“Thank goodness Russell Wilson did not hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch!” a thrilled New England Patriots fan in Aix-en-Provence, France exclaimed. Instead of handing the ball to five-time Pro-Bowler running back Lynch, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Wilson threw an interception intended for Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse to Patriots rookie defensive back Malcolm Butler. The Seahawks had the ball at the one-yard line with 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl and two more downs needed to complete a touchdown, which would have won the game for Seattle. Leading by four points, the Patriots’ defense knew that they had to do anything necessary to prevent the Seahawks from scoring another touchdown. Butler’s interception clinched the 28-24 win for the Patriots.
The shock of the New England interception left fans of both teams with mouths agape, half not believing that Wilson had not simply allowed Marshawn Lynch to run the ball one yard to make a touchdown, and half not believing that the game- winning interception was caught by undrafted free agent and former fry cook Butler. Besides Butler’s now famous interception, other notable Patriots performers included quarterback Tom Brady, who threw four touchdowns and recorded 328 total yards, as well as receivers Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who each scored one touchdown.
The Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX victory was both Brady’s and head coach Bill Belichick’s fourth Super Bowl win out of the Patriots’ six Super Bowl appearances during Belichick’s tenure as head coach.
Three days after the Super Bowl, thousands of ecstatic Patriots fans braved the snow and frigid temperatures for hours to watch the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory parade. Like in the 2013 Red Sox World Series championship parade, Patriots players, coaches, cheerleaders and their mascot rode down Boylston Street in Boston’s amphibious “Duck boats,” which are a staple in any Boston national championship parade. Fans held signs congratulating the team on their victory, and players interacted with their adoring fans throughout the parade by taking selfies and holding up handmade signs given to them on the parade route. Even from the point of view of a Seahawks fan studying abroad, Rob Gronkowski’s hip-hop dancing on a Duck boat put a smile on my face and on the faces of many others.
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