFL seasons and never got a chance to hold the Lombardi Trophy. Most figured this season would be his best shot, considering the Falcons made it to the NFC Championship Game the year before.

Last year, Gonzalez decided not to retire with hopes of finally securing an NFL ring. Such wasn’t the case as the Falcons imploded with a 4-12 showing. Gonzalez said he's now retired for good and won't consider a comeback, even if the Falcons are Super Bowl contenders in 2014.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson edged out Gonzalez in the voting. Gonzalez probably would have voted for Peterson too, based on the devastating knee injury Peterson overcame to return to the top of his game.

The one constant between both players is how well liked they are by their peers. Their energy is contagious. They are both cordial with the media as well, if that counts for anything.

In other words, it is hard not to root for those guys to have success. Even opposing players realize it.