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Beating the Odds

Impossible Finish

Sunday’s jaw-dropping finish in Super Bowl XLIX becomes all the more improbable when you consider who made the play of a lifetime.

Malcolm Butler, who intercepted Russell Wilson on the goal line with 20 seconds left, gives hope to anyone who must beat the odds.

“I made a play to help my team win,” Butler said after preserving a 28-24 victory for the New England Patriots. “I’ve worked so hard in practice and I just wanted to play so bad and help my team out. I got out there and did exactly what I needed to do to help my team win.”

Today marks Day 6 of a 17-day, multimedia seminar on “How to Do the Impossible.” Dr. Rob Gilbert offers his take on his daily Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690. I’m blogging it here on TotalGamePlan.

Butler’s rise from community college to Super Bowl hero strains belief. From community college he transferred to a Division II school, was not invited to the NFL combine, and went undrafted.

Finally signed as a free agent, Butler had to beat out other candidates. By mid-season the Patriots were trusting this undrafted rookie in big situations.

“He’s getting better,” Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer said of Butler in November. “His game preparation is getting better, his work in the classroom is getting better.”

That was Butler’s secret to doing the impossible. He just kept getting better. It’s tougher than it sounds. Improvement takes focus, persistence and the mental toughness to work outside your comfort zone, all without any guarantees.

Butler had all that. Even so, he knew what the odds were.

“Of course I did,” he said in a mid-season interview. “But I chose to think positive. If you think positive, you’ll get positive results. If you think negative, you’ll get negative results. I just knew it would be tough, so I had to show up, stand out, and do my job.”

He certainly did that in the Super Bowl.

New England quarterback Tom Brady won game MVP, taking advantage of the Seattle Seahawks’ decision to throw the ball when they could have given it to Marshawn Lynch. Instead of getting a game-winning touchdown, the Seahawks go into history having committed a blunder for the ages.

But no one would be talking about the ill-fated pass if Butler had not caught it.

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Thank you for visiting Total Game Plan. While you’re here, you can find many other resources to help you succeed.

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2 comments for “Impossible Finish”

  1. In the postgame interviews, Butler said that he knew what play the Seahawks were going to run when he saw the formation. So, he jumped the route. Russell Wilson says, “Separation comes from preparation.” In this case, Butler did the preparation and picked off Wilson.

    Posted by Don Haney | February 2, 2015, 6:48 pm
  2. Yup! Than you for the comment. Regards

    Posted by Coach Tully | February 2, 2015, 6:51 pm

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