It’s Been One Year Since Malcolm Butler’s Legendary Interception

Do you remember where you were?

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

Exactly one year ago today, one interception changed everything.

Things looked grim for the New England Patriots. Tight-end Jimmy Graham had made an improbable catch to put the Seattle Seahawks within striking distance, conjuring visions of David Tyree in 2008. The next play, Marshawn Lynch ran four yards to the Patriots goal-line. With seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLIX and the Seahawks trailing 28-24, Seattle’s Russell Wilson tried finding Ricardo Lockette on a slant to the middle of the field.

But Pats corner Malcolm Butler read the play perfectly. Seemingly leaping from the ether, Butler intercepted Wilson’s pass, giving New England the ball on their own one-yard line. One kneel later, and the Patriots were Super Bowl champions for the fourth time since 2001.

Fans, predictably, lost their damn minds.

Butler, an undrafted, former part-time Popeyes employee, instantly became a household name in Boston sports lore, graduating into the same stratus of clutch as Henderson, Fisk, Vinatieri, and Orr. A fourth ring cemented Tom Brady’s legacy as arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time. Had Butler not prevented a Seahawks touchdown and Seattle held on, Brady and head coach Bill Belichick would have lost as many Super Bowls as they had won.

Neither the Pats nor the Seahawks made it back to the big game this year, though Butler proved his interception was hardly a fluke, earning a spot in this year’s Pro Bowl. (He missed the game due to an injury.)