Bloomington, Minn. — There are so many iconic moments in Boston sports history, from Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary to Carlton Fisk waiving his World Series home run fair to Bobby Orr’s “flying goal” to clinch the 1970 Stanley Cup.
Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler belongs in that conversation. His game-sealing interception at the goal line in the closing seconds to preserve a victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 Super Bowl is one of the greatest plays in NFL history.
On 2nd-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Butler, an undrafted rookie, made a perfect read on the play, undercutting a pick and stepping in front of a Russell Wilson pass intended for wide receiver Ricardo Lockette.
Three years later, Butler says people bring up the interception everywhere he goes.
“It’s brought up a lot, man,” he said. “But that’s how most people know me. You’ve got to start somewhere.”
A reporter, from Boston, pointed out it’s not a bad thing to be known for such a great moment. Some athletes aren’t so lucky. Of all the plays in Boston sports history, it could be argued none are more famous than Bill Buckner letting an easy grounder sneak between his legs in the 10th inning Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
Comically, despite calling the Boston-area home the past four years, Butler wasn’t familiar with Buckner.
“I could have dropped it and I could have been, what’s the guy’s name that you said,” Butler asked the reporter. “Bill Buckner? I’m sorry, Bill. I’m sorry.”
Butler’s star hasn’t faded since his crowing moment. He’s been one of the Patriots top defensive players the past three seasons, playing more than 1,000 snaps each year. He’s preparing to start in his third Super Bowl in his four years.
He’s also scheduled to be a free agent at season’s and figures to score a massive deal if he makes it to the open market. He’s also hopeful his future will define him as much as his past.
“My mindset is I want more (moments),” he said. “I just want more. Everyone in the world wants more. Even if they’ve got something, they just want more. I just have that drive, that attitude. That’s my mindset.”