Glendale, Ariz. – Chris Matthews might be the best alumnus of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to appear in a Super Bowl since Bud Grant.
The Seattle Seahawks receiver had four catches for 109 yards and one touchdown on Sunday. Not bad for a guy who started at a junior college in Los Angeles, played at Kentucky, went undrafted, got cut by the Cleveland Browns, and was working as a security guard and a Foot Locker salesman when the Seahawks called, about a year ago, to ask him to fly to Seattle immediately for a tryout.
“I don’t get off of work until 9 p.m.,” he told the Seahawks, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “I don’t know if I’ll make it.’’
Matthews, a cousin of late NFL star Reggie White, changed his mind and flew to Seattle. The Seahawks placed him on the practice squad for the 2014 season, then moved him to the active roster in December.
Before the Super Bowl, he had not made a catch this year. His lone shining moment came during the NFC Championship Game, when he fielded the onside kick that led to the Seahawks’ game-tying score late in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks may not have made it to the Super Bowl without Matthews, and they may not have made the Super Bowl a competitive contest without Matthews.
During an interview with Bob Costas that aired during NBC’s pregame programming Sunday afternoon, New England quarterback Tom Brady ducked directly answering questions about the NFL’s investigation into the use of deflated footballs by the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
In an interview taped Tuesday, when asked by Costas if he had any knowledge of the footballs being deflated, Brady said: “You know, look, I’ve talked about that in the past, and I don’t want that to continue to be a story about this particular game. All the facts will come out after the Super Bowl, and however those facts come out, you know, that will be news to me, as well. So that process will all take place at some point.
“I’m excited about the Super Bowl, and that’s where my energy is. I think there was a little bit of an energy drain, like I said, with my emotions and feelings being involved earlier in the week, but, you know, I’ve got to be able to move past those things and compartmentalize those things and be mentally tough enough to go out there and try to shine through.”
Roof is open
With temperatures in the upper 60s and no chance of rain Sunday, the NFL decided to let the sun shine in for the Super Bowl.
It’s a change of course at University of Phoenix Stadium, where the home team Cardinals have played with the roof closed for every game since December 2013.
Fog causes delays
Super Bowl Sunday got off to an inconvenient start for hundreds of air travelers trying to get to Phoenix for the game.
Officials at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport said dense fog caused numerous delays and cancellations but that flight operations were back to normal by Sunday afternoon.
• Running back Jonas Gray was the most notable of the Patriots’ inactives. Backup offensive tackle Garry Gilliam, who caught a 19-yard touchdown on a fake field goal in the NFC Championship Game, was among the inactives for Seattle.
• The Seahawks lost defensive end Cliff Avril to a concussion during the third quarter.