Super Bowl LIII proved to be as much of a fight during the postgame as it was for the two offenses actually on the field during the historically low-scoring game.
After the Patriots ran out the final seconds of their 13-3 win, CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson ran out to Tom Brady for the post-game interview.
However, Wolfson wasn’t the only one who wanted to talk to the winning quarterback. Amid the crush of media, players, and NFL officials, Brady struggled through the crowd to embrace opposing players (including former teammate Brandin Cooks), Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman, trainer Alex Guerrero, coach Bill Belichick, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
All in all, it resulted in a somewhat chaotic scene, all aired live as millions of viewers across the world watched. Wolfson could be heard repeatedly saying “I have him” as she waited by Brady’s side for several minutes in the swarm of humanity and cameras.
— Thomas D Bradley (@ThomasDBradley) February 4, 2019
At one point, a live microphone picked up someone saying, “Jesus, are you OK?” and “Stay tight, all right?”
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) February 4, 2019
Eventually though, Wolfson did get the interview.
“It was awesome,” she told the New York Post after the game. “It was definitely a struggle. I joked that the game was an offensive struggle, so it was only appropriate that the winning interview was a struggle, too. That’s kind of why you do this job. I embrace it and I love it.”
Wolfson said she ran out to Brady after the final whistle to get position and was quickly surrounded.
“I’m small and I just kind of held onto Tom and the microphone and just sort of waited and waited patiently,” she told the Post.
Wolfson’s persistence holding onto Brady earned wide praise on social media.
In a separate interview with USA Today, the 43-year-old veteran sideline reporter said the wait was “a little more prolonged” than usual, but noted that she’s dealt with “crazy, storming-the-field situations” in the past — having started out with CBS in 2004 covering college football and basketball.
“Tom wanted to go and recognize some of the people that got him there,” she said, adding that it “was not as crazy as it looked visually.”
Others might differ on that assessment.
Kevin Simkins, an NFL Films cameraman, told the Los Angeles Times that he was “was bouncing around like a piece of popcorn” in the pack of people around Brady and actually felt his feet lift off the ground when it moved. Chad Steele, the 6-foot-7 spokesman for the Baltimore Ravens who has traditionally shepherded star players during the Super Bowl, said the scene was crazy.
“Everybody’s pushing and pulling different directions,” Steele told the Times.
For all the chaos of the scene, Steel said it was “really cool.”
“It’s history,” he said. “You see [Brady] and the emotion that he has, the emotion that his teammates have, it’s amazing.”
Likewise, Wolfson also didn’t want to interfere in the moment.
“I’m not going to pull him away from Robert Kraft,” Wolfson told USA Today. “I had to wait patiently. That’s my job.”