BOSTON (CBS) — In a time when there is no real competition to enjoy, people are getting their fix by reliving some of the best moments in sports history. Malcolm Butler’s interception in Super Bowl XLIX to seal another championship for New England certainly has a place near the top of that list.
Butler got to relive the famous “Malcolm, go!” moment on Tuesday night, joining the NBC Sports rebroadcast of the famous Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl clash. The cornerback shared his thoughts on the play that turned him into a star, when he picked off Russell Wilson at the goal line to seal New England’s 28-24 victory.
The Patriots trailed by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter, but Butler said with a great coach in Bill Belichick and a great quarterback in Tom Brady, the team never doubted their chances at a comeback. He said the defense switched up their game plan from press coverage to man coverage.
“Just follow my man and don’t let him catch the ball,” he said. “We had to have that ‘warrior mentality’ to come back, especially in the Super Bowl when no one had come back from 10 points. It was mind-blowing and a great experience. I wish I could relive it.”
Butler said it was a tackle he made on Marshawn Lynch early in the fourth quarter that provided a big confidence boost for the rest of the way. Even when Jermaine Kearse made a circus catch just a few moments before Butler’s interception, the corner’s confidence wasn’t rattled.
And as for the interception that made Butler famous, he said that like everyone else in the world, he was surprised that the Seahawks didn’t simply run the ball.
“Everyone though they were going to run the ball, and I thought they were going to run the ball, too,” he said during an interview during Tuesday night’s broadcast. “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. I just felt like Wilson, he was just looking just 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 I just hope the ball is there. And when he planted and I took off, I seen the ball and the ball was coming so fast. I didn’t know how to catch it, it was like I [didn’t have time to react]” he admitted. “It was just a great play. A good reaction. And it was just a great play, man.”
It’s a play that will forever live in Super Bowl and NFL history. But Butler isn’t so sure that he would catch the ball if they ran that same play again.
“You just need to catch that one, it’s the Super Bowl,” he said. “If they threw it again and ran the same play, I feel I probably wouldn’t have caught it. This play is just a different play, a great play. Not too many people can make that play. It’s clutch time in the Super Bowl, you got to save the game and a lot of people can’t do that. It was just made for me.”
Butler said he learned a lot from one of the best corners in the game — Darrelle Revis — throughout his rookie season and simply “took advantage of my opportunity.”
Butler’s career only rose from that player, taking over for Revis the following season as New England’s top corner. His career in New England came to an unceremonious end when he was mysteriously benched in Super Bowl LII, and unfortunately, we didn’t get any chatter on that topic Tuesday night.
Instead, it was all about reliving Butler’s most famous play, a memory that is certainly worth reliving.