Well, wasn’t that a blast of cacophonous American poetry: A completely batshit play call in the final seconds of the Super Bowl, followed by the plaintive wails of a Collinsworth, followed by a brain-dead roadhouse brawl that served absolutely no purpose.
If everything that built up to it wasn’t so damned entertaining, it would have been enough to turn you off to football altogether, but I suppose this is how it became the national pastime in the first place: It is a sport that manages to attract us and repel us, usually at the same time.
This is how we’ll remember Super Bowl XLIX, then. It will be the year of Tom Brady and the Patriots’ 10-point fourth-quarter comeback, the most prodigious in Super Bowl history, capped by a short touchdown pass to Julian Edelman just before the two-minute warning; it will be the year that Seattle appeared to nullify that comeback on Jermaine Kearse’s stop, drop and roll of a catch that conjured visions of David Tyree and Mario Manningham before him; and it will be the year that the Seahawks, instead of running the football behind Marshawn Lynch, the most unstoppable media foil of a running back in Super Bowl history, chose to throw a slant pass into the wrong hands, thereby sealing both a 28-24 defeat and their place in professional football infamy.
The pass was intercepted by a Patriots defensive back named Malcolm Butler, but that hardly matters. What will be remembered here is not Butler’s name, but the names of Pete Carroll and his offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell (though Carroll copped afterward to making the call himself). What will be remembered is that the Seahawks were so perilously close to winning this game that NBC’s Cris Collinsworth was actually talking about whether the Patriots should let Seattle score and save what remained of the final minute of clock. And then a few seconds later, Collinsworth was saying, “I’m sitting here, and I absolutely cannot believe that play call.”