Two of the football’s biggest competitors — Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady — were seen engaging in shouting matches on multiple occasions during Super Bowl LV on Sunday.
The climax of the evening’s festivities occurred late in the second quarter following a defensive pass interference penalty that set up Brady to beat the three-time All-Pro on a one-yard touchdown, extending Tampa’s lead to 21-6 before halftime. Immediately following the play, Mathieu and Brady took turns getting in each other’s faces, though only the Chiefs safety was handed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his actions.
While that was the most highly talked about interaction, Brady also let Mathieu have an earful earlier in the 31-9 blowout loss.
However, in a recent turn of events, Brady sent a text message to Mathieu after the game to apologize for “several on-field verbal altercations,” according to ESPN NFL Bucs Nation reporter Jenna Laine on Monday.
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Brady Backtracks, Calls Mathieu a ‘Class Act’
Laine, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, has reported that Brady’s in-game antics ran counter to what the future Hall of Famer had said during his media availability last week and beyond.
Brady told Mathieu he’d watched him since his days at LSU, considered him a “class act” and a “great leader,” the source said. Brady said he wished he could have apologized in person, according to the source.
The source added that Brady said his outbursts in an emotional moment were in no way a reflection on his feelings toward Mathieu, whom he spoke of highly throughout the week leading up to the game.
The 43-year-old Brady went on to be named Super Bowl MVP, his fifth such honor in 10 career appearances, after posting 201 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-29 passing.
Mathieu Deletes Tweet: Brady ‘Called Me Something I Won’t Repeat’
Mathieu was visibly upset on the sideline following the pivotal second-quarter drive and even deleted a tweet after the game suggesting that the now-seven-time Super Bowl champion “called me something I won’t repeat.”
Speaking to reporters during his postgame press conference, Mathieu admitted to being surprised by Brady’s words and actions, but did not give any more specific details on either of the brush-ups.
“I thought I played as hard as I can today,” Mathieu told reporters, via NESN’s Zack Cox. “Listen, Tom Brady’s a great quarterback. I never really saw that side of Tom Brady, to be honest. But whatever. No comment. It’s over with. I’m done with it.”
Brady has not publically acknowledged the situation after not fielding a single postgame question related to his interactions with Mathieu on Sunday.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!