Underdogs Shine In Super Bowl Sunday
Written by Jonathan Barker Media by Ryan Dunn
Super Bowl XLIX was definitely a thrilling game with a twist. The New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24. The most watched sports event in television history will be remembered by a single play that occurred with only 20 seconds left in the game: the interception that sealed Seattle’s fate. One can easily criticize the play selection as half the nation rhetorically asks, “Why didn’t they just run the ball?”. Of course, I could ramble about Tom Brady’s 4 Touchdown Super Bowl MVP performance. I could praise him for tying Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with his 4th Super Bowl victory, which solidifies his place as possibly the greatest quarterback in NFL History. However, I would rather give some of the spotlight to Malcolm Butler, the rookie from Western Alabama who made the game-saving interception.
As a matter of fact, Malcolm Butler was not even drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft. Butler only played two years of high school football before attending Hinds Community College on a sports scholarship. Butler was suspended from the team in 2009, but made a return in 2011. The next year, Butler transferred to a slightly larger school, University of West Alabama. He went on to become an All-American in 2013. Butler’s first career interception just so happened to be in the most clutch moment on the world’s biggest stage.
On the Seahawks’ side, Chris Matthews astounded viewers with acrobatic catches, racking up 103 yards on 4 receptions and 1 touchdown as well. Matthews, a University of Kentucky graduate, was also undrafted upon entering the league. After spending a season in the Arena Football League, he was signed to Canadian Football League team, The Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was named CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 2012. His 2013 season was plagued by injuries and was cut after the season. So instead, Matthews worked at Foot Locker until the Seattle Seahawks called him in for a tryout. He was later signed to the team and played three regular season games. Although he recovered the key onside kick in the NFC Championship Game, he did not catch his first pass until Super Bowl Sunday. Everyone knew Tom Brady and Russell Wilson would make game-deciding plays. However, Super Bowls are great because of the fact that we never know what is actually going to happen. Analysts and experts can make as many predictions as they want before the game, but nobody knows what will happen until the big Sunday. Who knows what kind of underdogs we will see in future Super Bowls. Maybe one day we’ll see a Greenville College athlete on the big screen.