Last night, the New England Patriots did the Philadelphia Eagles a major solid when they failed to secure their sixth Super Bowl championship, which means the people of Philly will have a second chance to tear their city apart when the Lombardi Trophy gets paraded around on Thursday. I’m putting the over/under on the number of drunk dudes who try to fight the Rocky statue a 2.5.
After the game ended, Patriots fans began their traditional mourning ritual of scrambling to come up with every possible excuse for losing. Since then, most of the fingers being pointed are being aimed at a fairly surprising culprit: Bill Belichick.
Each team’s defense was essentially nonexistent over the course of the night, but the Patriots didn’t do themselves any favors by benching Super Bowl Hero Malcolm Butler™. The New England secondary was filled with more holes than Swiss cheese being used as a target at a shooting range, but the safety only appeared on the field as part of the special teams unit.
Reporters were as successful at getting answers out of Belichick as you’d expect when pressing the issue after the game and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia put on an absolute clinic in deflecting questions while saying the word “packages” more times in two minutes than most UPS drivers do over the course of a year.
The workers at the rumor mill put in some serious overtime hours as people began to speculate why Butler had been benched. Early reports say it may have been because he flipped out on coaches after being caught with weed while returning past curfew (and honestly, who hasn’t been there before?), but not everyone is buying this explanation.
Former Patriots corner Brandon Browner was one of the first people to go after Belichick and Co. over the Butler decision, and it doesn’t seem like he’s buying into these rumors based on a video he posted to Instagram after hearing about them.
Browner says former teammates were frequently given a second chance when they were caught breaking the rules and seems to think that Butler was a victim of glorified (and potentially financially-motivated) office politics.
If you need me, I’ll be searching Amazon for a popcorn machine capable of producing all of the bowls I’m going to need to eat while watching this unfold.