The call was not bad. It was perfect, actually.
The NFL world with its 20-20 hindsight vision tells a different story, of course. Marshawn Lynch's retirement this year was met with more he-should-have-gotten-the-ball cries, which seem to have become eternal. But the actual robbery victim of Super Bowl XLIX was forced into premature retirement this week with a neck injury.
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That's right. Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, not the running back, was deprived of a game-winning touchdown and Super Bowl heroism.
Lockette, 29, suffered ligament damage in his neck during a game against the Cowboys in November. He later said he could have died on the field that day. Retirement, though "bitter sweet" for the undrafted Fort Valley State product, was his only option.
He can thank Malcolm Butler for that "bitter" part.
Had Tom Brady not led an epic fourth-quarter comeback, the Super Bowl MVP choice would have been easy. One play — the play of his life and what will go down as one of the better plays in Super Bowl history — would have been all the Patriots cornerback needed to win the award.
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(GIF via NFL Game Pass)
Seattle's play call — a pass on the 1-yard line rather than a Lynch carry — is as scrutinized as any in NFL history. We ask, "Why would coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell not give their bruising back the ball?"[......]