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The Butler Did It

March 02, 2015
March 02, 2015

Table of Contents
March 2, 2015

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KYLE WILTJER
DAYTONA 500
NFL
  • Every year NFL prospects, coaches, GMs and insiders descend upon Indianapolis, and what unfolds—on the field, at the podium, in the lobbies and the bars—is the foundation of a new season. Here are SI's eight biggest takeaways from the 2015 combine

NHL
  • The Predators have bet big and lost before. (Peter Forsberg, anyone?) But their latest and riskiest gamble—on troubled center Mike Ribeiro—has them positioned for something never seen in Nashville: a long playoff run

GIANCARLO STANTON
  • Jeffrey Loria knows big-ticket collectibles, but the Marlins' owner and notable art dealer outdid himself when he gave Giancarlo Stanton the biggest contract in sports history. Baseball's best power hitter could have gotten paid anywhere—so why did he take the Marlins' money?

MINOR LEAGUE HOOPS
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The Butler Did It

The strange days of a Super Bowl hero

AFTER FINISHING HIS college career at Division II West Alabama, Malcolm Butler was earning $7.25 an hour as a fryer at a Popeyes in his hometown of Vicksburg, Miss., when he was signed by the Patriots last May. When he made his game-sealing, goal line interception in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX, his ascent to New England folk hero and Grammy presenter went from improbable to surreal. Here are seven ways the 24-year-old's life has changed:

This is an article from the March 2, 2015 issue Original Layout

LL Cool J knows him.

"He introduced himself at the Grammys. I was like, You know who I am? And then Nicki Minaj wanted to pose for a picture."

Jamie Foxx gave up his number.

"I haven't hit him up yet. I don't know when, or if, I will."

He got a stylist.

"It was for the Grammys. She wanted me to wear sneakers. I know that's the style, but I wanted to wear dress shoes."

He got a parade.

"When they asked me, I thought it was crazy. But people in Vicksburg are all so excited, I couldn't say no."

He sat front row at a Celtics game.

"On TV the games always looked real big, but when you're up close, it looks like any old high school game, you know?"

His Popeyes became famous.

"Reporters are calling up my old managers, people pose in front of the sign and put photos on social media. They even had a 21-piece special, in honor of my jersey number."

Tom Brady gave him a car.

"I posed with a red one but asked for a black one," Butler says of the 2015 Chevy pickup Brady won as Super Bowl MVP. "I'm waiting for it to get shipped."

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

The Rangers signed the younger brother of second baseman Rougned Odor, a shortstop whose name is also Rougned Odor.

PHOTOWILLIAM WIDMER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (BUTLER)PHOTOERICK W. RASCO/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (ODOR)