On a recent Sunday night I got to watch something pretty amazing.
Yes, my beloved Patriots won.
Yes, Tom Brady has reached the upper echelon of premier quarterbacks in NFL history.
The person I want to mention is Malcolm Butler.
Until yesterday, I hadn’t heard of him. An undrafted rookie? Good luck, kid.
He didn’t even start yesterday’s game, but he was ready if the coaches needed him.
They’d pushed him hard all season, and had earned their confidence.
When Patriots veteran Kyle Arrington showed signs of having trouble covering his man, Butler got the call.
It didn’t take long for near-disaster to happen.
When Seattle’s quarterback bombed one downfield near the end of the game, Butler tipped the ball…and a tumbling Jermaine Kearse juggled and ultimately caught a miracle.
Even as he quickly tagged Kearse down (he could have otherwise gotten up and scampered in for a score), Butler says he went back to the sideline feeling he had just failed his team and cost them the Big Game.
With his pride deflated, his teammates rallied around him, telling him to keep his head up.
Just two plays later, as it looked like the final nail was about to be hammered into the Patriots’ coffin, Butler stepped up…BIG TIME.
He saw an opportunity and took it, timing it perfectly to break up a surefire touchdown with an explosive interception…preserving a Patriots win.
This kid…an undrafted and unheralded rookie with a past that would raise eyebrows from many organizations…made something pretty incredible happen.
When you keep your head down, you miss opportunities.
Thank you, Malcolm Butler, for keeping your head in the game.
Thank you, Butler’s teammates, for propping up your brother when he was down.
Wherever YOU are in YOUR game today, please embrace the lesson.
Whatever the scoreboard says, keep your head and your heart in the game.
You never know what Super-tunity might be waiting for you.
Make the play.
Celebrate as a team.
Come back tomorrow and play again.