What transpired Sunday night was something that the majority of sports fans would have never seen coming. Super Bowl LII featured one team that had been a heavyweight for over a decade and a half taking on the polar opposite in the biggest Super Bowl underdog in ten years. The New England Patriots, armed with – what some would say – the greatest quarterback in NFL history in Tom Brady came into the matchup with five rings already. The Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, still had not yet hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in their entire franchise’s history.
While Brady played, for the most part, a terrific game, it was Nick Foles and his near-perfect passing that stole the show. Foles and the Eagles would go on to win one of the most entertaining and high-scoring Super Bowls in history by a score of 41-33. The city of Philadelphia had finally gotten what they had long been after and Brady, well, missed out on number six.
Losing in the Super Bowl has to be one of the toughest feelings in all of sports, and Brady endured it for the third time in his illustrious career. All players take losses differently. Some take it better than others. A good amount of players try their best to appear good sports but, to no avail, there are many who walk off the field without congratulating their opponents. Sunday night, after the Patriots’ loss, viewers saw Brady leave the field without shaking the hands of the Eagles’ players.
It would be feasible in this instance to label Brady a ‘sore loser.’ While, in a way, it might be true – and surely justified when talking about one of the fiercest competitors in the history of football – Brady actually showed his appreciation behind the scenes. Nobody saw it happen except a select few, but Brady had a touching moment with Eagles rookie pass rusher Derek Barnett.
In one of the walkways following the game, Brady caught up with Barnett. Jim Wyatt detailed the interaction via TitansOnline:
“Brady stopped in his tracks to congratulate the former Brentwood Academy and University of Tennessee star. The two chatted for a few moments before Brady shook Barnett’s hand, and gave him a hug. Then the two men went their separate ways.
‘It’s crazy,’ Barnett said after the game. ‘I told him how I looked up to him when I was younger. I told him to be able to compete against him, it was an honor.
‘And he was super cool. He told me we had a hell of a season, and we deserved it. And he told me to keep working hard. He’s a great player, and a great competitor. I feel like I was lucky to be able to go against one of the greatest football players to ever play the game.’”
It was not just Brady who showed character after a tough loss. His wife, Gisele Bündchen, was also seen shaking the hands of every Eagles player she passed by after the game. She paired each handshake with a ‘congratulations,’ proving to be a great sport after seeing her husband on the losing end of the biggest stage in sports.