Former New England Patriot and Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler got to relive his most well-documented moment Tuesday night.
Butler, joined NBC Sports’ Liam McHugh as the network re-aired Super Bowl XLIX — the Patriots 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
And, of course, Butler was asked about his game-sealing interception on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson as the Seahawks threw the ball from the 1-yard line, which has and will continue to be one of the most criticized play calls in Super Bowl history.
Butler’s memory proved as sharp as the play itself on Feb. 1, 2015.
“Obviously, everyone thought they were going to turn the ball, I thought they were going to run the ball too,” Butler told NBC Sports.
“I learned a long time ago, if the quarterback is throwing the ball, I guess he’s going to favor the receiver or look at him or see what’s going on in the area and I just felt like (Russell) Wilson was just looking a little bit too much. And I think I just caught a little whiff of what he was going to do.
“So I just stared at my receiver and said if my receiver plants on the outside, I’m just going to go and just hope the ball is there. And when he planted, I took off. I just see the ball and the ball was coming so fast I didn’t know how to catch it,” Butler continued. “… It was just a great play. A good reaction. And it was just a great play, man.”
Butler noted how all factors, like the fact Seattle’s Jermaine Kearse made an unfathomable catch on what should have been Butler’s second pass break up of the drive. The catch, as you may recall, drew comparisons to the incredible (and lucky) catches by New York Giants’ Mario Manningham and David Tyree’s, and ultimately advanced the Seahawks to the New England 5 yard line.
“You just need to catch that one, this the Super Bowl,” Butler said of his interception. “I feel like if they throw it again and I did the same play, I probably wouldn’t have caught it. So, this play is just a different play. A great play. And not too many people can make that play — I guess you can just break on a slant and catch the ball, but it’s clutch time in the Super Bowl, you got to save the game, a lot of people can’t do that. I’m not saying I’m different than others, but it was just meant for me.”
And now it will be remembered by all.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images