UPDATE: You'll see this play no fewer than a dozen times when the Seahawks play the Patriots on Sunday night in Week 10 of the 2016 season. Might as well relive the moment with us.
Malcolm Butler's heart has to be made out of pure Adamantium steel.
When he tipped the pass that was intended for Jermaine Kearse and Kearse still caught it, we should have known that it was just a divine test for the young rookie. All I saw were visions of David Tyree and Mario Manningham. I fell at the doorsteps of my Tom Brady shrine and questioned the meaning of life. Then Butler came through like Frodo the Hobbit and offered to bear the burden for every Patriots fan.
He caught that pick with the soul of every Ellis Hobbs in the world. That wasn't Malcolm Butler controlling his body on that play, that was a user pick controlled by a higher power. Malcolm Butler is just the body through which all things heavenly are made possible. He hit Ricardo Lockette and caught the interception in the same motion; that's unreal and unnatural. He turned into a hybrid of Rodney Harrison and Deion Sanders in the span of six seconds.
Butler deserves to be sainted after that play. San Malcolm, the patron of goal line interceptions.
The game was full of so many tests. When Brady threw the first interception, tears flowed down my eyes like T.O defending Tony Romo at the podium. Every Chris Matthews catch felt like a text from a supermodel saying that she used to like you in high school. Matthews, who was just selling Hombre cologne spritzer beside Joey Tribbiani before the season, was putting up Jerry Rice numbers and nothing made sense.
And then Katy Perry came out dressed like a Power Rangers villain. I knew there was no one who could win the game when there were more important things to attend to. Perry was going to lead the fire nation against the Avatar and someone had to stop her. The game could wait, Katy had to be stopped.
Marshawn Lynch was doing whatever he wanted on every run play. He could have grabbed his crotch on a few of those runs and still got the first down. He even turned into Reggie Wayne for a critical catch in the fourth quarter. Watching players try to tackle him was like watching reporters try to get an answer from him in press conferences. I felt like I knew why he was here, and he was here to destroy the dreams and hopes of thousands of Patriots fans.
Even Kam Chancellor, who was playing with a knee brace, hit Julian Edelman so hard that he almost sent him to the island of misfit toys. But the pocket Hercules of slot receivers prevailed and caught the go-ahead touchdown. Even though it looks pretty certain that he was playing with a halo of twittering birds above his head.
But Butler did it. He said after the game that he knew what would happen and somehow believed that he would make a big play in the game. He's like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day when he smashed the alarm clock on the floor. Except the alarm clock was Ricardo Lockette and the joy of the 12th Man nation. He's the Total Recall of NFL cornerbacks. The Edge of Tomorrow of historic Super Bowl moments. The Kearse catch only made him a stronger and slightly more annoying Tom Cruise.
Butler went from "please help add to this Wikipedia" to Super Bowl superhero on a play that shouldn't have been. Russell Wilson wasn't supposed to throw a pass there. You would need a bulldozer to prevent Lynch from gaining a yard on any team at the goal line. It felt like a forgone conclusion. But then it happened and Butler flew in there like the spirit of hope and picked off Wilson's throw.
That's why he's the most valuable player in the game. When history called, he answered. It didn't matter that he didn't even have a profile picture on Madden. Or that he probably didn't even know that he himself existed. Nope, the undrafted rookie from a town that pretty much sounds like a fictional The Simpsons setting became a hero when the narratives had written him as the unfortunate scapegoat.
He's the embodiment of "shoot your shot." He's every inspirational Nike video that makes you want to run at 4 a.m. with Muhammad Ali. He may have been out of words after the game, but that play spoke volumes. Malcolm Butler deserves everything good in the world.