If Malcolm Butler is feeling bitter toward the Patriots for benching him in Super Bowl LII, he’s not showing it as he prepares to face them for the first time.
There is no doubt that members of the media, and members of the Boston media in particular, have been looking forward to the upcoming Week 10 game between the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans.
It will be the first time the Patriots will see Malcolm Butler with his new team since he was unexplainably benched by Bill Belichick in Super Bowl LII, a 41-33 defeat for New England at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Some have suggested it was the biggest blunder of Belichick’s career, saying that the Patriots would’ve won had Butler been on the field (which is impossible to actually know).
This would be the perfect opportunity for media members to try and get Butler to say something incendiary about his former team and former coach, some even calling it a possible “revenge game.” Maybe they could get him to stir the pot and give them some juicy headlines to write about.
But Butler is smarter than that. He’s not falling for any of the “tricks” reporters might be using to get him to say something negative about the Patriots. He’s just carrying on as if it’s just another game against any random team.
“It’s just a game,” Butler said, via the Tennessean. “I know I used to play for New England and all of that. I’m not overhyped. I’m not very pumped. It’s just another game. I’ve got to be ready to play no matter who I play. People are throwing the ball. Just have to be ready.”
You have to give props to Butler, a former Super Bowl hero in New England, for not making more of the situation than necessary, as the media was obviously hoping he would do. He kept it simple and straightforward. He’s not showing any bitterness toward the Patriots or Belichick.
Butler is just intent doing his job: playing football for the Tennessee Titans, no matter who their opponent is.
If reporters are looking for someone to throw a log in this fire, they will have to look elsewhere.