From the sports editor: Harmon wants better Super Bowl memory

Duron Harmon (MCT photo)

The moment is stuck in Duron Harmon’s memory, probably forever.

And not in a good way.

The Caesar Rodney High grad wasn’t even directly involved in the play.

But as the Seahawks’ Jermaine Kearse somehow made his impossible, tumbling, lying-on-his-back catch in Super Bowl XLIX, Harmon — the Patriots’ safety — was the player who came running in, jumping over the Seattle receiver just as he was pulling in the football.

“I was like, I can stop but I’m going to fall on him because I was moving too fast,” Harmon told Dan Duggan of the NJ Advance Media a month later.

“So I just jumped over him and I took a peek around and he’s up about to run … I was like, there’s no way they’re going to count that as a catch. But it was a catch. I have to give credit to Kearse for that catch. That was a great catch. But it broke my heart.”

The highlight-reel play, in the final minute of the game, put Seattle in position to pull out the victory.

But the Patriots and Harmon, of course, got off the hook a minute later when Malcolm Butler’s improbable goal-line interception gave New England its 28-24 Super Bowl victory two years ago.

As Harmon gets ready to play in his second Super Bowl with the Patriots this evening, against the Falcons in No. LI, the fourth-year safety admits he hasn’t let go of the Kearse catch.

The Patriots may have won the game anyway, but Harmon can’t shake the thought of how things might have turned out differently.

“Literally, Devin (McCourty) had to tell me to stop talking about it in the Super Bowl celebration,” Harmon was quoted in the Providence Journal this week. “Like, ‘Why you still talking about it? We won. It doesn’t matter.’ I was still trying to talk about it.

“He literally got me to stop thinking about it for that night, but it was something that literally was running over in my brain. It’s something you still think about.”

Of course, a good way to erase that haunting memory is to replace it with some better Super Bowl memories.

Harmon will get that chance today in Houston.

The 26-year-old Magnolia native is second on the depth chart at one of New England’s two safety spots for today’s game. He started only four games in the regular season but was in on 29 tackles, the second-highest total of his career.

Harmon also has a pair of interceptions, including one in the Patriots’ playoff win over the Texans.

In his last Super Bowl, Harmon was on the field for only eight defensive snaps. Today, though, he’s expected to play a bigger role.

Harmon has been on the field for 48.6 percent of New England’s defensive plays during the regular season — and that rate has gone up to 58.7 percent in the playoffs.

“This whole group is a dynamic group from the top to the bottom,” Harmon was quoted in the Worcester Telegram. “We’re going to need all 11 guys to come ready to play, be locked in each and every play, doing our assignment and just playing hard each and every play.”

There’s a solid chance that today’s Super Bowl will be Harmon’s last game as a Patriot.

He’ll be a free agent after the season and, while he’s been a good performer — he’s played in 72 straight games — New England isn’t known for spending big money on many players.

If that’s the case, then there’s no telling when Harmon will get to another Super Bowl.

He’ll try to make the most of this one.

If nothing else, maybe Harmon can finally put Kearse’s circus catch behind him. He said, in that moment, he felt like “the Super Bowl just got ripped from me.”

“I always run back and try to play that play over again to try and see what I would do different and try to learn from it,” Harmon told the Providence Journal.

“The idea that … I’ll be in positions to help this team more, I feel like I’m comfortable with that. I earned that and I’m excited for the opportunity to go out in the Super Bowl and play more snaps, go against a good offense and be out there with my teammates trying to win a game.”

Worrilow in Super Bowl, too

Of course, there will also be a lot of First Staters pulling for the Falcons and former Delaware linebacker Paul Worrilow today.

The 26-year-old Wilmington native is also in his fourth year in the NFL.

Worrilow is the ninth former Blue Hen to be a member of a Super Bowl team. He’s always been a guy who beat the odds, making the Delaware roster as a walk-on and the Falcons’ roster as a free agent.

But here’s another reason to root for Worrilow.

According to a story in the New York Post, when he was at Delaware in 2011, Worrilow took part in the Be the Match program. He ended up being a match for a 23-year-old woman with leukemia.

Worrilow anonymously donated some peripheral blood stem cells.

“I just like doing it,” he told the Post. “It’s not to meet anybody, it’s not even to get a story out that you did it. It’s just something that I’m proud I did, and when I talk about it, it’s (something) I want to get more people to join. The more people that can join the registry the better.”

CR’s Scott to be honored

Caesar Rodney High basketball player Zoe Scott will be presented with Buddy Hurlock Inspiration Award by the Delaware Sportswriters & Broadcasters Association at its annual luncheon on Feb. 20.

The event is held at the Sheraton Wilmington South Hotel (365 Airport Road, New Castle).

Scott had to deal with being temporarily paralyzed after having a tumor removed from her neck last year. The 6-foot athlete was featured in a State News story on Aug. 7.

“I remember my first day walking,” Scott said about her recovery. “At first I could only stand up for like 10 seconds. Then, when I started walking, I think I was really excited. I was walking extra fast. They had to tell me to slow down.”

Also being honored at the DSBA luncheon are Delaware’s NCAA Division I national championship field hockey team and Sanford boys’ basketball coach Stan Waterman. The state Athlete of the Year will also be announced.

Tickets available at $35/each, with table of 10 available for $300 at http://www.delasports.org/

Odds & ends

•Good to hear that former CR/Cape Henlopen superintendent Dr. Dave Robinson returned home to Lewes last week after spending 100 days in a rehab facility in Philadelphia.

Robinson was left partially paralyzed following a serious bike accident in the fall. While he’s still in a wheelchair, the upbeat Robinson said he plans to walk again.

•Next Saturday’s Henlopen Conference swimming championships will be held at Sussex Academy for the first time.

•The 12th annual Capital Classic middle school basketball tournament will be held at various sites with game’s at Dover’s Central Middle School (Feb. 13-14), Woodbridge Middle School (Feb. 15) and Milton’s Mariner School with the championship games at Woodbridge High School (Feb. 18-19).

A schedule for the tournament can be found at De Preps/Rivals.com: Basketball Forum.

Jada McCullough, an eighth-grader at Postlethwait, has been named a Middle School All-American in girls’ basketball. She will represent Delaware on April 2 in Dallas, TX in a game prior to the NCAA women’s national championship game.

Sports editor Andy Walter can be reached at 741-8227 or walter@newszap.com.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.