How can you be this stupid?
The New England Patriots crumpled on the game's biggest stage, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. Despite expectations, the game was a total shootout, which made the decision to sit Malcolm Butler all game all the more confusing.
Butler, who saved the Pats Super Bowl win against the Seahawks, did not see the field a single time against the Eagles, despite the secondary consistently getting torched and numerous injuries occurring to other players. Now, we have a series of reasons why.
My understanding is the benching of #Patriots CB Malcolm Butler happened because of a perfect storm of issues: Sickness, a rough week of practice, and a minor rule violation believed to be related to curfew. A complicated matter. pic.twitter.com/TmUJgkHpsZ— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 5, 2018
According to reports, Butler missed a team meeting leading up to the Super Bowl and Bill Belichick refused to play him.
It's certainly a bold move, but not one that is a big surprise. Belichick has been known to bench players for disciplinary reasons in the past; but to bench someone in the Super Bowl? That's an interesting move.
A family friend who I trust, is well connected in law enforcement and was in Minny this week with local cops told me Butler missed curfew, got caught with weed when he came back late to hotel, and subsequently had a meltdown on coaches— Joey Cartolano (@JoeyPigskins) February 5, 2018
There are a handful of reports floating around at the moment, but a bombshell like this is a real game-changer.
Source: Benching Butler not a discipline issue. Belichick made the call a few hours before game. Many coaches and players were shocked. Some players and coaches “furious” with Belichick, this is a move that divided the locker room.— Kirk Minihane (@kirkmin) February 6, 2018
Assuming the main thrust of these reports is true, you can completely understand why Belichick refused to put Butler in the game. Honestly, knowing the Pats coach, Butler is lucky he wasn't sent home. But the locker room was clearly not happy with how things shook out.
We'll surely learn more about this situation in time. But the early word ought to frustrate Patriots fans to no end.