This time last week Russell Wilson and Malcolm Butler were leading different lives. Wilson was going for his second Super Bowl win in only three years as a pro, possibly on the front end of establishing a dynasty in Seattle. Butler, the former Popeye’s restaurant employee who made good on the second chances offered him, was just a rookie from a small college in Alabama. If you were naming players from both the Seahawks and Patriots, you’d get to Russell well before you would Butler.
You know what happened that night and how these two are linked forever in one of the greatest Super Bowl plays ever. At the one with the game on the line Seattle inexpicibly threw a pass intercepted by Butler rather than give the ball to Marshawn Lynch, a verifitable road grader when near the end zone. Cue the thousands of second-guessing Tweets and numerous YouTube videos of astonished/overjoyed Seattle/New England fans (you’ll have to trust me on that one, as almost all of them contain NSFW language) .
What happened after the game and the days that followed tells an even bigger story, though. Interviewed on the field with confetti raining down around him, Butler had the kind of joyous disbelief you’d expect of someone in his position. The word “blessed” fits, as it is a constant in his Twitter account.
Before and after the game, Wilson’s Twitter posts showed how defeat can crystalize who we are.
And afterwards …
Wilson, didn’t stop there,
Just so you know, #BVD is Bible Verse of the Day.
The takeaway for us guys who will never play professional football, much less in a Super Bowl: well, actually there are a few.
• Don’t squander second chances.
• Don’t underestimate the value of hard work, ever.
• Don’t miss the opportunities only granted through losing and setbacks.
Perhaps more than all of these? Don’t miss the platform you’ve been given, no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be now. Whether in victory or defeat, you have the chance to affect more people than you know.