Super Bowl notes: Seahawks' Bruce Irvin ejected at end of game

Bruce Irvin is ejected after hitting Rob Gronkowski with seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLIX

A hard-fought Super Bowl ended with, what else, a fight.

A brief brawl broke out in the final seconds of Sunday's game, with Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin getting ejected for a hit to the face of New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, after Tom Brady took a knee with 20 seconds remaining.

"I was protecting a teammate," Irvin explained later. "Emotions flew. I saw somebody hit [defensive end] Mike Bennett, so I went and backed up my brother. I went about it wrong. Emotions were flying high and I apologize. But if it happened again, I would go protect my teammate. That's just how it is."

Said Gronkowski: "They started coming at us. We were just trying to take a knee. It just happens. It's football."

One for ages

With Sunday's victory, Bill Belichick became the third-oldest coach to win a Super Bowl. At 62 years and 290 days, he supplants Seattle's Pete Carroll, who was 62 years and 140 days when he won last year's Super Bowl.

Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants became the oldest coach to win one, doing so at age 65 in Super Bowl XLVI, and St. Louis' Dick Vermeil was 63 when he led the Rams to victory in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Brady's bunch

Brady became the sixth quarterback to throw for four or more touchdown passes in a Super Bowl, but he is the first to throw all of them to different receivers.

He now has 13 touchdown passes in Super Bowls, eclipsing the record held by Joe Montana.

This was the sixth Super Bowl for the Belichick-Brady combo, and the Patriots didn't score a point in the first quarter of any of those games.


Yes, New England had the wrong defensive personnel on the field for the Seahawks to run the ball at the end of the game. Carroll explained that over and over.

But even Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin was at a loss to explain why the ball wasn't in the hands of running back Marshawn Lynch at the end.

"All of us are surprised," Baldwin said. "In that moment, with [26] seconds left on the clock and we still had a timeout. We felt like, from what I understood, we should take a shot and still have another down …

"I don't know. I'm just trying to come up with an explanation for it. I really don't know."

Malcolm Butler, who made the game-clinching interception, said he was sure before the snap that it was a pass play when he saw Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson glance over at his receivers.

"That gave me a clue, and the stacked receivers," Butler said. "I just knew they were going to throw. My instincts, I just went with it. Just went with my mind and made the play."

Ann Mara dies

Ann Mara, the matriarch of the New York Giants for the last 60 years, died Sunday. She was 85. Mara slipped in front of her home in Rye, New York, during an ice storm two weeks ago and was hospitalized with a head injury. According to her son John, complications developed and she died surrounded by family.

Ann Mara and her children owned 50% of the Giants, one of the founding families of the league, since the death of her husband, Hall of Famer Wellington Mara, in 2005.

Associated Press contributed to this story.

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