The Kansas City Chiefs were able to stave off a phenomenal performance by the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII by a score of 38-35. But they had some help on their final drive.
The Chiefs were already in field goal range with 1:54 left in the fourth quarter and were facing a 3-and-8 from the Philadelphia 15-yard-line. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes lobbed a pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, but it fell incomplete.
However, the officials called a defensive holding penalty on Eagles safety James Bradberry, giving the Chiefs the first down. Here’s a video of the play.
The holding call that really decided the game‼️— OutKick (@Outkick) February 13, 2023
The call was monumental because the Chiefs drained over a minute and a half of game time off the clock -- in addition to kicking the go-ahead field goal. Had there been no call, the Eagles would have gotten one last possession with roughly 1:30 to go.
Plenty of social media users complained that this was too soft of a call to make at such a critical juncture in a tense game. Of course, referees don't just stop making calls because the end of the game is close. The rules still apply … but I digress.
However, Bradberry himself admitted after the game that he knew he committed a foul and didn’t pass blame to anyone but himself.
“It was a holding. I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide,” he said.
It's hard to overstate how refreshing this is. The tendency of athletes is to blame everyone but themselves if they have a part in committing a game-changing penalty, or if they believe the refs did something wrong -- just ask LeBron James.
But Bradberry took the high road and owned up to his actions -- even though it was likely incredibly tempting to do differently.
Sports are often viewed as a valuable way to learn life lessons, and anyone following how Bradberry carried himself certainly saw a good example of personal accountability and not running from your mistakes. Many young Americans should take note.