A memory that will forever be in the minds of the millions who watched the final moments of Super Bowl XLIX is when quarterback Russell Wilson threw the game-ending interception into the hands of of New England Patriots’ cornerback Malcolm Butler.
Scarred for life is Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, for whom Wilson’s pass was intended. To this day, Lockette, who wrote an essay on Derek Jeter’s The Player’s Tribune, says he cannot forget “the pass.”
“I can’t watch the film,” the essay begins. “I absolutely can’t stand to see it. People have told me it was the perfect interception. People have told me there’s a camera angle where it looks like I’m about to walk right into the end zone. People have told me all sorts of things about the last play of Super Bowl XLIX. I wouldn’t know. Whenever it comes on, I turn away.”
Lockette said the Seahawks had run that exact play three times during the regular season and said they completed it each time. “Perfect. Unstoppable play.”
“I see that ball coming, man. I’ll never stop seeing it,” he wrote. “The next thing I know, I’m on the turf on my knees. I’m looking around like, Okay, it’s incomplete? I look across to the Patriots’ sideline, and I see Tom Brady jumping up and down. And then I look across to our sideline and I see our guys with this blank look, with their heads dropped.”
— Sarah Turnage (@sarahturnage29) February 2, 2015
“I will never forget that pain. Never.”
After the Seahawks painful loss, Lockette didn’t see Wilson until April when some of the teammates reunited for a spring workout in Hawaii. Lockette shared what Wilson told him when the two met up:
“We’re going to get back there, and if we’re in that same position again, I’m going to throw you the ball again. We’re going to get it done. I trust you.”
Leave it to Wilson to remain classy and positive about the horrible screw up. I’m sure Lockette has beat himself up thousands of times since the pick and the fact that Wilson still trusts him is endearing.
Of course Wilson now has monster-sized tight end Jimmy Graham to throw to in the red zone. Given the choice, Wilson might pick Graham over Lockette next time around.
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports