At the end of his Monday news conference, where he picked up a new Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, Tom Brady wanted more.
“Do I get to take this trophy home?” Brady said, eyeing the Pete Rozelle Trophy. “Can I? Is this the one? Yes?”
Brady then grabbed the shiny football and tucked it under this arm as he left. He had done the same with the pigskin 12 hours earlier after a final kneel-down cemented the New England Patriots’ 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
The quarterback’s three Super Bowl MVP awards put him in elite company. Only Joe Montana has won as many.
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Terry Bradshaw and Montana stand as the only other quarterbacks with four Super Bowl titles.
Brady, 37, now ranks among the greatest postseason quarterbacks in history.
“I never thought much about that,” Brady said. “I’m still kind of in the midst of my career. I just love the game. I love playing. I love representing our team.”
The Patriots, too, join the conversation of greatest of all time. With four Vince Lombardi Trophies since 2001, when Brady took over the starting job, and two other AFC titles, the Patriots own the hardware of a dynasty.
“Their fourth Super Bowl in 14 years,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday. “It’s an extraordinary performance.”
Super Bowl XLIX already stands as the highest-rated Super Bowl in history. It also might go down as the most exciting.
While Brady earned the MVP award, the Patriots’ other hero, Malcolm Butler, headed to Disneyland along with teammate Julian Edelman. Butler, an undrafted rookie free agent, came out of nowhere to star on the game’s biggest stage.
Butler intercepted a pass by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the 1-yard line with 20 seconds remaining.
“I’m just proud that we really got a chance to finish it out,” Brady said. “Some guys made just huge plays. [Seattle] made a phenomenal catch to get to the 5-yard line, and Marshawn [Lynch] had a great run to get to the 1-and-a-half, and then we came up with, obviously, the play of the game, and Malcolm made it. He’s been doing it to me in practice all season, so it was actually nice to see him pick somebody else off. I’m so happy for him.”
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell earned second-guessing with a play-call that put the ball in Wilson’s hands instead of Lynch’s. Many, including Emmitt Smith, called it the worst play-call in history.
Even some Seahawks, including Bruce Irvin, questioned the decision in postgame interviews.
Lynch carried the ball 24 times in Sunday’s game, with 22 picking up at least 1 yard. That’s all that stood between the Seahawks and history as only the ninth repeat champion, and the first since the 2003-04 Patriots.
Instead, Butler got in their way.
Brady, though, admitted he had doubts when he saw Jermaine Kearse’s circus catch to the New England 5 — shades of David Tyree’s improbable helmet catch that helped the New York Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 in XLII.
“I saw Malcolm make a great play, and he tipped it, and I turned my head, and then the guy got up and started running and I said, ‘What happened?’” Brady said. “I saw the review and couldn’t believe it. I felt like we were going to win the whole game, and then they made that catch, and then I had a little bit of doubt, and then we made a great play.
“We’ve been on the other end of some great catches and not been able to finish it out, and this time, we made the play. Nobody, obviously, lost confidence on defense. It was a lot of fight that the team had. It took a 60-minute game; it took 99 yards on the football field to hold them. It’s a great feeling.”
As they picked up their spoils Monday, Brady and Patriots coach Bill Belichick made one thing clear: Their reign isn’t over. They want more.
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760
A look at the records set in Super Bowl XLIX:
Most passes, career: 247, Tom Brady (extended own record)
Most completions, career: 164, Tom Brady (extended own record)
Most completions, game: 37, Tom Brady
Most completions, game, team: 37, New England
Most passing yards, career: 1,605, Tom Brady (extended own record)
Most touchdown passes, career: 13, Tom Brady
Longest punt: 64 yards, Ryan Allen
Largest second-half deficit overcome to win game: 10 points, New England
Most players with a touchdown reception: 4, New England
Most first downs passing, game, team: 21, New England
Fewest kickoff returns, game, team: 0, Seattle
Fewest kickoff returns, game, both teams: 3, New England vs. Seattle
Fewest kickoff-return yards, game, team: 0, Seattle
Fewest kickoff-return yards, game, both teams: 49, New England vs. Seattle
Source: Elias Sports Bureau