Ricardo Lockette was involved in one of the most famous plays in NFL history. That's not a good thing in his case.
Lockette was the intended receiver on the Russell Wilson pass that was intercepted at the goal line by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler to decide Super Bowl XLIX. In a split-second, Butler became New England royalty and Lockette the subject of criticism in Seattle and beyond.
In a self-penned essay on The Players' Tribune, Lockette spoke about his underdog career and "The Pass" he can't forget.
"I can't watch the film," the essay begins. "I absolutely can't stand to see it. People have told me it was the perfect interception. People have told me there's a camera angle where it looks like I'm about to walk right into the end zone. People have told me all sorts of things about the last play of Super Bowl XLIX. I wouldn't know. Whenever it comes on, I turn away."
Lockette, an undrafted free agent who has carved out a key role in Seattle's offense, said the Seahawks had run the same play three prior times during the season. They completed it every time. "Perfect. Unstoppable play."
"I see that ball coming, man. I'll never stop seeing it," he wrote. "The next thing I know, I'm on the turf on my knees. I'm looking around like, Okay, it's incomplete? I look across to the Patriots' sideline, and I see Tom Brady jumping up and down. And then I look across to our sideline and I see our guys with this blank look, with their heads dropped.
"I will never forget that pain. Never."
Lockette didn't see Wilson from the night of Super Bowl XLIX until April, when he met the quarterback and other teammates for players-only workouts in Hawaii.
"We're going to get back there," Wilson told Lockette, "and if we're in that same position again, I'm going to throw you the ball again. We're going to get it done. I trust you."
Well, unless Jimmy Graham is open, but still a nice sentiment. We suggest you take a few minutes to read the whole thing.
*The latest Around The NFL Podcast features the triumphant return of Dan Hanzus and discusses the biggest mysteries heading into training camp. *