The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots, 41-33, and kissed the Super Bowl LII Lombardi Trophy all the way home to the “City of Brotherly Love,” but hark, hark, this is the only Black History Month sports article that I will write in 2018, maybe.
Patriots QB Tom Brady, the losing signal-caller from Super Bowl LII, now has a Super Bowl record of 5 wins, 3 losses in eight games. Actually, his legitimate won-loss record would be 2 wins and 6 losses if you take away the 3 Super Bowls that the Patriots won “illegitimately.”
Did the Patriots put forth their best defensive “foot” forward as far as using all of the personnel resources at their disposal to win the game? If they did, Patriots “headmaster” Bill Belichick had a very shady way of showing it by benching Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, whom in all probability was New England’s best cornerback during the 2017 season.
Butler was a little-known defensive back before he intercepted Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson from the 1-yard line, helping to secure the victory for the Patriots over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. In Super Bowl LI, after a rocky start, Butler and the Patriots secondary hung clamped down in the second half, eventually beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime after being down by 25 points.
Fast forward, Malcolm Butler was benched by Bill Belichick and did not play for the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. All of the explanations that were offered up explaining the “demotion” didn’t seem to be mirrored or confirmed by Butler. A washingtonpost.com article titled: “They gave up on me,” written by Des Bieler and Cindy Boren, chronicles Butler’s state of mind. “Malcolm Butler was teary-eyed during the national anthem, his emotions captured by NBC’s telecast just before the start of Super Bowl LII. (Butler) had just found out he would be benched for Sunday’s championship game. ‘I guess I wasn’t playing good or they didn’t feel comfortable. I don’t know. But I could have changed that game.’”
During the regular season, Butler led all Patriots defensive players with a 97.83 snap percentage (per Pro-Football Reference), and he played every snap of New England’s first two postseason games. However, just before the Super Bowl kicked off, Butler was told he would be replaced by fellow cornerback Eric Rowe, a decision that left even Rowe surprised. “No, that wasn’t the plan,” Rowe said (via NFL.com). “It wasn’t official until kickoff…I feel for (Butler).”
After the game, Patriots Coach Bill Belichick was asked about his decision to bench Butler, who only took the field on one special-teams play. “We put the best players and game plan out there that we felt was best for tonight, like we always do,” Belichick said.” Ha, ha, ha, Bu—s—t. According to nfl.com, In March 2017, Malcolm Butler had scheduled a visit with the New Orleans Saints. “The New Orleans Saints are making a push to acquire according to Coach Sean Payton. The Pats placed a first-round tender on Butler, which would pay $3.91 million in 2017. New England can match any offer sheet given to Butler.”
How dare you try to “snake” your way to greener pastures, Malcolm Butler? Why was Malcolm Butler shedding tears on the sideline? It was Belichick’s way attempting to kill another human being’s spirit. Belichick seems to possess an insatiable blood lusting thirst for devaluing the psyches and the values of “subordinate” human beings. Bill Belichick is as sinister and cunning as they come. He would rather sacrifice his players, and a Super Bowl just to retain control. Just as Belichick wanted control by spying, lying and crying. Take that, Malcolm Jenkins, I am Bill Belichick and I have control over your professional football life, which in all probability affects your personal life as well.
Composer Bruce Ormsby said it best: “That’s just the way it is. Some things never change.”
Aubrey Bruce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.