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Patriots Fans Largely Critical of Belichick’s Decision to Bench Butler

With the sting of the Patriots Super Bowl loss still fresh in fans' minds, the burning question lingers over Bill Belichick's head-scratching decision to bench Malcolm Butler on defense.

"Just a tough time to prove a point," said Patriots fan Don Fiddner.

"It did seem a little questionable," Pats fan Nick McCool added.


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"It's just a little bit of an insult to the fans to pretend that this is a football decision," said Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy.

Shaughnessy isn't one to shy away from asking Belichick the tough questions. But he says this is one of the first times he remembers any real pushback from fans against the head coach.

"It's always been 'In Bill we trust,'" said Shaughnessy, "and that's why this is the first kind of crack in that veneer where generally, he can give us the finger and all the fans applaud that."

"We don't know what he did, honestly as a fan, we don't care what he did, all we wanted to do was win that game, and he didn't put the best people on the field to accomplish that," said Boston University Sports Institute Director Frank Shorr.

Shorr says Belichick may not have to give the media or even fans an answer, but he will have to answer to team owner Robert Kraft.

"I'm sure there's going to be a conversation and he's not going to get away with, 'I did what I thought was in the best interest of the team,'" said Shorr.

And while Pats fans remain upset Belichick didn't put the former Super Bowl savior in to try to stop the Eagles' key plays, Eagles fans sure aren't.

"I liked it, I was happy with it," said Eagles fan Samantha Santoro.

"Surprised, yeah, but that's his call, for whatever reason," opined fellow Eagles fan AJ Thevar. "What was the reason?"

We may never know the true reason, but sports analysts don't think this controversy will be forgotten any time soon.

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