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What The Fuck Did Malcolm Butler Do?

AFC Championship - Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots

Patriots fans deserve answers. They do. When it comes to disciplinary action, if you’d like to keep that in-house leading up to the game in order to avoid any type of distraction, then by my guest. But the game is over, you allowed 41 fucking points, you lost, and the fans want answers.

What the fuck did Malcolm Butler do that was so bad that he spent the entire Super Bowl on the sidelines, aside from one special teams snap? It better be an actual crime, because if Butler was kept out of the goddamn SUPER BOWL for missing a team flight, or missing curfew or something stupid like that, then this will be the first time that I question Bill Belichick’s decision-making.

He’s been known to discipline his players during playoff games before, but not to this extent. Belichick benched Wes Welker for the opening series of a playoff game back in 2011, a game in which the No. 1 seed Patriots lost to the No. 6 seed Jets, for making references to Rex Ryan’s foot fetish. But the Patriots didn’t lose that game because Welker got benched for a series. Could you make the case that the Patriots lost Super Bowl 52 because Butler got benched for the entire game?

It’s a matter of opinion. We’ll never know for sure. That, and Butler didn’t exactly have the greatest season, but how many points is he worth at his best? He’s impacted Super Bowls before; who’s to say he couldn’t have done it again? There weren’t too many complaints about Eric Rowe being out there to start the game, but once you started seeing Johnson Bademosi and Jordan Richards being used over Butler, that’s when you knew that not only was Butler never getting into this game, but Belichick was ridiculously and infuriatingly prioritizing enforcing some stupid fuckin’ team rule over trying to win another Super Bowl.

And you know how the Patriots are. They don’t like to pull back the curtain too much. That’s fine. Give us a “no comment” instead. Don’t insult our intelligence with boldface lies like what Matt Patricia was feeding us after the game. But what does he care? That was his last game in New England, everybody knew that, and he didn’t have to be completely transparent after this Patriots loss. Not his problem anymore.

Just couldn’t find a way to get him into the game, huh? You found a way to get him in there for 97.8% of the defensive snaps over the last three years, but tonight was just too difficult. Damn. That’s too bad.

Obviously nobody is buying that, and now you’ve got a locker room divide on your hands. The men who spilled their blood, sweat and tears to get to that Super Bowl are now likely feeling betrayed by their own coaching staff. Why did we put forth our best effort when our coaching staff isn’t putting forth theirs? The players are doing everything they possibly can to win this game, but they are literally witnessing their own coaching staff not doing everything they possibly can to win this game. And good for the players for speaking out about it, too. What are they supposed to do, agree with the decision to not put the best team out on the field in the fucking Super Bowl? Fuck no.

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In the end, will an explanation actually change anything? No. The Eagles won that Super Bowl fair and square. Despite that, the blame game will always be played in the fallout. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Tom Brady became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 500 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and still lose. That’s playoffs and regular season. So, don’t look at Brady if you’re searching for someone to place the blame on, despite the strip sack that everyone will remember as the final blow.

And again, it’s not JUST the Butler absence that cost the Patriots the Super Bowl. He’s not some superhero that’s going to be out there breaking up passes all over the field. The third down defense was an absolute joke all night long. Forty-one points isn’t getting knocked down a whole hell of a lot just by subbing one corner out for another. But the fact of the matter is that Patriots fans deserve honesty and transparency from their team after a seemingly inexplicable decision has been made, especially if that decision may have made the difference in the outcome of a Super Bowl.

That right there? That is a lie. The fans know it, and the players know it.

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The decision to start Rowe over Butler wasn’t made until right before the game started. If the Patriots are so well-prepared and meticulous about executing their in-game strategy, then don’t you think Rowe would’ve gotten a little bit of a heads up at some point during the TWO WEEKS leading up to the Super Bowl? We’re not stupid. We know something’s up. The players know something’s up. The media knows something’s up.

The fans who support this team deserve better than this, but you know who else deserves better than this? Malcolm Butler. The 27-year-old became a household name in New England after making a game-winning pick at the goal line to wrap up Super Bowl 49 as a no-name, fifth string cornerback.

His star was born under the bright lights of Super Bowl 49, and then his star was confusingly and frustratingly snuffed out on the sidelines of Super Bowl 52. Butler now heads into free agency, and it’s a damn shame that our last memory of a Patriots Super Bowl hero is an image of him crying on the sideline before the game, knowing that he wouldn’t take a single defensive snap in an eventual Super Bowl loss.