Decisive Super Bowl Play Demonstrates Power of Being “Always Ready”

My last post was about why the Coast Guard motto, Always Ready, is also a valuable mindset for business and marketing teams.

Because something unbelievable happened at the end of Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, “Always Ready” is a pertinent topic again.

Malcolm Butler wins Super Bowl XLIX for the New England Patriots. Credit: New England Patriots.

Malcolm Butler wins Super Bowl XLIX for the New England Patriots. Credit: New England Patriots.

Unless you’ve just come out of hibernation, you’re well aware of what happened Sunday night in Arizona. This is not the place to critique Seattle’s play selection.  You can find that everywhere.

Instead, let’s go behind the scenes and understand how one player made one of the all-time best plays in American sports history.

His name is Malcolm Butler.

In an interview on ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio program Monday morning, the rookie cornerback explained why he was ready.  Pay special attention to the end of the audio excerpt:

Malcolm Butler was ready because he and his team practiced against the exact pass play Seattle called from the one-yard line.  More importantly, they learned.  After Butler was beat on that practice play, he was coached how to defend it, and was told he was expected to be ready for it during the Super Bowl.

As Seattle lined-up at the Patriots goal-line with less than 30-seconds remaining, everyone watching knew the outcome was inevitable.  The Seahawks were going to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

Everyone except the Patriots.  Even though they surely realized their predicament, they didn’t give up and were still ready.

Especially Malcolm Butler.

Again, setting aside the play call  (oh, the pain), give Butler credit for mental toughness.  He had practiced, improved, studied and was prepared.

Because Malcolm Butler was Always Ready, the New England Patriots won their fourth Super Bowl.

By the way, this is no homage from a Pats supporter.  Quite the contrary.  I’m a life-long New York Jets fan.  Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful example, despite the source.

So, for the second time, I tell you the Coast Guard has it right with its motto.  You can’t go wrong with being Always Ready.

Except next time, I hope the Patriots won’t be.


It’s the Coast Guard motto, and it makes sense for marketing and business teams too.  Because Malcolm Butler was Always Ready, the New England Patriots are Super Bowl champs again.

Harvey Chimoff is a marketing and business team leader who drives performance in consumer products and manufacturing companies.

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