Malcolm Butler Was on Radio Row Discussing the Greatest Unsolved Mystery of All Time, His Benching in Super Bowl LII

Boston Globe. Getty Images.

The truth behind the UFO phenomenon. The assassination of JFK. The deaths at Dyatalov Pass. The identity of the Zodiac Killer. The Georgia Guidestones. And to these unsolved mysteries we can add one of the great enigmas of all time: The unexplained benching of Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII. 

It occurred five years ago this week. It has been studied by scholars, researchers, historians and archaeologists ever since. And remains to this day a riddle hidden, in a mystery, wrapped inside a 55-yard Corey Clement reception on Jordan Richards, with an Alshon Jeffrey 34-yard TD on Eric Rowe stuffed crust. 

I told you everything I know the very next day after speaking to as reliable a source as I've ever known:

And perhaps most remarkably, nothing new has come to light since. Butler told my source, “The coach and I just aren’t seeing eye to eye.” And someone on the staff told this person Butler "was not in the right frame of mind." So we got eight coverage snaps out of Johnson Bademosi instead. Nothing I've heard in the five years since has credibly contradicted a word of it. Not even from Butler himself. Not he spent three seasons in Tennessee. Not after he retired for a year. Not after he unretired and signed back with the Patriots, spent a month in training camp before getting hurt, and eventually reached an injury settlement.

Fortunately, this is Super Bowl Week. Which means Radio Row. Which means any living breathing human with even the slightest involvement in pro football who has something to sell is wandering among the broadcast booths, looking to get in front of a mic. And this week, Butler happens to be one of those people. 

Source - “Like I always say, it was a coaching decision. But I really don’t know, man. I got a documentary coming out where I’m talking about all that I did with some of the guys in New England. And I got a book coming out also, so I ain’t gonna spill the beans out of them right now, but it’ll be something to look forward to.”

First of all, let's give credit where it's due. In a world filled with incompetent and shady people attaching themselves to athletes, Malcolm is getting good advice. Never give away for free something you're trying to sell. You're sitting down at that table and strapping on those headphones to put eyeballs on your documentary and move copies of your book. You're there to tease, not spoil the one answer everyone's looking for. Well played, sir. 

Next, this documentary and his book are things I'm very much interested in. In the great confusion around that awful night in Minnesota, let's not lose sight of the fact that Butler is truly one of the great stories of the last decade or so. A kid who had to switch schools. Ended up at West Alabama. Was left undrafted. Landed on New England's roster bubble and spent all year fighting for playing time. Got his one shot:


Made what I'll argue with anyone is the greatest single play in NFL history in the most significant single game of the modern era. One that killed one dynasty in the nest and rebooted another that hadn't won a championship in 10 years. From there he went on to become one of the top corners in the league before the bizarre events that ended his Patriots career. Until finally he cashed in as one of the most highly sought after free agents on the market. Everything in this man's adult life has been one extreme or another. And I'm glad for him he's going to cash in yet again by telling his story.

Unless he trashes Bill Belichick. Then he's made a very powerful enemy. But I'm sure he won't, given he's had ample opportunity and is still answering it the same way. I hope these projects make Malcolm Go millions. Nobody deserves it more.