Late in the fourth quarter the Seattle Seahawks were driving down the field: basically a yard away from being the first NFL team to repeat championships since the 2003-04 New England Patriots, Pete Carroll called an odd play. Instead of running the ball with Marshawn Lynch — he had a timeout and twenty seconds left — he had Russell Wilson pass: resulting in unknown defensive back Malcolm Butler jumping the slant route and sealing the victory for the Patriots.

Now, obviously post-interception, emotions were running high: still an encroachment penalty put the Pats on the five and further sealed the game. All Tom Brady had to do was kneel on the ball and watch the time run out: but the Seahawks remained chippy. Though it is common courtesy to not rush the QB while kneeling, the Seahawks pushed through the line: resulting in shoving that soon divulged into an all out brawl — putting a perfect bow on a miserable season for the NFL’s image.

Still Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin was the only casualty from the incident: even though Rob Gronkowski clearly threw punches, which is grounds for an ejection, the 27-year-old linebacker was the only player thrown out of the game. Now, from replays it appears that he was the instigator of the fight: but according to ESPN, he defended his actions while also apologizing in his post game interview. “I was protecting a teammate, emotions flew. I saw somebody hit Mike Bennett, so I went and backed up my brother. I went about it wrong. Emotions were flying high and I apologize.”

At the same time, he refuses to fully back down, as he claimed, “But if it happened again, I would go protect my teammate. That’s just how it is.” Either way, the Patriots got to celebrate their fourth Super Bowl win under Bill Belichick, as they defeated the Seahawks 28-24.

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